Video Release Template
A video release grants a producer or production company permission to use video footage for personal or commercial use. A video release is a legal document that releases the rights of the producer or individual (Releasor, the person releasing the videos) and transfers the use, altercation, and other promotional uses to the producer or other listed individual (Releasee, person gaining rights to the videos).
- A video release grants permission to an individual or company to the rights to certain video(s) where the subject appears.
- The release waives the rights of the subject in the videos to any future use or claim of the videos.
- A video release is needed when a video taken of an individual and will be used for promotional materials or marketing materials.
- Protects producer or production company from legal liability
- A video release waives the releasor (subject) ‘s rights to obtain royalties or compensation for the videos.
The Basics: Video Release Terms and Components
Sometimes the legal lingo can be confusing to breakdown. Here is a quick rundown of some terms typically found in a video release form:
- Video: the video(s) taken on a particular date or dates and/or a certain event/events
- Releasor: the party granting permission to use and releasing their rights to the video
- Releasee: the party receiving permission and authorization to use and gaining rights to use the video(s).
There are a few types of video release forms, and the releases have other common names that include:
- Video Consent Form
- Model Release Form
- Photo Consent
- Photo Release Form
- General Release Form
- Standard Release Form
- Video Release Form
- Video Copyright Release Form
- Video Release Waiver
- Producer Release Form
- Release for Video
- Release for Content
- Talent Release Form
- Release of Liability Form / Waiver of Liability
Why do you need a Video Release?
A video release is needed to secure your rights to the use of any certain agreed-upon videos or content creation. It protects the producer from getting sued in the event the releasor or subject of the video attempts to claim certain rights that they agreed to waive. The release permits the producer or company to use the finished product or still images for the purposes of marketing, distributing, and any other lawful purpose.
An oral agreement permitting the producer’s use of the videos may not be enough to protect their rights. An executed video release by the subject in the video officially waivers the rights of the individual in the video and vests them to the producer.
Some common uses for video releases include:
- Films and Movies
- News, Press, Interviews
- Internet/Social Media Videos
- Events (weddings, graduations, etc.)
A video release can also be referred to as a “model release” or “talent release.” It serves the same purpose as the model release all video content to you, making the media your property. A video release further surrenders the talent’s rights to future compensation or royalties that the individual may otherwise be entitled to.
A video release can also entail compensation prior to the release being signed. For example, in exchange for your use of the content, you can provide the individual with some form of compensation. This is not usually required, but in some situations, you may choose to include a form of compensation as valuable consideration for the rights for the use of the video being transferred to you.
A video release template can be printed or downloaded as a PDF. It can assist you while drafting your own release and serve as a guide while you customize it to fit your business’ needs. Remember, the goal is to have a legally binding video release.
What should be included in a simple Video Release?
A solid video release will include the following:
- The parties to the release – the name of the subject in the video (releasor) and the party receiving permission for the use of content (releasee).
- Potential use of the video footage – A video release should express how the producer intends to use the content. The producer should include language like their right to alter, edit, distribute for commercial or marketing purposes.
- Compensation as Consideration if any
- The subject’s right to revoke their content in the future
Common Mistakes and Consequences of not using a Video Release
- Not having one – Without a valid video release, you are seriously limiting your rights to use the videos with. Not having a video release signed by the subject in the footage puts you at risk for certain legal implications for unpermitted use and monetary gain from the video. If you are unsure who needs to sign or what should be included in your video release, you should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.
- Date and signature – To be valid, a video release should be signed and dated. An unsigned video release is equivalent to not having one in the first place. The date is also essential. Including the date indicates when the party gave you permission and vested their rights of the video to you.
- Right to revoke permission – A standard provision in a video release is the subject’s right to later revoke their rights for future use, but they must do so in writing. The release should also contain a provision that allows you to have indefinite use of the footage unless they revoke their permission.
- The validity of the release – Understand who can legally enter into a valid contract. A minor cannot enter into a contract on their own. Even if they sign the agreement, it is not valid because they are not “competent” in the court’s eyes. If the subject is a minor, a legal guardian will be must sign on their behalf. Across the board, a minor is usually defined as a person under the age of 18 years old. If they are under 18, a legal guardian will have to sign on their behalf, releasing those rights of use to you.
- Record and retention of release – Another mistake is not keeping a record of the video release on file. It is an essential business practice to not only obtain a physical copy of the signed release but a digital copy as well. This provides for quick reference should an issue arise later.
- State Privacy Laws – It is important to reach out to an attorney to discuss your state’s privacy laws. These laws require one’s consent to use other people’s images in photos and videos. The attorney can provide guidance as to who needs to sign a release depending on the footage obtained and the purpose. If the state’s requirements are not met, you could open yourself up to costly lawsuits down the road.
How to get a Video Release signed
A video release can be signed in person, or it can also be e-signed. E-signatures are valid and legally enforceable. E-signatures simply the signing process by allowing the parties easy access to the document for their review and execution. ApproveMe.com simplifies the signing process. Digitalizing the way documents are signed and sending the signed copies to each party to the agreement for their records.
Establishing an E-signature system with your business is a gamechanger. ApproveMe.com is your hub to obtain the e-signatures you need for your business.
Additional Resources for your Growing Business
Starting up your own business can be a little chaotic. Here are some tools to add to your professional toolbox, you may want to look into to boost your business’ productivity:
Adobe Premiere Pro: This software provides state of the art video editing software.
VideoStudio Ultimate 2019: A video editing software that is easy to use and ideal for beginners.
CyberLink PowerDirector Ultra: An edgy video editing software that is best for experienced filmmakers
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This Video Release (“Release”) is made effective on this ___ day of ______, 20__. I, _________________________ (“Releasor”), hereby grant and authorize _________________________ (“Releasee”) the right to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, distribute, and make use of all videos taken of me to be used in and/or for promotional materials without payment or consideration. This grant of use includes but is not limited to publishing on the internet and e-mails, and in whatever other manner the Releasee finds useful or for any other lawful purpose.
I understand and agree that the aforementioned materials will become _____________________ property and will not be returned. This Release extends to all formats, media, languages, and formats now known or hereafter developed. This Release shall continue indefinitely, unless I otherwise revoke said Release in writing.
I relinquish my right to approve or inspect any edited video or final product where I appear. Further, I waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the videos. I hereby release rights to all claims, demands, and causes to action which I, my representatives, heirs, administrators, executors, or any other persons acting on behalf of my estate have or may have by reason of this authorization.
Printed Name Date
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