True, in an ideal world yo


True, in an ideal world you should have a release from every person who enters your frame. But things are rarely ideal. You’re right, if they’re close enough to be positively identified then you should have a form, but then, the point at which someone is identifiable is sort of subjective. I mean, I know people who are so bad with faces that they can’t pick their friends out a crowd standing 3 feet from them, and on the other side of the spectrum you have people who can identify someone 100 yards away by how they walk.

When I set up shop in Minnesota, I sat down with a lawyer in my new town to write a MN-friendly legal agreement for clients and to brush up on local law. He mentioned what I said above, that in an ideal world you always get releases from everyone, but then he went on to say that in reality if you get the main talent on screen you’re usually safe. In public places, and especially when you’re not trying to conceal your camera, there’s an assumption that you’re not entitled to the same degree of privacy you’d have, for example, at your home or on private property. Of course, this is something that people should take up with their own lawyers to be sure you know the local area rules. And again, you’re right, you SHOULD get every release form that you can. Of course, in our industry, that’s often not realistic.

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