Well, you already know the


Well, you already know the *best* protection is individual, signed releases. Since in our society anybody can sue anybody for any reason (though not necessarily win), any “what we would do” response here is no absolute guarantee to you.

However, as a practical matter, lots of footage is shot after posting clear, conspicuous signage at entrances to public places. And that includes organizations like NBC, which has signs posted at the entrances to its studios in Burbank.

Here’s one example of a publicly posted consent and release notice:

Crowd Notice Consent and Release

Keep in mind that the degree of “fair use” protection afforded incidental footage used for informational purposes is greater than that of footage used for advertising. Particularly where implied endorsement could be construed, or someone might find the association objectionable, or there is an issue over “name and likeness.”

So, what to do? Prominent signage at all entrances, definitely. And when possible – especially for advertising/promo footage – signed releases (including employees) is a very good idea. It’s a hassle, sure. But it’s the best assurance you can get.

Or, you could chance it and forego the individual releases. Lots of people would. I might even do that. But realize you would be choosing convenience over risk. (Obligatory “I am not a lawyer…”)

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