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Old November 4, 2011, 07:14 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,641
Default Re: Need some INFO (not legal advice) on this interesting question...

Originally Posted by -TW View Post
If I go to a "public" place (+ that's another question), and I do "man on the street" type video clips, getting "regular" people's CANDID reactions to a new product (like you see on many infomercials + commercials) -- HOW DO I GET THEIR PERMISSION TO USE THEIR CLIP in any way I want, without paying them, etc.?

A model release, yes. But do I need to get a SPECIAL model release to cover my a** TOTALLY?!?! Do I need to go talk to a lawyer? If so, what TYPE of lawyer (intellectual property?).

I want to be able to do this, without WORRYING about the consequences -- I do NOT want to be open to being sued, or cease + desist, etc. There MUST be a way to do this get GENUINE CANDID reactions that I can then use in ANY WAY I WANT, WITHOUT paying the people I tape.

Anyone with any experience with this?

Please advise.

Hi TW,

I haven't done it... However, I did find these two possibly useful sample model release forms...

On the lawyer question, I'd probably get a model release form that you like (it could be one you find online, which you might modify further, if you want to). Then, once you've got the form the way you want it, get a lawyer and run it past him or her to make sure you're not missing anything important, that everything is above board, etc.

By the way, I know in the "common law" system (used in the UK, USA, Australia, and other nations where the laws were originally based on British laws), a contract is generally not valid unless there is an exchange of "value" (this is known as "consideration"). I don't know if this holds for model release contracts or not - though I don't see why it wouldn't apply there, as it does for other contracts. If it does, then you may have to give them something of "value" to make sure the contract is legally valid. (It could be as little as $1, or even a sample product.) I imagine, if nothing else, it would help to make the contract more "solid."

(I ain't no lawyer, and what I wrote above ain't no legal advice! To get legal advice, of course, you should see a legal professional...)

I would probably approach people, while having someone else film the interaction... Then, if the footage could be useful, ask them if they could "put your autograph on our standard release form"... or something like that...

Some people will be very happy to do it (especially if they feel they could get on TV, or get some minor degree of fame)!

You could also offer a free copy of your product, or whatever it is you're promoting, to help "encourage" them...

Now, I haven't done this before... So keep that in mind.

I have approached random strangers in the street before, to sell a product... (Many years ago, I was selling discounted comedy tickets - I did it for the sales experience!) If you're confident, with a friendly smile, and a "light-hearted" friendly attitude, most people are pretty nice! Some people may see you and avoid you... That's okay, too. If people do that, just find another person, who will be more comfortable with the whole experience. You soon learn to "recognize" the kind of people who are more happy to talk to you, and those who prefer to ignore you and walk on by...

In your case, I think it would be easier, as you're not even trying to get them to buy something - and you're even offering them a (small) shot at fame...

Best wishes,


Last edited by Dien Rice : November 4, 2011 at 07:27 PM.
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