[cc-community] CC-like video release form

Matthew J. Agnello matt.agnello at gmail.com
Wed Jan 16 10:04:20 EST 2008

> I admire your les-affaires approach to your own image, but I really  
> wonder how willing people are going to be to sign off on their  
> publicity rights in perpetuity to people they've never met.

In my experience, most people don't seem to mind (and this might be  
out of ignorance), and some even prefer their image be available under  
CC. Now, this is a very biased group of people, because I'm  
interviewing people who support those kinds of measures. However, in  
the few times I have gotten releases with the intention of publishing  
CC for other projects where they don't know about or support it  
outright, my subjects seem to be okay with it.

I really think this problem needs to be looked at by a lawyer familiar  
with publicity rights. I can detect far too many nuances for any  
solution to be made here. For instance, if a person submits themselves  
to an interview and signs a release form, and that interview is  
publicized, do they become a "public figure" and therefore give up  
their publicity rights (the same way celebrities can be written about  
endlessly in magazines without permission)? Or are these rights  
protected until you reach a certain "level" of famousness?

Here are some more links to CC's stance on the issue:
- On the virgin lawsuit: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/7680
- CC FAQ on publicity rights: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/FAQ#When_are_publicity_rights_relevant.3F
- Podcasting legal guide on publicity rights: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Podcasting_Legal_Guide#Publicity_Rights_Issues

// Matt

Matt Agnello
< matt.agnello at gmail.com >

On Jan 16, 2008, at 9:47 AM, Fred Benenson wrote:

> Do you think there is going to be a demand for a license that has  
> media subjects willfully abandoning their commercial image rights  
> and privacy for the sake of freedom?
> How easy is it going to be to make the case that they should release  
> their image to the masses to be remixed, appropriated, perhaps  
> abused, and prostituted?
> I admire your les-affaires approach to your own image, but I really  
> wonder how willing people are going to be to sign off on their  
> publicity rights in perpetuity to people they've never met.
> On the other hand, this does highlight how publicity rights conflict  
> with BY and BY-SA licensed works.
> On Jan 16, 2008 4:40 PM, Terry Hancock  
> <hancock at anansispaceworks.com> wrote:
> Jon Phillips wrote:
> > Heya, yes, please channel any of these efforts over to
> > http://ownterms.org wiki right now and chip in with your forms.  
> That is
> > a cool open project to do this type of thing.
> Here's the problem: none of us is a lawyer!
> I think I understand copyright pretty well as non-lawyers go, but I
> still prefer to defer to lawyer-reviewed copyright/copyleft licenses.
> Publicity rights, OTOH, are far less familiar to me, so I am even more
> reticent to try to write down a release.
> BUT, let me suggest the following as a "requirements document" for  
> such
> a hypothetical legal release, to be used, let's say, by someone who  
> understand publicity rights (not, e.g., me):
> 1) It should permit the work containing the publicity to be used in  
> way consistent with the CC copyright license used (e.g. By-SA can be
> used for commercial or non-commercial purposes, by anyone, juxtaposed
> with any other material).
> As a challenging case, consider what might happen if you do a video on
> LGBT studies and interview a number of lesbian and gay people. It's
> conceiveable that somebody might use your film derisively on an
> anti-gay-rights website. That might be deplorable, but it wouldn't be
> forbidden by the license and therefore shouldn't be by the release  
> (IMHO).
> Note that we can probably ignore the most extreme examples of this
> kind of abuse, because they are criminally-prosecutable under  
> completely
> separate laws, unrelated to publicity rights (I think). E.g. in the
> US there are some "hate speech" laws which apply to speech which is
> directly threatening or inciting violence. OTOH, merely holding  
> someone
> up for ridicule is probably not, as long as no libel is committed  
> (i.e.
> what is said is either factually true or opinion only).
> Of course, we need terms that absolutely preclude the kind of case  
> that
> was raised in the recent Virgin advertisements which were alleged to
> defame the subject. So the penalty here is that you can't be
> protected against that kind of thing. I can understand that some
> subjects may object to this, but I would be willing to agree to it for
> interview footage. It's not unlike becoming a "public figure" -- you
> lose a certain amount of protection.
> A very diverse group of people rely on CC licensed material and  
> freedom
> of speech is important. If I've signed a release on a video of some
> public appearance, that material is out there and should be available,
> even to people who want to make fun of me or trash my politics or
> whatever. I might not like it and I might not like them, but I  
> shouldn't
> be able to use a publicity right (any more than copyright) as a  
> means of
> silencing them.
> 2) It should extend the release to anyone who has license to remix the
> material according to the CC license. So, for By-SA, permission  
> extends
> to anyone releasing a derivative work under the By-SA. It should
> explicitly mention that the intent is for the permission to follow all
> derivatives of the work.
> This is a further reduction of the subject's control. It's much easier
> to ridicule someone with an edited image or video -- just look at
> Michael Moore's work! Or imagine a series of photo portraits with
> photo-composited swastikas on their foreheads. Or photostitch your  
> head
> onto a nude figure or an obscenely gesturing figure, etc (up to but  
> not
> including the point of libel -- if the picture is presented as  
> factually
> true, for example). Again, we might not like these uses, but I think
> they fall within the realm of free speech and should be permitted by  
> the
> release.
> 3) It could allow the subject to object or limit the material released
> prior to CC publication of the initial work. This way, the release
> applies only to the material contained in the original work.
> One objection has been raised about how the author might want to use
> additional work in other productions without seeking permission each
> time. However, there's an easy solution using the result of #2:
> Create a CC-licensed SOURCE tape with ALL of the material you might  
> want
> to use in the future on it, then get the release on that. That way you
> can cut anything objectionable, but keep everything you might want.  
> Then
> you simply derive your "real" video from that source. (QUESTION:  
> does it
> matter whether this CC licensed work has actually been distributed?)
> Sound reasonable? Have I missed anything? Or are you screaming inside
> now that you've considered the consequences? ;-)
> Cheers,
> Terry
> --
> Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com )
> Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com
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