[cc-community] CC-like video release form

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Wed Jan 16 14:27:19 EST 2008

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?

Sure. Most of the time when releases are signed by people other than
actors and performers (who view their publicity rights as a saleable
asset), they give up pretty much all control to a single "entity", which
more often than not is a company, not a person. Thus, there isn't really
any true personal accountability and the contracts are usually
boilerplate which pretty much removes all legal recourse for the
subject. And even if such recourse existed, most people wouldn't use it,
so signing it away doesn't seem like a big sacrifice.

Free licensing contracts are always different from proprietary licensing
contracts in that they emphasize the *terms* rather than the *entities*
involved in the agreement. Thus, for example, the By-SA ensures that
modification of the work will stay under the same terms rather than with
the same author.

What I describe creates the same situation for releases: the subject
has assurance not of *who* will use their image, but rather *on what
terms* the image will be used. If it's under a CC license, then that
by itself will be some degree of assurance to many people.

But, just as you can't *really* trust the multi-national conglomerate
you signed a deal with, you can't *really* trust that using a CC license
promotes good intentions or behavior.

Nevertheless, just as some photographers would like to see their By-SA
images used only by By-SA publishers, which they perceive as a public
benefit, some subjects will feel the same way.

And some won't.

But, for myself, I would feel much more comfortable with a pool of photo
subjects who have made this agreement than to just take my chances that
I won't get sued because somebody who happens to be in a CC-licensed
image that I used disagrees with my politics. Even if that means the
pool of material is smaller.

And as I say, I would sign off on this kind of deal, assuming that I
approved of the initial project in the first place. In fact, I think
most people would implicitly assume that they will have to agree to
something like this if they agree to appear in a By-SA work (at least,
if they know what By-SA means).

Please remember that such a release wouldn't sign away *all* image
rights, only the use of the images appearing in a particular work.

Also, there are probably some rights that could still be retained. For
example, you can use images of NASA astronauts in NASA images which are
"copyright free", but there is still a restriction against using them
to imply endorsement of a product. Such endorsement restrictions (which
would be fraudulent anyway), seem to be perfectly reasonable to me, and
don't conflict with By-SA, IMHO.

> I admire your les-affaires approach to your own image, but I really wonder

BTW, that's "laissez-faire", French for "let be", not "les affaires",
French for "the affairs", though I can see they do sound a lot alike. :-D


Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

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