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What is a Release Form?

A release form, or general release form, is a legal document that serves as consent in writing to release the legal liability of a releasee by a releasor. The document is a formal acknowledgment that, once signed, is a legal release of all a releasee obligations within an agreement.

What is a Release Form Used For?

Release forms are most used in the film, photography, documentary, music, and radio industries to ensure that any content captured by an entity is owned by them and not by the subjects that work with them on the project.

Release forms are important because they help avoid legal roadblocks that can make it possible for subjects to withdraw their consent to use footage, photos, or audio after the product is finished.

Without a release form, for example, an actor in a film could later request that film production staff remove certain parts of a movie that reflects actors in a bad light or no longer serves their purposes. Photographers could be obligated to remove photographs from their portfolios or websites. Radio and music producers might be forced to delete any audio that contains the voice of a party who withdraws their consent to use the product.

Workers in these industries work hard to achieve their finished products. If a subject decides to later rescind their consent for the entities to use publicly, it could be detrimental. Films could be missing entire scenes that are crucial to the storyline, or songs could have to delete entire verses that are crucial to the completeness of the songs.

When a release form is signed, these finished products are protected against the agreement changing in the future. It is one of the many reasons why we can enjoy unedited cuts of movies, and extended cuts of songs, as well.

From a legal standpoint, it's essential for creators to enforce release forms any time they work with a third party to complete the project. This is because if someone requests that their likeness, footage, or voice be removed from a project, and the creator declines, it can spell trouble for them unless a release form was signed.

Release forms tell judges that any content captured was consensual and that subjects understood that when they took on the project, they would be signing their rights away to the finished product. This way, if any legal disputes come up later, creators are protected from needing to alter their work at the request of a disgruntled client.

Release forms are also helpful in ensuring that if a creator wishes to obtain a copyright on a piece, that there are no legal roadblocks in their way to do so. These release forms provide a clear chain of title if the content needs to be used in later advertising, broadcasts, or any other channels.

Check out this article to learn more about what release forms are used for.

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Types of Release Forms

Release forms are vital to releasing the rights to a product by a releasor. There are many specific types of release forms that are appropriate for each industry in which they are used.

Here are a few examples of commonly used release forms used today:

Photography Release Forms

Photography release forms are used by individuals and photography businesses to protect their rights to use any photographs captured while working with a client. They ensure that the business can use any photographs captured for certain purposes.

For example, there might be a contract clause in a photography release contract that entails that if photography is used for commercial purposes, the model must be credited. On the other hand, some release forms might indicate that no credit is needed, regardless of how the photo is intended to be used.

The terms of photography release forms are agreed upon before any photos are used for any non-personal purpose. Both parties must sign the document before any moves can be made to use images this way.

Learn more about photography contracts .

Model Release Forms

Model release forms exist between a photographer and a model. They are typically used to outline the rights of a photographer to sell the image to third parties, such as to be used in a magazine or for an advertisement or book cover. In this case, the model release form would indicate that the photographer has the right to sell their work to a third party for personal financial gain.

These types of release forms also include details about whether crediting the model is required when licensing the photo to third parties.

Property Release Forms

Property release forms deal with using images or videos of another person’s personal property. You might be surprised to know that if a filmmaker takes a video of your dog or house, you must sign a release form for the filmmaker to use the footage for commercial services. This applies to any type of personal property and is vital to avoid legal complaints against the filmmaker or any other entity.

Here is an article about the types of release forms.

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How Do You Write a Release Form?

The best way to construct a release form is to get the help of a lawyer. Since these forms are important legal documents, it’s never a bad idea to consult a professional to help you through the process.

If you’d prefer to DIY the project, it’s not an impossible feat. You can do a quick internet search online to find pre-loaded release form templates for just about anything you’ll need them for. This is the easiest way to get a release form document without consulting a lawyer.

In the next section, we’ll talk about which terms you should make sure are included in your release form.

To learn more about how to write a release form, check out this article .

Most Important Terms in a Release Form

If you want a successful release form in your business, you need to make sure it includes vital terms that will make it legally enforceable in court if a legal battle arises. Luckily, the terms of most release forms are very simple and don’t have a laundry list of information that needs to be included.

Here is the complete guide to the most important terms in a release form that you should know:

  • Names of releasor and releasee
  • Details about the project being produced
  • Information about what permissions are granted
  • Special considerations, such as crediting requirements or payment obligations
  • Spaces for signatures of all parties

Learn more about the most important terms in any release form by checking out this article .

Who Needs a Release Form?

Anyone creator that works with people to capture images, video, audio, or likenesses needs a release form for every project they do. These forms are vital to protect against legal repercussions and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Since customer relationships are vital to a business’s image, being transparent goes a long way when it comes to reputation.

If you need help with release forms, lawyers can help. Recruiting the assistance of a trained professional ensures that you don’t miss any major release form components and is a great practice to protecting your business from legal disputes.

Post a project on ContractsCounsel today to connect with lawyers for musicians, filmmakers, photographers, radio producers, and many other industry professionals today.

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www.linkedin/in/michaelbmiller I am an experienced contracts professional having practiced nearly 3 decades in the areas of corporate, mergers and acquisitions, technology, start-up, intellectual property, real estate, employment law as well as informal dispute resolution. I enjoy providing a cost effective, high quality, timely solution with patience and empathy regarding client needs. I graduated from NYU Law School and attended Rutgers College and the London School of Economics as an undergraduate. I have worked at top Wall Street firms, top regional firms and have long term experience in my own practice. I would welcome the opportunity to be of service to you as a trusted fiduciary. In 2022 I was the top ranked attorney on the Contract Counsel site based upon number of clients, quality of work and top reviews.

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My career interests are to practice Transactional Corporate Law, including Business Start Up, and Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as Real Estate Law, Estate Planning Law, Tax, and Intellectual Property Law. I am currently licensed in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Utah, after having moved to Phoenix from Philadelphia in September 2019. I currently serve as General Counsel for a bioengineering company. I handle everything from their Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Placement Memorandums, and Corporate Structures to Intellectual Property Assignments, to Employment Law and Beach of Contract settlements. Responsibilities include writing and executing agreements, drafting court pleadings, court appearances, mergers and acquisitions, transactional documents, managing expert specialized legal counsel, legal research and anticipating unique legal issues that could impact the Company. Conducted an acquisition of an entire line of intellectual property from a competitor. In regards to other clients, I am primarily focused on transactional law for clients in a variety of industries including, but not limited to, real estate investment, property management, and e-commerce. Work is primarily centered around entity formation and corporate structure, corporate governance agreements, PPMs, opportunity zone tax incentives, and all kinds of business to business agreements. I have also recently gained experience with Estate Planning law, drafting numerous Estate Planning documents for people such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Directives, and Trusts. I was selected to the 2024 Super Lawyers Southwest Rising Stars list. Each year no more than 2.5% of the attorneys in Arizona and New Mexico are selected to the Rising Stars. I am looking to further gain legal experience in these fields of law as well as expand my legal experience assisting business start ups, mergers and acquisitions and also trademark registration and licensing.

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Scott graduated from Cardozo Law School and also has an English degree from Penn. His practice focuses on business law and contracts, with an emphasis on commercial transactions and negotiations, document drafting and review, employment, business formation, e-commerce, technology, healthcare, privacy, data security and compliance. While he's worked with large, established companies, he particularly enjoys collaborating with startups. Prior to starting his own practice in 2011, Scott worked in-house for over 5 years with businesses large and small. He also handles real estate leases, website and app Terms of Service and privacy policies, and pre- and post-nup agreements.

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Residential

Release Form

North Carolina

Asked on Jun 13, 2022

Is there an attorney out there who does the job with the evidence speak for the self

My apartment complex took me to court for rent old witch was not true I had evidence that was entered into the court but the grounds wasn’t laid down by my attorney stated by the substitute judge I’ve been evicted I’m homeless and I have witnesses as well and perjury from the opposing counsel I went to the magistrate I went to Districk and now I’m looking to file an appeal to appellate for damages to my person for money that was charged to me for services I never received I contacted Department of Justice and NAACP my lawyer told me well my previous counsel stated she doesn’t have time to handle appeal court because she also has a full-time job and she’s not competent enough because she never went past District Court . Breach of contract is what the apartment complex Sweetwater properties Cameron holding LLC has violated also the requirements under the whole program and not having their books up-to-date with payments from volunteers of America as well as money laundering tax withholding

Holly T.

Answered Jun 17, 2022

I am not going to address anything except the appeal process. This is not a contract issue or transactional so I cannot comment further. Evictions are heard in small claims in front of a magistrate. They are heavily weighted in the favor of renters. Some counties such as Orange employ free attorneys devoted to deferring and defending evictions. An appeal from a small claims decision has specific time requirements and is to District court. Some District courts require arbitration for some matters. The Clerk of Court in the relevant county can advise on days left to appeal and whether there is an alternative dispute process required in this situation. If there is, the evidence requirements are not formal. A lay person can represent themselves.

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