When using pictures that contain clearly recognizable faces of people, a model release protects you against legal claims by the persons in the photo.
In general, model releases are needed when using pictures of people for commercial purposes, such as in ads or brochures. Editorial uses (news photos, for example) do not usually require model releases although in some cases it is common courtesy to obtain permission. When obtaining photos from third-parties such as stock photos, ascertain that the image is accompanied by a model release. Most reputable stock photography sources have model releases for their images.
Standard model releases do not cover defamatory, libelous, or humiliating usage. In some cases, a special release could be obtained for such specific use.
Also Known As: photo release