Below is the content for the updated Model/Copyright Policy. This can also be found in the Middle Kingdom Documents Library under “Guide – Middle Kingdom Clarification on Model Releases and Object Releases“
Middle Kingdom Clarification on Model Releases and Object Releases per Communications with Society on 7/20/2019
Per the SCA policy on release forms, as summarized from the FAQs, found at https://www.sca.org/docs/pdf/ReleaseFormsFAQsWEB.pdf, the SCA Model Release Form is needed when:
• the image is portrait-style (see below)
• the photograph is taken in a private space at an event (such as a personal encampment)
• the photograph is taken at a non-public venue (such as an armor-making workshop at a home)
No model release form is needed when the photograph is taken at a public place and in a public forum (where there is no expectation of privacy), including any SCA contest or competition, merchants’ row, court, class, etc.
A “portrait-style” is defined by its usage. A picture of two individuals posted a website or in a newsletter with a heading “A lull in the day is enjoyed by Baronesses Suephlay and Shirleyknott” does not require a release as it is deemed to be “news” under court interpretation of right to image laws. However, when an image has a caption that only identifies the person and her position/office or otherwise it isn’t “news”) it requires a release. These are images that are likeliest to remain on the website for either a reign or a term of office. (Note: A photograph can have multiple people such Their Majesties, Their Excellencies, etc. and still be a “portrait-style” image.)
This policy has recently caused some confusion. As such, clarification has been provided by Society on when releases are needed.
When the picture is taken at a public place and is used only to reflect what happened on that day, it is considered “news” and does not need a release since it is not promoting anything. “NEWS” posts can be on a group website, a newsletter, Facebook, or other Social Media, although Society encourages obtaining a Model Release for “news” when the picture will be in print and not just a website. See below for treatment of Minors.
Example 1: A picture is taken at court of an award recipient and posted in the Pale with the heading “Lady Lovely receiving a Purple Fret from Their Majesties.” This is “news” and no release is needed.
Example 2: A picture taken by an individual of their spouse shooting archery at an event with text over it that reads “SCA archery is fun! You should try it!” posted to the Middle Kingdom Facebook group. Since this is captioning the day and posted on a closed social media page, it counts as News and no release is needed. If wanting to put on the local groups website, this is leaning more towards needing a release (see below) so either get a release or re-caption so it looks less like promotional material.
However, all of us, famous or otherwise, have the right to protect our likeness. Our likeness, in the legal sense, means a representation of us used to promote ideas, products, services, or things. Individuals have the right to determine the use of their likeness when it comes to promoting things, like the SCA.
So if an image is being used to promote the SCA a Model Release is required, even if it is taken at a public place. When in doubt, get a Model Release form. And always get parent/legal guardian permission for use of pictures of Minors, regardless of if it’s “news” or promotional.
A Model Release is needed for each identifiable person when it is being used for promotional/endorsement. As this is modern law and concept of identifiability, just because we can identify someone by their garb or armor, but we can’t see their face, doesn’t mean they are identifiable from a modern perspective. A Model Release From can be found at https://www.sca.org/docs/pdf/ReleaseModel.pdf.
Example 3: Melee fighting (combatants with their armor and helmets on). No Model Release.
Example 4: Classroom where you see the back of heads, but the teacher’s face. No Model Release from class, but a Model Release from the teacher.
Example 5: The Royals giving an award and include all the smiling Barons/Baronesses next to them in the line. A Model Release is needed from all of them.
Example 6: Going back to Example 2 of the picture taken by an individual of their spouse shooting archery at an event with text over it that reads “SCA archery is fun! You should try it!” If this is being used at a demo, in demo material, or put on a group page easily accessible by the public (this does not included a closed Social Media page) this is more promotional than news and should have a Model Release.
Art Object Releases
Regardless of whether the photographs of an individual’s art, e.g. scroll, embroidery, costuming, etc, are being used for art or promotional purposes, credit must be given to the artisan, much like credit is given to the photographer for taking the picture. This is because the art created is the individual’s copyright and the artisan must be recognized as the owner.
When the photograph of the art object is being used for promotional purposes as stated above, a Copyright Assignment/Grant of Use Form must be completed. These forms can be found at https://www.sca.org/docs/pdf/ReleaseCreative.pdf.