This section provides some additional information about editorial usage in the areas where agefotostock has a direct sales office: Spain, France, and the United States.
Suppose you need additional information about editorial usage in other parts of the world. In that case, we recommend you to check this matter with your local authorities as making a mistake on how images are used could become a nightmare for photographers if this subject is not clearly understood.
In the United States, the ability to publish a photograph for a newsworthy purpose of interest to the public is very broadly interpreted to protect the right of free speech found in their First Amendment. For example, in the US, the Courts do not require the photograph to show a person described in the article, book, etc. There needs to be some relationship between the subject discussed in the publication and the picture.
In many European countries, publishing a photograph for "editorial use" is not as broadly interpreted as in the USA. Generally speaking, the only situation in which you don't need a model release is if the photograph is taken from a public place during a newsworthy event of public interest and is used to illustrate an article or text about this event. Also, in Spain, unless the model is a public figure, the photograph's person should not be the main subject (central focus) of the photograph.
Therefore, in most European countries, unlike the USA, an editorial photograph must show a person involved in the event described in the published text, not someone with a vague connection to the subject of the text.
In conclusion, photographs that show a recognizable person can only be used in the following situations:
None of the photographs taken should "damage the person's dignity," which means be offensive or embarrass the person being photographed in any of the above cases.
Keeping all of this in mind, for editorial purposes, photographs need to be captioned correctly to link the picture with a specific event that could be the subject of an article/text.
It would help if you also remember that laws about privacy and model releases will vary depending on the countries and might change over the years.
It would help if you remembered that you would be subject to the country's laws where the image was taken. You also would be subject to the state's statutes where the photo is published, even if you don't live in that country.
Your best defense will always be a good model release.
Here are two images of young girls. The one on the left is model-released, and the one on the right isn't. The image on the right can be marked for editorial use because it shows a newsworthy public interest (Holy Week in Guatemala). The photo on the left can't be marked editorial use only because it shows two girls in a bedroom, which is not a newsworthy event of public interest nor taken in a public place. The image can only be licensed with model release.