Whether you take videos as a hobby or as a job, you always need to be mindful of consent laws, especially if you will be sharing these publicly. For the most part, you can video people in a public area that doesn’t expect privacy. There are times when you will need to have consent from the individual to video them and use that video in a public domain, such as on a website. To get permission, you will need a Video Consent Form.
This is a document that a person or organization uses to gain written permission from an individual to use their image, name, or video interview for publication. Video consent does not mean the individual consenting will be compensated for any revenue generated. If a minor is involved, the parents or legal guardians must give consent. A video consent form can protect you from liability and any legal issues that may arise once someone has given permission. If someone verbally agrees to be videoed but doesn’t sign a video consent form, they can ask you not to use the video, and you would have to comply.
When you should use a Video Consent Form?
A video consent form should be gone over with the individual and signed before you begin any videotaping of them. You will need to explain to the individual precisely what their consent involves and why it is required. They need to understand that the video can be used in any way you see fit.
You can download one of our free templates and samples to get an idea of what a video consent form should look like and how to use it properly.
Basic Contents of Video Consent Form
The first things that need to be on a consent form are the names of the person asking for consent and the person giving consent. It’s also a good idea to have the individual initial each area of permission they agree too. For minors, the parents or legal guardians will need to agree to these terms.
If you are working on a project, it is essential to do your research and make sure you add any clauses that would relate to it. If you are using the video for other related projects, you need to let the individual know. This would include the use of any still shots from the video or audio transcripts. If you think that you will be selling or transferring the footage and rights to a third-party, you need to list that in the consent form.
Free Forms & Templates
Commercial and Non-Commercial Rights
Depending on what you are using the video for, you will need to add a clause regarding non-commercial and commercial rights. Non-commercial video recording would be used for personal, artistic, or educational purposes that are not used for any financial or promotional gain. Commercial video recording is when you intend to use the video for marketing, such as for your business, or to sell.
You will also want to make sure you add a time limit for the usage of videos. If you set a specific expiration date for the usage of the video, you will not be able to use it if things change at a future time (after the expiry date). Most commercial usage will state that they can use the video for as long as they want.
The main thing, when creating a consent form, is to be as transparent as possible and think ahead regarding any potential opportunities that may come up as a result of you using the video.
Laws Regarding Video Consent
For the most part, most videos can be recorded without consent if they are not being used commercially. However, this changes if you are in a public area, but where people expect some privacy. For example, a gym is a public place, but the locker room is off-limits to video recording because people expect privacy there. Video recording someone while on their personal property is something you would need consent for in some cases. For example, someone is having a private party in their home, and another person videos the guests. The owner has the right to tell the person videotaping to stop. Then there is implied consent, where you may have been hired to video a private party or gathering. If you wanted to use that footage to promote your business, however, you would need to get consent from the individuals in the video.
Frequently Asked Questions
In general, people have the right to video record in public areas without having to get consent. However, on private property, you would need permission from the property owner. Secretly filming on private property is considered illegal in some states.
In states where it is considered illegal to video someone without their permission, a person can sue the individual filming them. This is usually done in civil court. Each state has its laws regarding video recording and consent. In Virginia, for example, it is considered a felony to record oral communication without at least one person’s permission. In Colorado, you are allowed to video your private conversations without consent.