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Do I need a model-release for a photo of a stranger if I want to sell it as a print such as on canvas, or on a product like a shirt, mug, calendar, etc.

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    The laws regarding model releases are different depending on the country, and, in some countries, where the photo was taken. If you would add this information to your question, that would be helpful. – user59085 Jan 3 at 11:58
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    In some countries/legal jurisdictions, it can also depend upon whether the "stranger" is a well known public figure or celebrity, an elected official, a member of a royal family, a military leader, etc. In the U.S., photos that are embarrassing or intentionally place a person in a bad light are covered under civil laws. You can be held liable if a court rules your photo defames someone, even if the photo is a "true record of an event". – Michael C Jan 3 at 12:16
  • I don't think a print on canvas (art work) is in the same category as putting it on a product. I'm pretty sure that would be considered commercial usage. This alone will differ in most? jurisdictions. I'll add to @MichaelC examples, the prints would be legal in Canada, except in the province of Quebec. – Robin Jan 7 at 18:50
  • Putting a photo on a coffee mug or T-shirt and selling it is not commercial usage of a photo. In the context of photographic usage, commercial usage means that those pictured in the photo are seen to be endorsing a product, service, or ideological position. If the t-shirt also includes a sales pitch for a product, only then would it be commercial usage of the photo. For instance, if I put "Jerry's Bail Bonds" above and "555-555-5555" below the image I'd probably get my pants sued off. – Michael C Jan 7 at 19:44
  • If the identifiable person is a well known celebrity or other person with a claim to "right of publicity", there might be other issues, but it would not make the usage of the image commercial. The way that, for instance, a rock band (or their record company who may own the rights to a particular image of the band) has control of the t-shirts with that particular image on it is because they own the copyright to the specific image, not because they own all rights to any likeness of the band in photos copyrighted by someone else. They don't. – Michael C Jan 7 at 19:55

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