EyeEm New Model Release Strategy

Posted on 6/27/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

Photographer’s tell me that EyeEm has introduced a new model release strategy that is markedly simpler for photographers than the release strategy used by stock agencies and photographers for many years.

Instead of requiring a signed digital copy of a printed release, all EyeEm requires of the photographer is that he/she submit some basic information about the model or the property at the time the image is submitted.

For a Model Release that information includes: model’s name, date of birth, gender, residence address and email address. Phone information is optional. Presumably if the model is a minor the parents name would also be required.

For Property Releases the language is as follows:
    The Image Material has been created in a protected area (property, apartment, other fenced areas) that is part of my private sphere or my property. I herewith confirm that I am the solely authorised person who may decide whether or not these Images from/in the protected area may be used.

    The Image Material contains one or more legally protected objects. This/These object/s is/are {object description}. I herewith confirm that I am the sole owner of the intellectual property rights (in particular copyrights and design rights) of the object or objects.
Once EyeEm has received the digital file of the images and the information above they email the following to the model with the model’s name and information as a heading.

    I am fully contractually capable.

    For the following Image (1234567) displaying my picture, (hereinafter referred to as "Image Material"), I make the following declaration:
    I hereby confirm that I am willing to grant the photographer the irrevocable right (that may be transferred to third parties) to use the Image Material without any restriction of time, content or territory and to transfer this right for utilisation, in whole or in part, to third parties (hereinafter referred to as "Entitled Persons"). These are in particular Eyeem Mobile GmbH, Kohlfurter Strasse 41/43, 10999 Berlin, Germany (hereinafter referred to as "EyeEm"), companies affiliated with EyeEm as well as their customers.

    If the Image Material has been created in a protected area (apartment, a fenced area) that is part of my private sphere, I herewith confirm that I am the solely authorised person who may decide whether or not these Images from/in the protected area may be used.
    This authorisation covers all the rights of use required for the comprehensive utilisation and processing of the Image Material by the photographer or by the Entitled Persons. The authorisation shall continue to be valid even after my death.
    The authorisation must include, among others:
    The reproduction right?The distribution right?The right of public accessibility?The transmission right and broadcasting right?The right to call up, and use online?The right to process or otherwise change the Image Material, e.g. that the Image Material may be combined, edited or changed with other images, text and graphics, films, audio and audio-visual media.
    The permission for using the Image Material applies to every purpose, in particular, but not exclusively, advertising and marketing purposes and other commercial uses.
    The use of the Image Material is permitted in any context - except for pornographic or defamatory contexts.
    I have received an appropriate financial compensation for taking the photographs and the rights granted in this release. The receipt of this remuneration is acknowledged hereby. Thus, all possible claims against EyeEm and their customers have been settled.
    Where copyrights, performance protection rights or other rights have arisen due to my participation in the creation of photographs, to which I am entitled, the aforementioned declarations shall apply accordingly.
    I understand that the Image Material is used without mentioning my name and that it cannot be excluded, however, that on individual photographs I might be identifiable.
    I recognise explicitly that there is no obligation to mention my name when reproducing the Image Material.
    I have given all necessary declarations as required by data-protection law to the photographer; I am also aware that the photographer may store my data and use them for the purposes mentioned here in connection with the Image Material, e.g. in order to defend himself against any third-party claims or to secure claims.

    I have understood the above Declaration and agree to its entire content. I certify that the information I have given is true and correct.

    I have read the Privacy Policy for Releases (http://dl.eyeem.com/market/privacy_policy_for_releases.pdf) and agree to their entire content.

    Date of Birth:
    Residence address:

    Residence address:
    Date of Shoot:


It is unclear if the model even has to respond to this email, but the model may be required to indicate that they Disagree with the terms, or to check a box that says “I Agree” before the image is actually available for marketing. According to what I am told no actual physical signatures are required. Maybe, in the Internet age, it is considered sufficient to be able to prove that the model actually received this notice in order for it to be enforceable.

A bigger problem may be that the email address supplied may not be the actual email address of the model. It may be the address of the photographer, or it might be an address of someone, or some organization not likely to respond to spam emails. As long as there is no response to EyeEm indicating that the terms are not accepted then EyeEm assumed it is free to license the image.

It is worth noting that EyeEm has 2,821,908 RF images on Gettyimages.com which represent 23% of all the RF images on the Getty site and 15% of all images combined (RM and RF). In addition 444,514 of the EyeEm images on Getty have the keyword "people."

If some people eventually decide that they don't like the way their images are being use, who is responsible? Will it be the photographer, EyeEm or Getty?

Copyright © 2017 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


  • jasmin awad Posted Jul 1, 2017
    Their email release system is a nightmare for every photographer I know. We all have signed releases, so we don't have to recontact the model every time after the shooting. Imagine if all agencies did this and the model has to reconfirm ten times or maybe two years later. I also have many images with several models. What if I can't find the new email address of one of them? Or what if the model is ill or dead. I have a shoot with a 90 year old lady, who now has dementia and can no longer respond to an email? I don't understand why they don't give us the option to add our releases, in addition to this strange email system. I really don't want to be known as someone who keeps running after the models after a shooting. If selling images with people was a priority for them, and they have stated that these images are more than 50% of their sales, then I would make it as easy as possible for the artists and the models. I would not put barriers into people's way. So my conclusion, after months of deep frustration is that they are simply not interested in growing their business. If people stock was important for them, they would have a simple upload system for releases. The message I get is, that they prefer food, landscapes and flowers, they don't have any barriers for uploading that.

  • jasmin awad Posted Jul 1, 2017
    I really like eyeem otherwise, but for people stock I have really given up.

  • Jaak Nilson Posted Jul 1, 2017
    I like this system, while I shoot lot of things in my own country property, using my own kids, and so on.
    So I have no needs to mess with releases. If to shoot several images only, it is very comfortable system.
    If to shoot big session with models in one place then a signed release is better than Eyeem system.

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