Gainesville, FL asked in Internet Law, Juvenile Law, Municipal Law and Civil Litigation for Florida

Q: Do I need a consent form from a stranger to show them in a monetized YouTube video?

I'm planning on making YouTube videos in which I record conversations with people in public places (with a cashier, waiter, person at the park, etc.) and then use that clip to help teach people English by explaining the meaning of what I and the stranger said. My YouTube channel is monetizeable, so YouTube could play ads before, during, or after the video and I would get paid a portion of that.

I am thinking of having a mic under my shirt and a hidden camera so it is a real conversation.

1. If I blur the person's face, do I still need to ask them for permission?

2. If I want to show their face, do I need a written consent form, or can I just get their verbal consent on the recording?

3. Do I need to edit their voice too, or can I leave that as is?

Thank you so much!

1 Lawyer Answer

A: A signed release is always your best option. Depending on your location, you could be dealing with privacy laws AND publicity laws, and a failure to obtain a signed release could expose you to serious civil liability. Given the purported nature of your videos, I would imagine participants would have little issue with signing a release.

As always, speaking in detail with an attorney in your area is the best solution.

Erik Špila agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.