More and more, interviewers are asking us to sign complex release forms. Written in dense legalese, these forms are sometimes worded to unfairly grab rights that they have no business taking. So in consultation with experts, we've drawn up a model release form that you can ask to use instead of the form they hand to you.
This model release form provides everything an interviewer legitimately needs while still protecting our rights to our own stories. Hopefully, an interviewer will accept this form. If they insist on you signing their form, you can try to alter, amend, or strike out unfair provisions. If they refuse to make changes that you want, you then need to decide if you really want to give them the interview.
The simple easy way:
The more complex way:
You may want to include additional clauses according to your circumstances. Some possible clauses are below:
Payment. Author will pay me forthwith the sum of $__________ for
participating in the interview.
Author will pay me forthwith the sum of $__________ for the right to use some or all of the information provided by me.
If the payment applies only to some of the material, that material
should be listed.]
Personal Copy (tape). It is agreed that interviewee will be given a copy of the interview audio/video tape.
Personal Copy (transcript). It is agreed that interviewee will be given a verbatim transcript of the interview.
Right of Approval. I will be shown an advance copy of author's manuscript or tape derived from this interview, or any material concerning me, and shall have at least 7 days to review and approve it. Author is not permitted to use any of the material provided by me without such [written] approval.
In most cases, it is quite unlikely that an interviewer will agree to give you any right of approval at all. But if you want it, ask for it and see what you can negotiate.]
Copyright © 2008
Last Modified: May 3, 2008.