Artist Release Form

The artist release form (also known as artwork release form or art release form) is a legal document signed to protect copyrights. It could be a work of any type of art: music, visual arts, literature, graphic arts, performing arts, and decorative arts.

Suppose a business entity, large enough to compensate for any artwork, gets interested in something you have created as an artist. In that case, they have to use the release of liability form to obtain legal proof that they can display your work for private or commercial purposes.

A person who has created a work of art (painting, film, song, dance) has a right to claim monetary compensation for their creation when they consent to a business’s use of the work for promotion or production. In this case, the form will indicate that the buyer has copyrights and that an artist has received some compensation for the piece.

If there is no artist release form, an artist can litigate a case and define the sum of money that a person who has used the piece illegally must pay as compensation. For example, if your soundtrack has been used in a film without your permission, you are encouraged to defend your rights and make a legal claim against the filmmaker for violating copyrights.

When to Use an Artist Release Form

There are many situations when an artist release form may help you protect your rights. The form is mostly used when famous labels and big companies want to use intellectual property legally. The list includes but is not limited to the following occasions:

  • A film production company uses a song or melody or any other artwork you have created in its cinematic works.
  • An art gallery wants to display your painting, photograph, sculpture, or a work of any other type of art in an exhibition.
  • A website or any other online platform asks you to grant consent to use one of your artworks in its article or for other purposes (for instance, for advertisement).
  • A manufacturing company may wish to have their goods imprinted with your painting or sketch.
  • A book or magazine publisher wants to use your photo or painting as an illustration or for commercial purposes.

There are many other situations in which an artist release form comes into play. It is always a great idea to obtain an artist’s permission if they are paid for a creative piece. It can help a company avoid legal cases in court and other confusing moments. If you obtain the right to use another person’s intellectual property entirely for free, it is still recommended to complete the form to guarantee your copyrights’ protection. It is also worth mentioning that although after selling or giving away an artwork, the owner lets the buyer use it for established purposes, the creator still has a right to include it in their portfolio or use it for the promotion of their talent.

General Steps to Protect Your Copyrights to the Artwork

  • Conduct Negotiations with the Other Party. It is the essential step to take before you, as an artist, sign the permission. You need to know to whom you grant your consent. Verify the identities of the other parties. Ask them to provide their ID cards. Provide your identification document. Proving the validity can help to instill more confidence into the parties involved.
  • Define the Conditions. As the creator of a piece, you are empowered to specify under what conditions you agree to grant permission to the other party. You can do it orally or attach an additional paper to the form.
  • Sign the Artist Release Form. Once the two parties have agreed on the terms outlined during the negotiation, the artist authorizes the document by providing their signature. Check the information you have inserted in the document before signing.
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Download your fillable Artist Release template in PDF.

Filling Out the Artist Release Form

Download the Template

You are welcome to use our form-building software to obtain the needed file. After you have completed the paper, print it, and keep the original document in a safe place.

Introduce the Party Receiving the Permission

On the first blank line, insert the company’s full name or individual who buys the piece and obtains the copyrights.

Enter the Buyer’s (or Representative’s) Name

On the next line, insert the buyer’s name or the person who has been assigned to make decisions regarding the approval of the artist’s use of the creation.

Input the Acquirer’s Name Again

In the final blank line, write the name of the person obtaining the permission. By doing this, you claim that you hold this person harmless.

Provide Personal and Artwork Details

After the paragraphs, write your artwork’s title. Then, add your details, including your legal name, residential and email addresses, and a phone number. Do not forget to sign the paper and date.

Published: Jan 18, 2021