Photograph and Video/Audio Recording Permission Policy

Policy statement

The university seeks to comply with applicable laws by obtaining appropriate permission to use photographs and video or sound (audio) recordings of students and other individuals, including faculty, staff, alumni, parents, visitors on campus, and participants at university-sponsored events, both on- and off-campus.

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to university departments for obtaining appropriate permission to use photographs and recordings.

Summary of the law and related Puget Sound policy

Federal law (FERPA) permits a school to disclose student photographs without consent (permission) when the school has given public notice of the following:

  • that photographs are included in the types of information designated as directory information;
  • the eligible student’s right to restrict the disclosure of such information; and
  • the period of time within which an eligible student has to notify the school in writing that he or she wants directory information withheld.

University of Puget Sound policy:

In its Education Records Policy, Puget Sound has designated photographs as directory information and has given public notice as required by FERPA. Currently enrolled students have the right to withhold disclosure of directory information and may exercise that option through the Office of the Registrar (“Registrar”).

Washington State law (RCW 63.60.050 and 63.60.070):

  • allows names, voices, signatures, photographs, or likenesses to be used without permission when the use is in connection with matters of cultural, historical, political, religious, educational, newsworthy, or public interest;
  • requires consent when a living or deceased person’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness is used for purposes of marketing, promotion, advertising, fundraising, or soliciting donations, whether for profit or not for profit.

Note: recordings of musical or literary performances may also involve ownership and use issues or restrictions governed by copyright or other laws.

Guidance for university departments to obtain permission to use photographs and recordings

Return to the top

 

Archives & Special Collections (Collins Memorial Library)

  1. All departments wishing to donate materials to the archives must confirm they have checked with the Registrar. Archives & Special Collections will not accept photographs of students who have submitted a request (to the Registrar) to withhold disclosure of their directory information unless a signed photo and recording release form is obtained from the student and, if the student is a minor, the parent or guardian also signs the form.
  2. If the student has not submitted a request (to the Registrar) to withhold disclosure of his/her directory information or if the student (and his/her guardian if the student is a minor) has signed a photo and recording release form, other permission is not required if use of photographs, voice recordings, names, signatures, or likenesses are limited to matters of cultural, historical, political, religious, educational, newsworthy, or public interest.
  3. Permission from the subject(s) is required if a photograph or recording will be used for purposes of marketing, promotion, advertising, fundraising, or soliciting donations, whether for profit or not for profit, in which case a signed recording agreement or release form, as applicable, should be obtained by the department or individual requesting the materials. It is not the responsibility of Archives & Special Collections to obtain permission on behalf of requestors.
  4. Users of Archives & Special Collections should be informed of use restrictions and ideally should be required to provide affirmative assent through a check box or manual signature.
  5. See also the section labeled “Other guidance – for all departments” below.

Return to the top

 

Athletics

  1. Athletics follows National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations for student athlete photographs and recordings.
  2. Because photographs and recordings of student athletes and athletic camp participants are used for athletic program marketing and promotional purposes, include a photo and recording release form with other forms that student athletes and parents or guardians of camp participants sign.
  3. Do not use photographs or video or voice recordings unless a signed permission (release) form is obtained.
  4. See also the section labeled “Other guidance – for all departments” below.

Return to the top

 

All Puget Sound departments or offices

  1. Check with the Registrar and do not use photographs of students who have submitted a request to withhold disclosure of their directory information unless a signed photo and recording release form is obtained from the student and, if the student is a minor, the parent or guardian also signs the form.
  2. Provided a student in a photograph has not requested from the Registrar that their directory information be withheld, permission is only required if the photograph or recording will be used for marketing, advertising, promotion, fundraising, or soliciting donations, whether for profit or not for profit (“marketing, promotion, advertising, or fundraising”).
  3. For photographs or recordings used in marketing, promotion, advertising, or fundraising:

    a. Permission is not required if taken in a public place (on or off campus) or if the subject of the photo or recording is a crowd where no one is specifically identifiable.
    b. When photographs or recordings of specifically identifiable subjects are taken in public areas or at public events, the department should ask the person taking the photo or recording (whether professional photographer or university employee) to have the subjects verbally confirm they don’t object to having their pictures taken or recordings made for these purposes.
    c. Note: the guidance above for public areas/events does not apply to minors. A signed release form from a parent or guardian should be obtained before using a minor’s photo or recording.
    d. When photographs are taken or recordings are made in a quasi-public location such as a classroom, meeting room, or office, or in a private location such as a residence, a signed recording agreement or release form should be obtained and the subjects informed of how the image or recording will be used.
    e. A signed recording agreement or release form should also be obtained by the university if photos or recordings are taken as part of a specific, arranged “photo/video shoot”.
  4. See also the section labeled “Other guidance – for all departments” below.

Return to the top

Return to the top of the Guidance for University Departments section

 

Other guidance (for all Puget Sound departments and offices)

  1. For arrangements with contracted photographers or videographers, or if a third-party other than the news media will be permitted to photograph or film students, there should be a contract with the person or company. Include in the contract:

    a. requirement for the photographer/videographer to obtain and provide to the university signed releases from the subjects of the photos or recordings; and
    b. terms granting ownership of the photos (or recordings/video) to the university and/or restricting the photographer’s use of the photos (or recordings/video).
    c. NOTE: If it is not possible to obtain unrestricted ownership of the photos (or recording/video), the responsible department will need to carefully manage how photos/recordings/videos are used so the university complies with its contractual obligations.
  2. If recordings are of musical or literary performances, additional permission (in the form of a licensing agreement) may be needed from the composer, author, recording label, and/or publisher.
  3. Campus community members should contact the Associate VP for Financial Planning and Analysis (contracts@pugetsound.edu or on campus extension 8620) for assistance with contracts, including contracts with photographers/videographers, third-party photography or filming on campus, or music licensing agreements.

 

Video and audio recordings – related information

Forms and guidance for obtaining permission to use video and audio recordings are located online.

Assignment of responsibilities

  1. In addition to understanding the guidelines presented in this policy, each university department is also responsible for understanding, as applicable, guidelines for use of photographs and recordings that are published by organizations related to that department.
  2. The Vice President for Communications and Chief of Staff will coordinate a periodic review of this policy document and will include appropriate representation from other divisions/areas in the review.
  3. The Vice President for Communications and Chief of Staff is responsible for approving changes to this policy.

 

Origination date: September 11, 2018

Last reviewed: September 11, 2018

Last revised: September 11, 2018

 

Contact information for questions