What Are Release Forms? Here's What You Should Know

May 06, 2024
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

What are release forms? You’re in the right place. Release forms are critical formal agreements needed to avoid legal roadblocks in projects.  

In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about release forms, the different kinds of release forms, and whether you should create your own. In the end, we’ll also give you the steps to draft your own release form in Google Forms should you need to. Sound good? Let’s go!

What does a release form mean?

Also known as waivers, release forms are essentially legal agreements that grant permission for the use of someone's likeness, content, or property. They’re employed in various industries where art or creative projects are used for commercial purposes: photography, filmmaking, events, and other creative art forms. 

Release forms protect the interests of both parties involved. When an individual signs a consent form, they waive any future claims on the use of their likeness or property. For the other party involved, this means they can be assured that they won’t have to deal with legal hassles later.

Release forms ensure a clear understanding of how the content or property will be utilized. They’re essential tools for creators, organizers, and businesses, offering a transparent and legally binding framework for collaboration and content usage.

What kinds of release forms are there?

There are different types of release forms, so the form should be tailored to apply specifically to the project or scenario involved—and be legally binding. Here are a few different types and what they’re used for:

  1. Model release form: Using an individual's likeness in photography or videography.
  2. Property release form: Using a specific location or property in visual content.
  3. Media release form: Using attendees' images or quotes in promotional materials.
  4. Artwork release form: Secures permission to reproduce, display, or distribute an artist's work.
  5. Minor release form: Required when involving minors in visual or promotional content.
  6. Interview release form: Using an interviewee's likeness and statements in documentary filmmaking or journalism.
  7. Music release form: Using an artist's music in a specific context.

Should I create my own release form?

While creating your own release forms is possible, it’s important to consider a few things before you decide to do so. Consent forms involve intricate legal considerations that have to be specifically tailored to the situation at hand and adhere to certain laws and regulations. 

Further, they not only have to be legally binding but also free of loopholes that may be exploited later by either party. Due to these reasons, it’s advisable to have a legal professional draft it. 

If you think you have the requisite knowledge and skill to draft an effective release form, you should still get it vetted by a legal professional at the very least. This precautionary step adds a layer of security and ensures your document aligns with legal standards, minimizing the risk of disputes or challenges later. 

How to write a release form using Google Forms

Step 1: Start a new Google Form

Go to your Google Forms.

Click on the ‘Blank form’ button to start a new form. 

Give your form a relevant title and description. You can briefly describe the purpose of the release form in the description field. 

Step 2: Include fields for personal details of submitter

Three things have to be crystal clear in a release form:

  1. Details of the individuals involved (i.e., the one releasing or granting permission and the one receiving the rights)
  2. Description of content or location to which the release form applies
  3. Grant of rights with a clearly defined scope of use and duration

Add a question for personal details (starting with the name) of the individual submitting the release form. You can use the ‘Short answer’ text format.

Now click the ‘Add question’ button and add another question to collect complete contact details such as address and phone number. You can even use response validation to ensure you get a phone number in the right format.

Now, you can add the statement of consent. Choose the multiple-choice format and enter ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree.’ Again, having this statement legally vetted is a good idea. 

You can also add a question with the date format to clarify the agreement's effective date. 

Step 4: Allow approval or e-signature with Form Publisher

Now, all that’s left to do is make this release form legally binding with an option to insert an e-signature. Google Forms doesn't have a native feature to do this, but with a simple add-on called Form Publisher, you can easily add a signature request to Google Forms.

Release forms are legal documents. Learn about whether or not Google Forms are legally binding and how you can improve your legal workflow with Google Forms

Improve your release form process with Form Publisher

Once your release form is created, you may need to save these release forms carefully for retrieval at a later date. Form Publisher can help you there, too. 

Once set up, Form Publisher can automatically turn form submissions into documents and save them in your preferred location. You can be assured that you’ll find your release forms easily when you need them. 

Release forms don’t have to be intimidating. You just have to incorporate the essential elements and use Form Publisher to save them safely for later. If you want to improve your release form process, try Form Publisher!

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