Hosting a live event as a content creator: release agreements

In part one we discussed possible regulations of governing bodies. After an event organizer has gotten all the necessary permits and approvals, they might be ready to run the event itself. However, before doing that, they will also want to think about their relationship with participants and attendees. 

If a content creator as an event organizer chooses to host an event with participants or attendees, they will likely want to protect themselves from liability if anything should happen to them or from damages caused by them. In part two of this series for Hosting Live Events as a Content Creator, we will be tackling the Release Agreement.

There are generally two different types of releases: a liability release for damages and injuries and a release of one’s likeness and image. While they cover different things, the purpose of both is to reduce liability and prevent releasees from suing the event organizer.

Liability Release: A liability release can protect event organizers if a participant suffers personal injury or damage to their property. For example, a liability release might protect event organizers from an injury that a child sustains through normal use of a bounce house or from participants who voluntarily participate in a dangerous sport such as boxing. Some states, however, prohibit releases for acts of gross negligence, which is the conscious disregard for the safety or reasonable care of others. Examples of gross negligence may include where event organizers or their staff don’t properly set up a bounce house in accordance with its instructions or if they don’t have proper medical staff on hand for a boxing match.
Likeness Release: A likeness release involves the use of someone’s name, image, and likeness (NIL). Reproducing someone’s NIL without their permission may violate their rights. Such reproduction might include photos, videos, interviews, etc. A likeness release gives event organizers permission to use someone’s NIL in order to create content and acquire copyrights for that content. Such a release is vital if event organizers plan to film, stream, or record the event and publish or distribute it.

Kevin Dong

Kevin is an attorney at Odin Law and Media focused on corporate and entertainment transactions. He can be reached at kevin at odin law dot com.

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