Here is a clearly-written description of when a model release is needed and when it is not in the USA - other countries' mileage varies.from rising.blackstar.com
The myth I’m writing about today has undoubtedly caused thousands of excellent, award-winning photos never to be taken. It’s the myth of the model release for editorial use.
Photography columnists, unaware of their First Amendment rights, have been fanning the fires of this issue for years. A wall of mythology has built up around the subject, and I’ll make the first move to break it down for you:
No, editorial stock photographers: you do not need model releases.
A good rule of thumb would be to ask yourself, “Would a newspaper photographer ask for a model release in this situation?”
You might now be asking, “So why was I under the impression that model releases are always required?”
Read more at rising.blackstar.com