My understanding of the situation is that anytime anyone appears in your project, and they are in any way recognizable (voice, image, etc.), you need to obtain their permission. There is often thought to be an exception for the news media to this rule (see editorial use of likenesses), since gathering the news often times requires filming in public spaces in unpredictable circumstances, and involves provided current news and events. However, my understanding is that a motion picture set is presumed to be a control environment, and also a strictly commercial environment. This precise idea is why model release forms even exist. If you could simply film anyone in public any time you wanted, and use their likeness without permission, there would no need for such items.
I stand by my stance that anytime ANYONE is recorded in a means that they are identifiable, and you intend to use that footage for commercial, income-generating purposes - you need either a model release, or to provide reasonable notice that filming is taking place and that they are releasing their rights by being in that area. Just because a lot of people don't follow that rule, does not mean it doesn't exist - they just haven't been on the receiving end of a lawsuit related to it yet.
As explained in this article (https://www.rocketla...ease-form-cb.rl):
If you're shooting a video that will be used for commercial purposes, you need to have written permission from everyone featured in the footage. This includes shooting a commercial for your business, testimonials from customers, a Web series that generates income or an entry into a contest. Customize a standard release form to explain how you plan to use the footage, and state any rights the subject may have in regard to payment -- for example, is the subject signing away all claims, or will she receive a flat fee or percentage if the video makes a profit?
In this article (https://artlawjourna...-model-release/), it goes further to explain:
One caveat though; in street photos, the subject must be clearly identifiable, but defining “clearly identifiable” can be a gray area. It may be hard to recognize a person at a distance but if the photos is in front of the subjects home then he or she may be identifiable.
That leads me right back to my original statement: If your subjects are recognizable as individuals in your commercial project, you need to either get a written waiver (preferable) or at the very least limit your liability with a conspicuously placed sign. If you capture images of people from behind or in some means in which they cannot be easily identified, then you don't need the release of likeness.
Ultimately though, even in cases where it might not be strictly required: you need to at least post a notice. It might well save you a headache (and some money) down the road if someone decides to sue you for a payday because they where walking down the street. Having proof they where warned that such might happen could very well be the thing that saves you.
Edited by Landon D. Parks, 08 September 2017 - 11:42 PM.