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Most reporters and writers do not obtain signed interview releases because they presume that by giving the interview, the subject has consented to the interview and, therefore, cannot claim invasion of privacy. In addition, many interview subjects dont have the ability or inclination to execute a written release for example, a person interviewed by telephone for a newspaper story on a deadline. Nevertheless, a written interview release can be useful. It can help avoid lawsuits for libel, invasion of privacy, or even copyright infringement (since the speakers words may be copyrightable). Its wise to obtain a signed release if the interview is lengthy, will be reprinted verbatim (for example, in a question and answer format), or if the subject matter of the interview is controversial.
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