and Legalities?

While reviewing, I stumbled on this requested brief and I have a question for photographers…

This image brief reads:

We're looking for a photo of Warren Buffett to be used in advertising. We have the proper legal release/clearance issues sorted out on our end to use him for promotional purposes.

We'd like the photo to be fairly close up, so he is easily recognizable. He can be speaking or talking in the picture or it can be a straight headshot type photo.

The client has consulted with their legal team and they have the right to use an image of Warren Buffett in their advertising. The photographer does not need to have image rights secured.

So, as a photographer, would you take an assignment like this? Yes, the client may have the rights to use the image in their advertising, but does that protect the photographer from liability? You are the copyright holder and are not transferring that to the client, you are permitting them a license to use the image. But does the photographer have the rights to license that image if they don’t have that secured from Mr. Buffett? I know I can’t afford the lawyers that he can (lol) so part of me feels like this is posted as a “test” to see if people respond to it.

I guess I’m just curious about the legality of a request like this. Does permission to use extend down to the photographer being given an assignment? And if so, would this be considered an “assignment” even though it’s an open casting call? It’s an interesting discussion to be had. I personally wouldn’t have the ability to respond to this request but even if I did, I can’t imagine I would do something like this unless there were assurances or clarification.

Discuss please…