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I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me:
1) Do you know if the photographer keeps intellectual property of the shots they use? Or it goes to the models? Or, not sure?
2) What are you asking here, i.e. what do you wish to know?
This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Thank you for your reply. Even if she never expressly provided a release for likeness, the point is that the photographer kept the IP rights to the photos. Assuming this is true, and assuming that the contract he had with the family allowed him to use the photos as he wanted, it is he that can give/sell those photos - to you.
So assuming the above is true, there is no liability under invasion of privacy (appropriation of likeness) or an intellectual property claim, since the photo belonged to the photographer.
However, it may not be best to use such photos regardless until you have a clear confirmation that your photographer friend has the right to the photos which he is giving to you.
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