If you publish a picture of someone without a release and the subject finds out, they can come after you. Find a good lawyer.
As far as I kow, this is only true if the image is used for commercial advertising purposes. They can try to sue you of course, but to what end? To most, the money gained from the lawsuit would be far less than the cost of hiring a lawyer and going to court. People are sue happy, when they know they can make a buck. So unless you are making a killing off of selling that photo for a billboard display, the likelyhood of legal action just isn't there.
So, how do the Hollywood paparazzi get away with it all? I mean, I'm pretty sure they're not getting signed releases from Lohan or the like in the embarrassing pics they take of them....and they DO sell those images for commercial use (TMZ, magazines, etc).
And anyone that gets in the news, they get pics taken and I'm sure they get paid for them, people that are maybe only famous for their 15 minutes, but people sell pics of them, and I'm guessing many don't get model release forms signed.
How do they get away with that then?
Very short version:
There is a fundamental difference between commercial use, and news and editorial usage. If you take a picture in a public place of Justin Bieber you can sell it to a "news" outlet for news or editorial use, you cannot use it in an advert for hair gel. If you hire Justin Bieber and get the releases you can use the images to sell hair gel.
So....could I shoot people in public, and post them for sale on my website "listed" as for use in news/editorial only to sell them.
What people do with them after I sell them the images aren't "my" concern, right?