A grey grimy dirty area - which often happens when lawyers are involved.
I have a question regarding publishing blogs etc. What is the law regarding the publishing of photographs containing recognizable people, esp if one could get royalty payments. In what circumstances are model release forms required?
It's a complex one; a grey area in many legal systems to begin with and then even more complex as it's over the internet where no law really keeps up.
Here's our general guide to copyright
From a lay point of view and a lot of reading - shots of people are fine to use in three basic contexts: private use, journalism, art. The latter two could involve making money but probably not a lot.
What you can't do for example is take shots of people and then sell postcards or posters with out model releases - or as demonstrated by Ryan Air - put cartoon bubbles above peoples heads and use them for advertising.
Another thing you can not do - is caption identifiable people with slanderous terms - such as "this guy is a thief".
Using them on a webpage/blog or even travel guide would fall under the journalism case - assuming you don't slander.
It's a little more complicated than that in reality with lots of exceptions - but as a start quite reassuring. As for art - selling a limited print run, framed would be art, so that too is ok.
The final complicating factor is ownership of the images - travelblog.org does not own the copyright to any of the images posted - but has a licence to show them on the web as part of the website. This is mostly as it's the only fair situation but also partly because we are a conduit for the journals and photos - not the owner.
As for our yet to be finalised blog to book competition - it will be a limited run not mass market, and about adventure tourism - any shots of identifiable people will be carefully checked to ensure we steer clear of this big fat mess - old laws and concepts in the YouTube age.
Further reading from Dan Heller
I have published a blog on this site for several years now. Ocassionally, a reader requests permission to copy one of my photos, whether the reder is a student giving a presentation, a teacher instructing a lesson, or a scout starting to create a new website. Recently I was asked permission so that one reader could post a travel photo on his facebook page. I denied his request. However, nothing is really stopping him from uploading that pic.
I will try to 'brand' future photos that I upload on this site.
Meanwhile, how can I check whether my writing or photos have already been uploaded elsewhere on to the net against my permission. And if I should find my work copied by another without due credit given, how should i proceed?
I recommend Picmarkr
to watermark your photos.
As for checking whether your material has been copied, it was mentioned not long ago on one of TravelBlog's forums - there's a website where you can register urls and receive notifications if/when text within them is replicated anywhere on the internet. The name is on the tip of my tongue but maybe someone will get there before me...