Sunday, October 29, 2017

What are the Image License and Trademark Requirements for Creating Photo Picture Books

There are thousands of ideas and topics that you can use to create photo picture books. From fall foliage to sandy beach dunes, road trips and old farm equipment. Children's illustrations and stories also fall under the picture book realm. There are a couple of areas of caution that you should be aware of and these center around rights and trademarks. I am not a lawyer but have worked on a lot of productions and broadcasts. It is always best to check with a Intellectual Property or rights attorney if you have questions.

People's Rights: 
People's rights need to be respected and you need to have a release if you can identify the person. People off in the distance walking around is probably fine. You can't get releases of everyone in a beach picture. I wouldn't worry to much about people walking away and all you see are their backs. But if you can identify them or they are the focus of your photo then you need to have a release. This is called an Appearance or People Release.

Kids Rights:
Kids, Kids always need a Parent or Guardian Release, no questions. Many kids also have security concerns with custody issues. Again, some walking away down the street is probably ok but if you can see the kid you need to get permission before taking a picture.

Property Rights:
Property Release. This is a tricky one. Many buildings are under trademark or copyright with their owners or architects. My understanding is skylines and cityscapes and streets are fine. There is a collection of buildings but individual buildings, some government buildings, buildings on the historical register, collections of museum and recreated villages like Old Sturbridge Village or Greenfield Village are under trademarks. You just have to check with the owners or on their websites. If you are doing a travel picture book and wanted to show the outside of Mystic Seaport as one of 25 places you are showing to go in Mystic CT you are probably fine. But if you start walking around taking pictures without permission you might have an issue. This is called a Property Release. Common sense plays a lot here and I would stay away from any property owned by a big corporation like Disney or Universal. Get permission.

Materials, Photos, Jewelry:
Materials Release, these are all the things that get photographed in the shot. The rooms and offices are covered by Property Releases but the box of photos, the paintings on the walls, the box of jewelry, all that stuff. If it is owned by someone and you are taking pictures of it then you need a Material Release.

Trademarks and Logos:
Trademarks and Logos. This can get people into a lot of trouble. the Nike logo on the person's t-shirt in the shot is under the license of Nike Corporation. You don't have rights for it. That is why you see them blurred out on TV. The Budweiser logo on the back of the bar wall, the Mustang logo on the close up of the car.

Personally, I find this a grey area. If you are doing a book of old gas stations across the west you are going to get Texaco logos. If you are doing Boston's Back Bay you will end up showing the famous Citgo sign. On a t-shirt, yes that is an issue, in a city scape I think not so much, it might fall under editorial but you might check. Doing a history of Texaco signs then probably yes.

This may sound like a pain in the neck and a lot of work to chase down. Sometimes you just have to shift your camera a little to the left or right or crop a little and the issue goes away. Or, just do a book on something else. As I said above there are endless topics.

Also, we are not talking about creating stock images that are going to be resold. We are talking about art and editorial usage. It is a little looser. Stock imagery has a lot of rules on photos that will be resold. Books are a little looser, but you need to be aware.

So, the important message here is to check if you are venturing into an area that has people, buildings and trademarks. Everywhere is different, usually you just have to ask and always carry your releases (yes it gets awkward but easier after a while).  

If you are interested in learning more about creating your own photo picture book check out my Publishing Mastery Academy

Here are some of the other things protected with trademark rules saying that you can't take a picture of them. Intellectual Property Wiki, with Getty Images

If you want to see a good example of the rules and requirements for taking pictures at a museum site take a look at the Photography at Mystic Seaport page on their website. Mystic Seaport is a recreation of a 19th century ship building community and museum.

A good phrase to search on is "Photography Usage and Permissions for XYZ" on their website or on Google.

Stock image from 15968

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creating a New Photo Book and a How to Make a Picture Book Course

Started a new project today of creating a photo book around my local community. I walked all over the town taking pictures of boats, old buildings, the bridge, waterfronts, stores and streets. Beautiful weather and a great day. Being very conscience of not taking pictures of people directly or kids or anything that might have copyright or trademarks tied to it. Keep the pictures general.

In my product planning cycle I have plans to develop courses on How to Make and Sell Picture Books and thought, why not use this project as the example for building the cocurse. So here we go, the beginning of How to Make and Sell Picture Books the course. What I thought I would do is document the process here and on my Facebook publishing groups.

For the photography I am using my iPad, perfect for this project. Easy to carry and use. I am trying to keep it easy and non-complicated. This isn't a fine art project, it is a project to make a book and use it to create the course around.

As things happen a question came up in my How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group about picture rights of people, stores, etc that would end up in the book

QUESTION: Great idea Bruce! Do you need to get permission from the stores, people, etc to put their pictures in your book?

Great question Keith
It is going to be very general and I try to stay very general. I never photo any specific person or especially any children from the front. It is always the backs or they are in the distance. You could never get rights for all these people anyways. I wouldn't highlight any one particular new building but make sure it is always general. New buildings have copyright issues but groups of buildings don't. So no modern buildings built by an identifiable architect featured on the cover that kind of thing. I use to run into this doing corporate brochures. Architects own the rights to buildings. So don't features it or get the approve image, or shoot something else.

But older buildings and houses and historical houses are fine. Skylines of buildings are fine. If you are featuring a person then yes you need the photo rights but just some people off in the distance is fine. I try to keep things general and I usually wait until people have walked past me to take the picture, I get their backs. With our social media crazy world people are being photographed all the time now. Watch out for featuring popular logos or brands, license plates, really identifiable things or anything that can hurt someone. If you feel funny about shoot something else. This is art more than anything.

What I like about most community stuff is that it is in the public. Public buildings, general skylines, parks, doors, trees all that kind of stuff. Keep the general stuff general, a street, a skyline, a waterfront. And the specific stuff very specific, a fence post, a antique light, a cool old fashion sign, things that give the neighborhood character but stay out of rights issues. You aren't reselling specific images of a famous building. It is a book on a town or city.

I did ask a guy if I could photograph his cool scooter/motorbike and talked to him for a while. Looking through my images I have churches, streets, general storefronts and some windows, boats, anchors (I am in a seaport), old houses, docks, more old churches, the old bridge and lots of metal stuff, marinas. So I think fine.

I am sure there is a line here but I am trying to fall in the art/photography world. But there are so many subjects where you just slide the camera to the left or right and avoid the stuff that might have an issue. I am also operating under the ask forgiveness instead of permission. I know enough about rights to know what not to shoot and if it feels funny, just don't do it. If you were going to make a real community book that you sell everywhere in the community then I might go ask each store owner if they are ok with being in the book. That could be a cool community project. But stay away from any big chains like CVS or Subway or Disney

Excellent question

Another member weighed in from my How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group taking pictures of public buildings and how some of them are sometimes off limits especially if you are reselling the images as stock images. Which I am not.

She shared an article on which you can read more about here

If you are interested in learning more about the course you can check out my Publishing Mastery Academy

Here are some of the other things protected with trademark rules saying that you can't take a picture of them. Intellectual Property Wiki, with Getty Images

Friday, October 27, 2017

TRAINING SESSION: Learn How to Make a Journal Book Using PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a powerful program with a lot of capabilities. Most of us it for creating presentations, but it can also be used as a graphic design page layout program. Like a poor man's InDesign. It is really quite amazing. In today's presentation I will be using it to create a Journal Notebook that we can sell on Amazon through CreateSpace.

This training covers creating your journal from beginning to end. Creating the page template, adding lines, art and finishing the print ready PDF. We then move to creating the cover spread, which includes the back, spine and front plus bleeds.

Click here to watch the PowerPoint training: How to Make a Journal Book Using PowerPoint

For the training session I developed a full 6" x 9" x 120 page PowerPoint template that you can use to build your own journal note book. Both the 120 page inside and the full cover spread are included in as part of the Easy Journal Books course.

This training is part of the Easy Journal Book online course that I also offer in my Publishing Mastery Academy. Along with the PowerPoint training is included the InDesign training and the page and cover templates.

Click here to watch the InDesign training: How to Make a Journal Book Using InDesign

120 Page PowerPoint Journal Template, Included in Easy Journal Book Course
Cover Template for a 120 Page PowerPoint Journal Book. Included in Easy Journal Book Course

Both the 120 page book and cover templates are included in the Easy Journal Book Course.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Learn to Create, Publish, Market and Sell Your Book with Publshing Mastery 101 Membership Site

 Publishing Mastery 101 membership site launches today!!

I am announcing today the launch of my new Publishing Mastery 101 membership site for creating, designing, marketing, selling and re-purposing your book. I am bringing together all of my trainings, courses, and experience in one central place. This member site will support what we are doing here and in the How to Publish Your Book FB site but gives me more abilities to tie it all together and go deeper. Hope you check it out and will come over and join. You will see lots more about it and what I have planned as we move forward. Thank you everyone for all the great support, questions and all your books. We have great group here.

We will conduct training, classes, building books and answering your book publishing questions.

• Monthly Q & A Book Publishing Calls
• Free Access to all Publishing Mastery Academy Courses
• Design, Publishing, Marketing and Selling Training Sessions
• Publishing Mastery 101 Facebook Group, Community

 Courses Included:
• Easy Journal Books
• How to Market Your Book
• How to Publish your Book in 7 Steps
• Easy Kindle Books
• How to Make Children's Picture Books for Kindle
• How to Make an Author/Book Blog

Click here to visit Publishing Mastery 101,

Friday, October 20, 2017

TRAINING SESSION, Learn How to Make a Journal Book Using InDesign,

I will be live today in the How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group teaching how to make a Journal Book using InDesign. The training session is today at 3:00pm EST October 20, 2017. Come over and join the group and check out the session. Journal Books are fun and easy to make

To know more about the full training course check out

You can check out the training session video by Clicking Here, How to Make a Journal Book Using InDesign