I'm creating a travel guide for Walt Disney World. Can I legally use personal photos I have taken while visiting WDW theme parks or must I get specific permission from Disney for every photo included in the book? Does anyone have any idea how this works and the legal issues I might have to deal with before attempting such a venture?
"Can I legally use personal photos I've taken for a travel guide?"
The quick answer to your question is "Not if the images within your pictures have a copyright or trademark already established."
I believe you'll find that photography within Walt Disney World is something covered in the material they provide to park visitors– and I suspect they deal with this issue directly and already prohibit you from using photographs for commercial purposes that you've taken within the park . If not, you should call the park and ask to speak with a public affairs representative. (Check the website for contact information.)
What is certain is that you can't take pictures of Mickey or Goofy or the Magic Castle and publish them commercially without permission– they are each protected by a trademark, copyright or some other sort of service mark.
What you can publish are pictures taken OUTSIDE of the park that do not contain images that are protected– Downtown Orlando, for example. In fact, if you take a look at some of the travel guides at the bookstore, you'll see they tend to be light on pictures of the attractions except where they've been given permission to use the photos.
[This is not legal advice. You should consult a licensed attorney-at-law for legal advice or representation before making decisions that may affect your legal rights.]