Permission for reproducing examples of GoogleMaps use in journal article
July 11, 2013 4:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm about to submit my first academic journal article for review. The article contains several images / figures and I need to obtain permission to reproduce these before the article goes to print.

Included in the article are screenshots of "second-hand" uses of Google Maps, such as, as well as (even more convolutedly), screenshots of an Instagram account (@Dronestagram). Who "owns" these images? Who should I credit, and who should I ask for permission to reproduce them?

Google has Permission Guidelines for Google Maps but they don't seem to address this issue. And Instagram doesn't even have this!

Thanks in advance!
posted by rinsemedown to Education (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does your institution have a copyright librarian? If so, he or she would be the person to ask. The permission page to which you linked specifies, "No explicit permission is required for your print project. We are unable to sign any letter or contract specifying that your project has our explicit permission." Under the T-shirt section, they specify: "Google Maps may be not used in items for resale (i.e., t-shirts, beach towels, shower curtains, mugs). This restriction does not apply to media such as books, but again, those uses must follow our attribution guidelines."
posted by brianogilvie at 5:12 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

You need to ask the Instagram photographer's permission, is my guess. Instagram probably has a limited copyright hold to display the image and perhaps use it for advertising purposes (I don't know what their TOS looks like), but they're unlikely to be in a position to grant reprint rights to a third party. So email the photographer.

I handle reprint permissions requests as part of my job.
posted by rtha at 6:04 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Rtha,

The @dronestagram account just posts Google Maps images on Instagram! Any suggestions? Thanks,
posted by rinsemedown at 6:44 AM on July 11, 2013

Hmm, more layers of complications.

That person may still hold copyright to those images, since they have (presumably) been modified by that person in the process of Instagramming them. So you should still ask them; Google is in the position of granting rights over their own images, but not necessarily over modifications made by someone else of those images. IANAn IP lawyer.
posted by rtha at 6:52 AM on July 11, 2013

Dronestagram is a project by James Bridle.
posted by avocet at 7:33 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Avocet, I've e-mailed James and the other "curators" and they are all happy for me to use the images. I'm just wondering whether I need permission from Google and / or Instagram as well.
posted by rinsemedown at 7:39 AM on July 11, 2013

Are you just showing the images that Dronestagram posts, or are you showing them in the context of an Instagram page? If it's the latter, I think you probably need permission from Instagram. I clear reprint permissions as part of my job, and I know that Facebook (which owns Instagram now) requires permission if you use something that's obviously a Facebook screenshot.

I have permissions contact info for Facebook, but not on me. I could memail it to you tomorrow, though.
posted by JuliaJellicoe at 8:43 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure neither prisonmaps nor dronestragram are in a position to grant you permission to use those images. They took those images from googlemaps and threw them up on their own sites.

If you are literally just using the pictures of the maps, and not screenshots from instagram or whatever, you just need permission from google, which it looks like they say you don't explicitly need. You just need to cite googlemaps as the source per their attribution guidelines. You'll see on prisonmaps in the lower right corner the (c) data you need to include. Unfortunately dronestagram seems to have cropped that info out or something.

I do permissions for my job.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:27 AM on July 11, 2013

"No explicit permission is required for your print project. We are unable to sign any letter or contract specifying that your project has our explicit permission." I would think this applies.
posted by bgrebs at 2:44 PM on July 11, 2013

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