I guess this would apply to any public area, such as buses, airports, parks, etc. This would seem to prevent you from making a video in virtually any public place where people might gather or pass through.
A: I try to grab every possible legal issue -- not just the obvious. Sometimes I go too far. In this case, the failure to go to far, could land someone in Gitmo with no way out. That's what's wrong with the Patriot Act. It effectively negates the entire U.S. Constitution in the name of national security. There is no doubt that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. But, we must remain vigilant, lest we lose all of our rights and become the very thing that we seek to avoid: a totalitarian dictatorship.
Anyway, back to reality.
If I can be permitted to redirect, let's take Amtrak out of the question, and suppose I recorded without permission video on, or video of, someone's property (building, house, business). Per my original question, I'm interested in knowing the extent of my exposure, basically is the exposure more than any tiny financial gain I actually got by doing so? I guess I'm asking if there are "punitive" awards coming into play, such that the exposure risk is significantly beyond any tiny financial gain that I may have received from my transgression.
A: Buildings are not the subject of commercial misappropriation -- only people. If someone obtains a commercial advantage without consent, then the person who's likeness is misappropriated has a claim. That claim would go to Youtube, and Youtube would sue you for contribution/indemnity -- and it would win.
Ordinarily, there is a "governor" against such lawsuits, because attorney's fees are not granted a prevailing party. So, if your activity took place in NY, no one would ever think of suing, because the damages are so small. But, in California, Civil Code 3344 allows attorneys fees. So if a plaintiff were to sue, "California is the place you wanna be" (apologies to the Beverly Hillbillies), because if you win, you get your attorney's fees paid. Still the amount of damages are likely to be pretty small for the average person. Only if someone important happens to get caught in a frame do things get dicey.
1. If you video a trademark, like a Starbucks, and you show it prominently -- Starbucks might sue Youtube. However, more often than not, most businesses want their trademarks seen in videos, as long as it in a positive light. So, if your shooting in front of a Starbucks and your subject matter happens to be a Dunkin Donuts coffee, promo, then watch out. Or, if there just happens to be a dog relieving itself on the fire hydrant in front of the Starbucks, then unless the goal of the video is to comment on Starbucks as a product (fair use doctrine), then your inadvertant dilution (pun intended) of the trademark could get you into trouble.
2. There's no way to cover every possbility. "When in doubt, blur it out." That's the rule. If you're making money, and you don't blur it out, then get a release/license from your subjects and any manufacturer whose product is featured more than in passing.
P.S. with regards to the comment at the start, I have also sent an email to the administrators. What actually happened is that after I directed my question to you, a generic screen came up asking me to set the price and showing some other random expert, saying that expert was ready to answer. However, once I chose to go ahead and pay, the question apparently did indeed go to you as I requested. Apparently, there was just a very confusing intermediate screen in-between.
A: Thanks for your clarification. The website is always trying new things. I don't frankly have a clue how the system works.
Hope this helps.