I am an amateur "filmmaker", doing it as a hobby, by using consumer cameras but professional editing software to make videos that I post to YouTube. (I am primarily learning how to do video editing on my own.) I am a YouTube "partner", which means theoretically I get a share of any ad revenue from YouTube, although none of my videos have yet had wide enough viewing to exceed the threshold after which YouTube pays me.
I just made a "tour guide" sort of a video of a neighborhood of my city, which includes in a some places, identifiable shots of people shopping in public stores and markets or walking down the street. Some are borderline "featured" in that they may appear for up to 30 seconds in slow motion, fairly close up, shopping, and some even appear in the opening title
. Similarly for some merchants and clerks and some restaurant owners. There are also street performers ("buskers") shown, and some protestors holding signs.
I of course do not have any "releases" from any of these people. None of them are shown in a negative light, in my opinion, except possibly the protesters (by their own actions). Some knew that I was shooting, almost all did not. (Rightly or wrongly, I have generally considered protesters that are publicly holding signs to not expect privacy.)
I guess since I am YouTube "partner", this could be considered "commercial", even though it is a hobby and I have not actually made any money yet (and certainly a profit is a long way off, if ever).
How much difficulty would I be likely to have defending myself if any of the above people saw the video on YouTube and decided to go after me for whatever reason?
If I re-edited the video to blur out the faces of the semi-"featured" ones, does that help, and how would I decide when that is necessary, since it obviously negatively affects the watchability and I would prefer to avoid that when possible?