kerrybird wrote:I started a stake Facebook page where members can post photos of events. I think this may help with the annual history, if I want to include some of them. I don’t know if you would still need to get permission to use photos if they are already in the public domain
To make sure there's not confusion about terminology – "public domain" is not the same as "posted online." Public domain is a legal term for works that are no longer bound by copyright; in the United States, it usually means that the work was published 95 or more years ago (1924 is the current cut-off date) and the copyright is now expired. Putting something online does not make it public domain, unless the creator of the work, who owns all rights to the work, explicitly declares that they are putting the work in public domain and waiving their natural copyright. Alternatively, the person who took the photo can give permission for their work (photo in this case) to be used for specific purposes without waiving their copyright – which is more common.
Privacy laws have to be evaluated separately from copyright laws. The creator of the work (photographer, or organization that contracted the photographer) can grant copyright permission to use the work, but they can't grant full rights to use the work because of separate privacy laws that protect living people. Privacy laws in the United States have exceptions for photos taken in public places and at public events, which gives leeway for reporters. (Note that a Church activity is not necessarily a public event, even if a lot of people were invited.)