Morning after night before

Thank yous… and a promise

First, the thank yous.

To all those who left their dinners, missed their evening shows, or stayed up past their bedtimes to join me for the APG Webinar Facts, Photos & Fair Use: Copyright Law for Genealogists last night, the biggest bottom-of-my-heart thank you.

Your questions were fantastic — they made me think to keep up and gave me a chance to clarify some of the points folks needed to know most. Thank you all.

To those who took the time to comment afterwards, publicly and privately, what can I say? You’re far too kind, and I learned as much from you as you did from me. Thank you.

To Kimberly Powell, APG vice president and moderator extraordinaire, another big bottom-of-my-heart thank you. I don’t think anybody who hasn’t organized a webinar realizes how much goes into it. Kimberly makes it look easy. It’s not.

And to APG and its Professional Development Committee, for sponsoring this terrific series of webinars and making them free to all… wow. Thank you. I’m so proud to be part of APG and part of the webinar series.

Now the promise: there were an awful lot of questions left over when time (and my voice) ran out that focused on terms of service. The whole subject — particularly the March 24 change in the terms of service that affects professional genealogists — is on my list for a full set of blog posts. I will explore this whole issue and answer as many of the specific questions folks had as I can.


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24 Responses to Morning after night before

  1. Jean says:

    I’m sorry I missed this. With the news of acquiring, I wonder if that raises any legal issues, such as anti-trust questions?

  2. Karen Synychak says:

    I enjoyed the webinar last night – couldn’t stay after 11 p.m., though. I was looking forward to the handouts referenced in the webinar – have not been able to find them on website. Help!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thanks, Karen. You should be able to download the handout at

      • Dawn Bingaman says:

        I’m sorry I missed the webinar and want to thank you in advance for making the handout available to APGers. The link you have above, however, results in a 404 error. I was able to get around it by copying and pasting the URL into my browser, rather than clicking on it.

        • Judy G. Russell says:

          Hi, Dawn! First off, thanks for letting me know about the bad link. It’s been fixed. Second, the whole webinar will be available to APGers soon, in the members-only section, so you’ll be able to see what you missed!

  3. I am an early to bed sort of girl but it was worth staying up for your webinar last night. So much of what you said helped me clarify how I should be thinking when creating my own materials or using other people’s work. Thanks again!


  4. Judy, you don’t know how much I hated missing this webinar, but because of a standing “last Wednesday night of the month” obligation, it was not possible to listen in.

    Is this webinar archived and will it be available to those that missed it?


    • Judy G. Russell says:

      It will be available in the members only section of the APG website. Which is a good reason to join APG if you’re not already a member!

  5. Celia Lewis says:

    Yes, it was definitely worth watching/hearing. Great handout with wonderful references (organized), fantastic slides, and questionsquestionsquestions – over an hour of them! Kimberly did a superb job of hosting and organizing the questions as well. I’m starting to save my shekels to join APG. Thank you again, so much, Judy.

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thank YOU for the kind words!! APG is doing terrific stuff, isn’t it??? The whole seminar series is a wonderful thing.

  6. Judy & Kimberly:

    Thank you very much for your hard work and for that extremely informative session!

    Judy – you were a Godsend because you didn’t speak “legalese”, you taught us in a language that we all understand so we could grasp even some of the more complex concepts (or at least have a more thorough understanding of how these things generally work).

    In addition to that, you tied each lesson into things that are particularly relevant to us genealogists, using examples of things that we do every day and how these laws might affect our endeavors.

    Publishing sort of fell into my lap and it did so fairly quickly. I didn’t set out to publish, but I now write two regular columns in Italian American publications and am often asked to do guest articles in other publications across the US.

    I love sharing stories of our discoveries and teaching others how to do the same thing so I’m very grateful for those writing opportunities. But the more I write, the more I come across some of those copyright issues you were referring to so I’m grateful to the both of you for providing that webinar.

    Grazie! Thank you!


    Aliza Giammatteo
    Roots in the Boot
    Owner | Genealogist | Columnist

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Aliza! Isn’t APG terrific to be sponsoring this webinar series? Sure makes it nice being an APG member.

  7. carolyn cate says:

    Your presentation about Copyright Law for Genealogists was my first Webinar, and I enjoyed it very much. I couldn’t manage to download the handout which
    included the numbered topics you mentioned at the same time I was jotting down
    some notes. Is there any way I can get it? Thanks again.

  8. Barbara Carroll says:

    Thank you so much for your excellent webinar, Judy, and for getting a quick response to the ancestry question. Your handouts were also excellent. Fantastic job – I’m so glad I joined in. Crucial information for all of us.


    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thanks so much, Barbara! I’m glad you found the information useful. APG is terrific for giving us all the opportunity to learn from each other!

  9. Peggy Buchanan says:

    Thank you so much for giving free webinar, which I really enjoyed. The webinar was mentioned in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter the night before or I wouldn’t have known about it or you either. I look forward to visiting your Web site.

    If possible, I would really like to get the answer on an issue I have wondered about for a long time.

    I collect obituaries on as many relatives as possible and want to type them in the Notes area of my genealogy software for each person. Can I do that?

    Thank you again!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Glad you found the webinar helpful, Peggy!

      Personally, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t hesitate to go ahead and include the obituaries in your notes. I can’t imagine a fairer use — pure research. Make sure you record exactly where the obituary came from (what newspaper, date, page, etc.) — I’m sure you’re doing that as a good genealogist anyway, but it also helps if you ever decide to share any information. Giving credit to the original creator of a very short fact-based piece (assuming the newspaper was the creator and not a family member who wrote the obit) goes a long way towards preventing complaints about copyright.

      Buchanan, huh? Not one of the Mitchell-Yancey-Buncombe County NC Buchanans, are you?

      • Peggy Buchanan says:

        Thank you so much for responding. Yes, I would record the name, date, page, etc., of the newspaper where the obituary came from.

        I do not believe we are the Buchanans from NC.

        Thanks again for your quick response.

  10. Maureen Romeo-Gallagher says:

    Dear Ms. Russell,
    I consider myself fortunate to have listened to your webinar on Copyright Law.
    I enjoyed your enthusiasm. I am looking forward to hearing you in person when you visit our genealogy research group at the Patchogue-Medford Library in June.
    Maureen Romeo-Gallagher

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m so looking forward to my trip out to Patchogue-Medford! I hear you guys are a fabulous audience!

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