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Top 10 non-DNA posts of 2014

So, yesterday, The Legal Genealogist began the year-end retrospective with a look at your favorite posts, as readers, when it came to DNA and its use in genealogy.

Rose.4thToday, we look at the top 10 posts that aren’t DNA-related — though, I admit, I am cheating a bit because tomorrow I’m going to highlight my favorites for the year and that meant pulling one or two from these earlier lists…

Let’s do the Top 10 countdown again:

At Number 10 for 2014:

Courtesy, ethics and law (31 March): “The Legal Genealogist just doesn’t get it. How is it that so many in our community don’t see that it’s wrong to take ideas and words and work from our fellow genealogists? There’s no reason, legally or ethically, why … anyone … who has worked hard and long to produce good work — should have to go to these lengths to get credit where credit is due.”

Number 9:

Find A Grave terms 2014 style (20 August): “This is the fourth time The Legal Genealogist has visited the terms of use area of Find A Grave, the huge and hugely-popular website with burial information and photos so widely used by genealogists. Why? Because the terms of use have changed again here in 2014, and despite an effort to clear up any questions it’s clear that folks still have questions about the Find A Grave terms of use.”

Number 8:

Copyright and the book scanner (5 February): “Copyright is protection granted by the law to the creator of works like the books that might be scanned. One of the rights the law gives that creator — the author — is the exclusive right ‘to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies.’ That’s where the analysis has to start, where the default setting in all our minds has to be. Not ‘I can make copies unless’ but rather ‘only the copyright owner can make or authorize the making of copies unless…’”

Number 7:

Legal serendipity (29 September): “So as I was preparing to explain this past Saturday to the Dallas Genealogical Society just how knowing the law can make us better genealogists, I looked for Texas examples in the statute books. And the example I decided to use of a private federal law for the benefit of someone from Texas was set out in volume 17 of the United States Statutes at Large, on page 677. It’s entitled ‘An Act granting a Pension to Mary Ann Montgomery, Widow of Wm. W. Montgomery, late Captain in Texas Volunteers,’ …”

Number 6:

Copyright and the school yearbook (24 March): “Reader Gary Matz recognizes the genealogical value of yearbooks: any time you nail somebody’s feet to the floor at a particular time and place, it’s a good thing. And yearbooks often offer details about the person’s activities and interests that can’t be found anywhere else. But when the genealogical library he works with is asked to copy a yearbook from a school or a college, he worries about copyright.”

Number 5:

It’s not sharing (4 November): “Yet another case of genealogical theft is being reported in our community. This time, it’s the website GenealogyInTime Magazine reporting that some of its authored, copyrighted content is being reproduced, almost word for word, in the newsletter of another website.”

Number 4:

An image citation how-to (17 March): “In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and because The Legal Genealogist wants to show off a favorite program, today’s post is a how-to rather than a why-to. … Irfanview (is) a photo viewing and editing program, it’s simple to use — and it’s free. (And yes, before you ask, it’s Windows only. But the steps will be basically the same in any basic Mac photo editor too — and, for that matter in any other Windows photo editor.) And here’s how you use it to put your citation right on the image.”

Number 3:

It bears repeating: just say no (5 November): “You see it all the time, out here on the internet. It seems perfectly innocent. It’s just a request for help, and helping is something we do here in the genealogical community. … ‘Is it right (ethical) to avoid paying for a subscription to a site’s content by asking for a subscriber to locate the content for you?’ Just asking the question gives the answer. No. It’s not right.”

Number 2:

Getty Images: not quite free to use (7 December): “The enthusiasm, almost unbridled, is for a new policy at Getty Images allowing people to embed millions of the photos and graphics in Getty’s collections in their own online works, such as blog posts or on social media. Note the word embed here — this does not allow anyone to download and use unwatermarked images without paying a licensing fee. It only allows the use of specific code provided by Getty Images to borrow a selected image (not every image is included) from Getty’s web servers and have it appear in another place, with attribution back to Getty.”

And the Number One post for 2014:

Just a little book (3 November): “It’s just a little book, really. Only 58 pages including the index. Okay, so it goes all the way up to 62 pages if you throw in the introduction and the table of contents. It’s not stuffy. It’s not hard to read. It’s not in tiny little type. It’s even got pictures, for pete’s sake! And it’s a modern guide in plain language that can help any genealogist — beginner, intermediate or advanced — who’s committed to the idea of Doing Things Right.”

On to 2015…

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