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Contract, not copyright

Different laws, different rules If there’s any question that has readers more confused than the “why can’t I use this item from that website” question, The Legal Genealogist doesn’t know what it might be. It’s a question that comes in here...

Factually speaking…

Not copyrightable It’s the kind of information a genealogist may spend hours or days or even weeks ferreting out. Hunting through courthouses and archival back rooms for county records that don’t exist that far back in time. Trudging through court records...

Welcome to 1925!

The copyright clock keeps ticking For many Americans, this is the first Saturday and second day of 2021. For The Legal Genealogist, it’s the second day of 1925. No, that’s not a typo. I really do mean 1925. The year that books like Theodore Dreiser’s An...

Copyrighting that photo

Not just a matter of owning the thing A reader has a great copyright question: “How about a very old photo, from about 1908, that was never published as far as I know, and does not include any info about who the photographer was or who the subjects (several men) were....

Giving it away

The law and ethics of donating family materials Two reader questions have just hit The Legal Genealogist’s emailbox presenting opposite sides of the issue when it comes to donating family materials and photos to libraries, archives or other repositories. Reader...

Copyright of the law

On annotating the Georgia Code This isn’t a piece about the law of copyright. The Legal Genealogist writes about that all the time. No, today, we need to talk about the copyright of the law. Which is what Georgia tried to do, and the Supreme Court of the United...

Two sides to every story

The debate over Internet Archive’s Emergency Library There are always two sides to every story, and The Legal Genealogist is guilty of brushing past that simple fact in touting the Internet Archive’s decision to make a National Emergency Library of...

Seriously, Copyright Office?

A fee hike… now… The email came in just yesterday: “Special Announcement about Fee Changes,” it said. “Effective March 20, the Copyright Office is changing fees for copyright registration and other services.”1 Now… don’t get The Legal...