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...

Going global

Well, no, actually, they’re not different “Surely,” the comment writer insisted, after reading yesterday’s blog post about copyright protection of photographs even without copyright notices, “US copyright laws are only relevant in USA. Does any of this...

And the difference is…

Copyright pop quiz What’s the difference between the following two photographs? Here’s the first one: And here’s the second: Of course, all you eagle-eyed researchers noted the fact that there isn’t any copyright notice on the first one and...

Using the work of others

Ask, don’t take Once more into the breach, dear friends: Copying someone else’s work without permission is wrong. The Legal Genealogist has sung this song before, more than once,1 but — like the mole in the whack-a-mole game — the issue keeps...

Welcome to 1924!

The copyright clock keeps ticking For many Americans, this is the first Monday, first workday, sixth day of 2020. For The Legal Genealogist, it’s the sixth day of 1924. No, that’s not a typo. I really do mean 1924. The year that books were published, such...

The history in the news

When is it copyright-free? It’s the kind of question that arrives in the email box of The Legal Genealogist on a regular basis. This one, from reader Jerry Lumpkins, is typical: “As I create ( or publish ) a book on our town’s history using newspaper...

Originality counts

The limits on copyright Reader Dennis Yancey asks a great copyright question. “If a person transcribes the family record data in a Family Bible,” he asks, “can they claim copyright on this transcription?” And, he continues, “Is the answer to this pretty much the same...

Copyright: an annual thing

Copyright-to-public domain Reader Jim H. was really hopeful. He has a reference source he would like to quote at length or republish large portions from and knows that it was published on or about March 1, 1924. And, he hoped, because materials published in the United...