Robbing from the dead

Ask, don’t just take It was one of those obituaries that a genealogist just loves to read. “I was born,” it began. “I blinked and it was over.” Beautifully written by Emily DeBrayda Fisher Phillips, who died in Florida in 2015 just 28 days after being diagnosed...

Fair use and terms of use

A study in contrasts It’s a great question, from reader Dana J.: Does contract law override “fair use”? Can a website’s terms of use prohibit users from using the copyright-protected works under fair use? It seems that copyright’s fair use provision might be one...

Don’t just take!!!

Ask before you use It’s come up yet again in our community and The Legal Genealogist is going to try, one more time (and as often as needed in the future) to get this straight. It’s generally not okay to take something we find online and simply use it. A...

That copyright notice

It sometimes matters if it’s missing The question came from a library in Kentucky that’s interested in digitizing copies of a local newspaper. The library staff was well aware that there were no copyright issues at all with issues of the newspaper...

That 1923 date

Copyright duration in the US The question comes up all the time here at The Legal Genealogist. Something was published at some point in the past, and a reader wants to know if she can use it in her genealogical work — in a blog post or a journal article or a...

Copyright and the weblink

Not a problem, unless… The Legal Genealogist absolutely loves the fact that genealogists are really starting to think about copyright issues. I get questions all the time here to the blog about one copyright issue or another, and it’s heartwarming in so...

Just read this!

Plagiarism versus copyright infringement Sometimes, The Legal Genealogist understands, it’s just hard to wrap our heads around the differences between plagiarism and copyright infringement. We know, or we think we do, that plagiarism is when we pass off someone...

No right to sharing

Nothing wrong with wanting a return Reader Ruth is offended when people post things on the internet and don’t make it easy for others to use them: I’ve noticed that some people claim “ownership” of photos of documents– they either claim...