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Copyright and Fair Use

From: Mfe26@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
I have been following your email messages for a number of years. Your information has been very helpful in my genealogy search of my parents families.

I have prepared a history of my mothers family and have used pictures of ancestors in it. These are personal to our family. I am a little confused about the copyright laws pertaining to photos. Does it mean those pictures published by photographers in newspapers, magazines and related publications. How about pictures taken of individuals privately at professional photographer studios, but paid for by the individual. Would these be considered owned by the descendents of these people? -- Thank you for your help.

DearMARY,

Your personal family photos shouldn't be a problem. However, if you've ever tried to make color photocopies at Kinkos, you'll understand how strict things can get. Professional studio portraits are not allowed to be copied (knowingly) at their stores, unless you have written permission to do so. 

The concept here is that we cannot reproduce someone else's work and rob them of the opportunity to earn a profit.

One of my readers just asked if I would send a copy of the daffodil postcard I mentioned purchasing through EBay this week. She too has wonderful memories of Puyallup, Washington, and hoped to incorporate the graphic into her family history as well. I didn't feel comfortable doing that even though I am sure the lithograph company isn't in business at this time. Its entirely possible that the heirs technically own copyrights on such products, so it is not for me to distribute.

If you would like to read a definitive work by a foremost genealogist, see:

Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. See Chapter 7: Copyright and Fair Use, by Val D. Greenwood, J.D., AG.

Perhaps your society may wish to purchase this book for your local library's
genealogy department? If so, its from Genealogical Publishing Company.
http://www.genealogical.com/item_detail.asp?afid=&ID=3844

Again, DearREADERS, the overriding authority is the US Copyright Office: http://www.copyright.gov/
You can find it through the Library of Congress website: http://www.loc.gov

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207


1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
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