06 December 2012

Copyright and Copy Wrong -- Genealogists and Family Historians need to do it RIGHT!

Image source: http://sensiblecopyrightsolutions.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/copyright-symbol.jpg 

Respecting copyright is important!

Copyright can be complex!

Many genealogists and family historians violate copyright!

Many of you may have heard about a copyright violation of Cyndi’s List which occurred last month.  This is probably the most recent and egregious example of “theft” by the genealogical community.  And, it happens all the time!  Every bit of information you see duplicated in verbatim from someplace without recognition of the original author can be a form of violating an author’s copyright!

You wonder why some people don’t post their genealogical research?  Many don’t post it because they are concerned that others will “steal” the research they have worked on for years (sometimes decades) without attributing it to the person who put in all the hard work.  If you worked for years on something, would you want others to use it without giving you credit?

Michael Leclerc recently did a blog post on this topic (Copyright and Copy Wrong) and states (emphasis is mine) ...

It is astounding how some people think that they can do anything they like with anything they want on the Internet. It is all there for the taking and doing with as they will. Genealogists are among the worst violators...

Do read his full post.

Want to learn more about copyright law and genealogy?  Check out these excellent resources on the topic:

And, just doing a search on Genealogy + Copyright will bring up a lot of other equally informative posts.

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  1. Um, The Legal Genealogist is Judy G. Russell...you probably knew that but somehow the fingers typed Allen.

  2. Thanks so much Randy ... where did "Allen" come from ... I'm so sorry Judy! I will correct your name ASAP! As always, thanks for helping us all make sense of important "stuff!"

  3. Diane, if that's the worst thing you ever call me, I'm in very GOOD shape!