Copyright: Do you know the basics?

I was planning on posting about some more of the collections at the Library of Congress. When I was looking through the LOC website deciding what I wanted to write about, one of the first things I came across was their paragraph on who has the rights to their digital images. In most cases, it is not the Library of Congress, and it is the responsibility of the person wanting to use the image (you and me) to assess whether the item is available for public use or is under some sort of copyright or other rights.

This reminded me of several recent conversations on Facebook about copyright for genealogists and how important it is to understand copyright. I am by no means an expert, but I wanted to bring this to your attention. In social history and genealogy, we love documents and photos for blogs, written family histories and other uses. Here are a couple of blogs and a webinar that address copyright for genealogists.

Judy G. Russell is a professional genealogist with a law degree and occasionally writes about copyright on her blog.

The author of this blog is not a genealogist as far as I can tell, but shares her experience about being sued for using a copyrighted picture on her blog. Note that some comments have been made on  Facebook stating that not all of the resources listed in this blog are necessarily free of copyright–you should always check!

Thomas MacEntee will be giving a free, open to the public webinar on Thursday, July 18 at 9 pm EDT on copyright, sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association. I don’t see this listed on the UGA website,  but you can register for it here.

Google genealogy and copyright for additional resources.

About bridgingthepast

Welcome to Bridging the Past. We help genealogists connect to their colonial New England ancestors by sharing with them information about the lives of their ancestors. What did they eat? What did they wear? What was a typical day like? Did my ancestor fight in a war? What was life like for that ancestor, and for the loved ones he left at home? Why did they move? Was it part of a larger movement? By answering these questions, and many more, you can bring your ancestors to life and feel closer to them. We design lectures to answer these questions and give genealogists the tools and resources to personally connect with their ancestors by fleshing out the lives of their ancestors so they are more than names, dates and places on a piece of paper.
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