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genealogy copyright's

genealogy copyright's

Posted: 5 Dec 2013 12:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
Broderbund claim to own all right's to family tree info has legal implications

Ang: genealogy copyright's

Posted: 10 Jan 2014 4:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
Picked up from http://genealogy.about.com/od/writing_family_history/a/copyr...

Copyright laws vary by country, but for most countries the basic premises are the same:

1. facts and data can not be copyrighted
2. narration, compilations and creative works are protected by copyright

Copyright law in the U.S. does not protect data, only the presentation of the data. This is an important point for genealogists, because it means that facts (names, dates, places, etc.) presented in a standard format, such as a pedigree chart or GEDCOM file, are not protected by copyright. However, if you take this data and present it in your own unique format, such as a narrative, then the presentation of the material is protected by copyright, even when the facts are not. Large, original compilations of facts can also be protected by copyright - such as in the case of genealogical data CDs. You can enter a fact from such a CD into your database and it is free for use, but you can not legally reproduce the entire content of the CD. Public records in the U.S. are also not protected by copyright laws. This means that information copied from vital records, tombstones, court records, etc. are considered facts and cannot be copyrighted.

Not all creative works are protected by copyright laws. Original, published works created prior to 1923 are no longer covered by copyright. Some works created after 1922 may also not be eligible for copyright protection, but this takes careful research to verify. In general, it is best to assume that such works are protected unless they include a statement to the contrary

Re: Ang: genealogy copyright's

Posted: 27 Jul 2014 8:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
So, if I read your post correctly, the facts themselves cannot be copyrighted and the presentation of those facts in a standard format such as a GEDCOM file cannot be copyrighted, not by the software company and not by the person who compiled the data.

But, if I'm reading the original post correctly, that's apparently not what Broderbund is doing. They (appear to be) saying that the file produced by their software is copyrighted because it is in a proprietary format. I believe they can do that legally because I've seen that claim before many times.

So, we can get around the vendor's claim on our data by simply presenting it in an original way. And also, as a practical matter, why would any vendor care about my family data in the first place? There'd be no money in it. They also would have a hard time getting hold of my data in their format anyway.

Re: Ang: genealogy copyright's

Posted: 12 Mar 2015 6:59PM GMT
Classification: Query
They would be interested in your data because the more they have the more subscribers who will pay the price to see it. Ancestry.com is a prime example. Though the information on Census records and other public data is not copyrighted, users by the millions pay for access to the database as it represents an easier way to find and view family records.

The more data the more valuable, including yours. No matter how good the software if it did not contain sufficient data to include as many families as possible people would not pay to see what would be limited information.

Re: Ang: genealogy copyright's

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 2:53AM GMT
Classification: Query
Well, the facts I present are available elsewhere so there is no new data to present. My data should not be valuable because none of the family data can be copyrighted. It's all facts presented as facts. "the more data" cannot include my data which has been obtained from online sources and so is not created by me nor by them; no copyright can be claimed or made.

Now, I believe people pay for Ancestry.com because there are indexes, not of census records which are available in several places, but indexes of other material such as military service records, immigration and naturalization records, passports, city directories, and other material. Census is easy. City directories are not; you have to have the original to look anything up unless someone has made an index. If you read the fine print, There's a lot of work being done by Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. and I think people value the effort enough to pay for it. People also pay for the census images which can be copyrighted by The Generations Network because they are enhanced images of public domain images of public domain documents. The creativity in enhancing the images is what can be copyrighted and has been.

As for Broderbund, I don't think any actual court case would go very well for them. There are penalties for asserting copyright when there is no rightful claim.
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