Copyright Issue: Genealogical data, (Dates of birth and death, Place of birth, Place of death or burial, marriages, etc.), is public information which is easily obtained from census, newspapers and public records. As such, the data itself is not copyrightable. When you copyright genealogical books, the only protection you receive is that the book itself in its entirety or in part can not be reproduced. Basically, your form and presentation is protected. The actual data is not protected because no one or any organization can have exclusive proprietary rights to families lineages and history. If the data was protected then nobody could use a single word in the English language in writing because all the words in the English language were copyrighted by the publishers of the Webster's dictionaries.
Permission Issue: Permission from individuals is not required for public information. When you copyright a genealogical book the copyright office does not require a permission form from each and every individual in the book.
Privacy Issue: Genealogical data, (Dates of birth and death, Place of birth, Place of death or burial, marriages, etc), is public information which is easily obtained from census, newspapers, and public records. Marriage announcements, birth announcements, obituaries are all published by newspapers. Marriages are recorded at the local courthouses. Genealogical data that is copyrighted by individuals or organizations becomes public information by the very fact that it is copyrighted and a copy of the data can be obtained from the Copyright Office under the Freedom of Information Act.
NOTE: My database is Privatized, therefore no birth dates,
marriage dates, etc. of living persons is intentionally disclosed.
© Anil S. Ferris
No part of this publication may be used without prior consent except for personal research with a reference to this website