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African American Newspapers Forum

Re: Copyright murkiness
In Response To: Copyright murkiness ()

The answer?

I'm just getting all this at the tale end, but as a publisher writer thought
you would all like to know what I found in copyright laws:

I am a genealogist and wish to use some obituaries on my web site. The question is simple does anyone know if obituaries are copyrighted.

Dear Mr. Ash,

The copyright law covers a work from its creation. Copyrights are good for life plus 70 years. Then there is the copyright notice and copyright registration such as by a publication which may register a copyright and then there are the rights of the author. The information is not covered by the copyright law.

M. Arthur Auslander

Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
505 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
212-594-6900, fax 212-244-0028,
America On line Instant Messenger screen name artauslander
ELAINE'S Workshop(sm)
E arly L egal A dvice I s N ot E xpensive(sm)

SO, obituaries are NOT copyrighted. I think that means you can do as you please. I know that when my husband's grandmother died, I wrote her obit and submitted it to the papers. I would have to have a copyright number to go after anyone who reposted it (that was 2 years ago) and since I don't, it's okay. It's most important to remember (if you're still nervous about this) to tell where you found the obit. Name the newspaper, the date the obit appeared and the city or town the paper is from. This is not only important to protect you for any issues about copyright, but for genealogical purposes as well. This needs to be documented in a genealogists research for future generations to know.

Messages In This Thread

Copyright murkiness
Re: Copyright murkiness

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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