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Genealogy and Copyright Guidelines
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NOTE: This course requires compulsory materials to be ordered. Please click on the Supplies tab for details.

As genealogists, we must be very careful how we use information or documents we find during our research. The use of certain documents or the publication of information may be restricted in some way. There are many laws - federal, provincial, state and local - that affect the manner in which we can use the information of interest to genealogists.

This course covers the area of law which has the most direct impact on genealogical research, copyright law. This law affects the way that you can use copies of others'' work, and ways that you can protect your own work.

This course is based on the laws of the United States. For those students in other countries, although some of the information will not be applicable in your country, we feel that the concepts of copyright in most countries are the same or very similar, but naturally the time requirements may slightly differ. Therefore, please check the copyright laws in your own country to see the limitations that may be imposed upon you.


Course Content

Module 1
Introduction
• Why You Need This book?
• Why I Wrote This Book
Copyright Basics
• What's Protected by Copyright?
• Copyright Duration
• Registering Your Work
• Applying It to Genealogy
Required Reading: Online
Optional Reading: Knowledge Enhancement
 

Module 2
Fair Use, The Public Domain and Seeking Permission
• Do You Need Permission?
• What Is Fair Use?
• How Much Can You Quote?
• How Do You Get Permission?
• The Permission Letter
• Applying It to Genealogy
Required Reading: Online
Optional Reading: Knowledge Enhancement
 

Module 3
Fair Use, The Public Domain and Seeking Permission
• What is the Public Domain?
• Searching the Copyright Office Rules
• Review: Applying it to Genealogy
Required Reading: Online
Optional Reading: Knowledge Enhancement
 

Module 4
Illustrations, Images, Photographs, And Maps
• What About Historical Images?
• What About Using Family Photographs?
• Using Published Illustrations, Maps, and Photographs
• How Do You Locate a Photographer?
• Where are Public Domain Images and Maps?
• What About Stock Photos?
• Applying it to Genealogy
Required Reading: Online
 

Module 5
Work For Hire
• What the Copyright Law Says
• Your Client Reports
• What Is the Client Paying For?
• Joint Authorship
• Why Is It Important to Retain Copyright?
• The Lawsuit
• Educating Clients
• Applying It to Genealogy
Required Reading: Online
Optional Reading: Knowledge Enhancement
 

Module 6
Journal/Magazine Contract
• Details of a Journalism Agreement
• Applying It to Genealogy
Book Contracts
• Details of a Book Publishing Contract
Electronic Contracts
• Posting Your Work on the Web
• Applying It to Genealogy
Required Reading: Online
 
 

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