ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2006-07 > 1153323651
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Re: Ancestry World Tree Project Surprise
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 11:40:51 EDT
I did a limited amount of research through an attorney, and was told that,
you wrote the information, and can prove it is a copy of your original
information, then they have stolen your copyright. If that is the case, then
Ancestry.com could potentially be sued for printing information they have no
Copyrights do not neccessarily have to be sent to a copyright office to be a
There is a list at RootsWeb called COPYRIGHT-L which is a much better place
to discuss copyright issues (you and Pat will get more informed and complete
answers there) however, as a rule the data included in family trees isn't
copyrightable because it only includes FACTS and facts and other public domain
information such as names, dates, and places are not copyrightable. Primarily
this is true because you don't CREATE facts--you may be the the one who
discovered them--but you didn't create them and, as such, they cannot be
copyrighted by you either.
About the only part of a family tree that can be copyrighted are your
original notes in your own words. Those you did create.
As Margaret already pointed out, if Pat didn't submit her tree to Ancestry
then someone she gave the information to submitted it. She should, in most
cases, be able to obtain the submitter info from viewing the file on AWT.