TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2012-04 > 1334372027
From: Caroline Gurney <>
Subject: [TGF] Client querying copyright restriction
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2012 03:53:47 +0100
In the research agreement which I ask clients to sign I state that I
will retain the copyright to my research report. I say that the client
may make copies to share privately but may not publish the report
without my written permission.
A prospective client in the United States has queried this. He writes,
"I am a little concerned by your copyright restriction. I don't
believe any of the researchers I have dealt with in the past have
copyrighted their reports. I am a little unsure why you would feel a
need to copyright the report when I am paying you to do this work
exclusively for me. I frequently publish excerpts from research
reports on web sites to substantiate the information I am posting and
I would prefer to not have to deal with copyright restrictions that
might prevent me from doing this."
I am thinking of responding along these lines:
a) APG's "Hiring a Professional" leaflet - which I sent him with the
draft research agreement - states, "The agreement should identify who
holds the copyright to the written research reports. Your researcher
probably will retain that right. This means you cannot publish the
report without the researcher’s permission."
b) The facts in my report - and the source citations to back those
facts up - would not be copyright and he can publish those freely.
c) Nor would I object to him quoting a paragraph or two from the
report to explain my findings / analysis, providing he attributes it
to me - indeed I'd welcome the publicity for my business.
d) The copyright restriction is there to protect my intellectual
property - the way in which I have conducted my research, the
discoveries I have made and how I have structured my analysis and
arguments. Without copyright, someone could pass off my work as their
own and take the credit for it which rightfully belongs to me. They
could also benefit financially from my work, by reselling it in
printed or digital form.
e) Copyright also protects my professional reputation. Without it,
someone could publish my work in a truncated, altered or misleading
form, whilst attributing it to me. Others might then judge me to be a
poor researcher on the basis of what I had supposedly written.
I'd be most grateful for comments and advice - both on the general
copyright issue and on how I should reply.
|[TGF] Client querying copyright restriction by Caroline Gurney <>|