COPYRIGHT-L Archives

Archiver > COPYRIGHT > 2006-01 > 1136608871


From: "Mike Goad" <>
Subject: RE: [COPYRIGHT] COPYRIGHT of VITAL RECORDS TRANSCRIPTIONS?
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 22:41:11 -0600
In-Reply-To: <003b01c612ca$27c762f0$6401a8c0@MAIN>


In most cases, very little that is in an obituary will be copyrightable.

There are two reasons for this.

First and foremost, obits are, for the most part, and assemblage of facts or
factual information, clearly not protected by copyright because there is no
original expression involved.

Secondly, many, if not most, obituaries are written using some sort of
boiler-plate or system. Compare the obits in a newspaper over a period of
time and it's likely that you'll see this. If a boiler-plate or other
system is used for an obit, then that obit is not copyrightable, because,
again, there is no original expression.

Besides whether or not copyright applies to the obit, there's another aspect
that applies to your question.

If there is anything copyrightable about the obit, whoever wrote the obit is
the owner of the copyright. It may be the newspaper, but it may also be
someone in the family or the funeral home.

Mike Goad
Copy Right, Copy Sense
http://www.pddoc.com/copyright/index.html

Chronicles of the American Civil War
http://www.pddoc.com/cw-chronicles/


-----Original Message-----
From: Donna [mailto:]
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 8:05 AM
To:
Subject: Re: [COPYRIGHT] COPYRIGHT of VITAL RECORDS TRANSCRIPTIONS?

Does a newspaper "own" rights to an obit printed in the last 20 to 30 years?

I think I've come across discussion before but not a definite answer.


Thanks, Donna


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