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We do not offer or sell professional advice. We pride
ourselves in double checking and citing our sources, but, 
at the same time we guarantee nothing
Use what you find here only as a guideline
in your own research.

Copyright Basics

A copyright is an exclusive right to reproduce a "work of authorship," to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies of the work, to perform the work, and to publicly display the work. 

East Kentucky Genealogy,  Kentucky Surname Exchange,  Kentucky Research Exchange,  Kentucky's Lost & Found are all works created by my own mind and research. Anything and everything complied  within these pages are copyrighted by me. Please do not "steal" from me.

U.S. Law

In the U.S., copyright laws derive from the U.S. Constitution which gave Congress the power "to promote science ... by securing for limited times to authors ... the exclusive right to their ... writings." (Art. 1, sec. 8) Federal  legislation preempts state laws on the subject of copyright. Copyright statutes are found in Title 17 of the United States Code, whose last major revision was called the Copyright Act of 1976.

 "Original" means both originating with the author, not derived from another source, and novel or new, not previously known or expressed.

Ownership of copyright
Ownership of the copyright is distinct from the ownership of any material object in which the work is embedded. Mere possession of a book, or a CD-ROM, does not give the possessor absolute right to do anything they please with the contents of the book or CD-ROM.

Newly created works are protected during the author's lifetime and an additional fifty years thereafter. (Congress is considering a provision to add 20 years to this limit.) Works created before 1978 are governed by the law then in effect, generally for a total term of 75 years. In general, any work published before 1922 is now in the public domain.

Genealogy, Copyright and  You 
The copyright laws affect both the research and the publication of your genealogy, either a narrative family history or a simple pedigree family line. First, though, consider that the basic facts about your ancestor's life (such as name, birth date and place, marriage partner, date and place, and death date and place) do not receive copyright protection, no matter their source. Whether you went to the county courthouse, rented a microfilm of the relevant records, or found the data in a commercial CD-ROM, the basic facts of a person's life may be freely copied; they 
are in the public domain.

But adding any kind of narration to these basic facts gives rise to a copyright in the creative portion of the work. The more narrative, the stronger the copyright. If you are the author, you should take care to mark your work to give the proper notice. If it is a large or major work, consider registering it and depositing a copy in the Library of Congress.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, 

 Diane Montgomery Parsons

Joan Ball Williams





USGenWeb Project

Copyright Notice: All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Diane Montgomery Parsons and  Joan B. Williams. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are. It is however, quite permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for personal use ONLY. 

Website maintained by

  Diane Montgomery Parsons 

and Joan B. Williams
 created and designed by Diane   2000, 2001, 2002

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