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Found something you really like, and want to add it to your site? Why not link to it instead? It's much easier and perfectly legal.

Copyright laws are designed to protect the rights of authors, musicians, artists, etc. against the loss of their work, rights and profits. Upon conviction, the penalties in time and money can be severe.

Palagarism is a dirty word in our circles and refers to those who try to steal the work of others and pass it off as their own. They lose all respectability in the eyes of their former colleagues.

If you are interested in specific details, see or go to Google.

For our purposes in history and genealogy, it is usually enough to recognize that facts and most public data cannot be copyrighted. For example, General Robert E. Lee was born on 19 January 1807. His ancestors and descendants are a matter of record. Nobody can copyright any of that data.

However, the way in which an author chooses to display that information, by text, by grid or chart, or whatever, is the author's creative contribution and that can be copyrighted.

So, when you find something you like and would like to share it with others, then the best way is to link to it. That way you are not taking possession of it, you are not claiming it as your own work (even by implication), you are not depriving the author of his creative right.

What's more, it's perfectly legal, you have a clear conscience, you can see it as fast as if you had it on your own site, and of course, you save yourself a lot of work copying it.

Also, you help the author to promote his work. After all, that's why he put it there in the first place - to be seen by others.

HERE'S HOW .....

Put this sentence on your page where you want the link to be:

(a href="URL")Name(/a)

Copy it EXACTLY. Don't make ANY changes.

Then substitute the URL and the Name. The URL is in the thin window at the top of your screen on the page you want to link to. The URL, or Universal Resource Locator, enables your computer to find things again. The URL usually begins with http:// or with www or with both. Put that in place of the URL.

The Name is whatever you want to call it. It doesn't have any effect on the author's work.

But instead of the 4 parentheses ( )( ), use 4 angle brackets < >< > on your page. It's just that if I used angle brackets here, the computer would try to link to a nonexistent file called 'Name'.

It's really quite easy. As you see, I used a couple of links near the top of this page. A link is usually underlined and in a slightly different color. The "Name" for your link can be one word or several, as you prefer. Why not try it out?

You are always welcome to link (this page included) but don't copy other people's work. It's unethical, gives you a very bad name in our community and we won't trust or like you very much.

Look, but don't touch.