The NEGenWeb and USGenWeb Projects consist of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. The Project is non--commercial, all work is done on a volunteer basis, and the transcription projects are completely funded by individuals involved in the project. Some sites may include "extras", that have been transcribed and made available by volunteers. Some county volunteers do not live in the county and do not have access to these resources and may not be able to provide them.
Some general information about US Copyright law, census records, and how it affects what information is available on NEGenWeb sites.We also have a page with some information on copyright as it deals with genealogy.
Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy
Works published before 1904 are in the public domain (out-of-copyright/copyright expired), that is, they are no longer protected by a copyright.
For works published in the years 1904 through 1963, a copyright expiration 75 years after the copyright date is assumed. This is done because of numerous changes to the copyright laws, the lengthy search required through US Copyright Office records to determine whether a copyright renewal was submitted, and the search required to determine the ownership of a copyright, all of which are beyond the scope of NEGenWeb county coordinators can do.
For works published in the years 1964 through 1977, a copyright lasts for 75 years from date of publication.
Generally, for works created on or after January 1, 1978, a copyright lasts for seventy years beyond the life of the work's author, after which it lapses into public domain. If the work is prepared by two or more authors (a "joint work"), its copyright lasts for seventy years after the last surviving author dies. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter. Works in existence but not published or registered for copyright on January 1, 1978 are also given this same protection, and are guaranteed at least 25 years of protection.
To all visitors to our NEGenWeb Project sites: Please be aware that the information contained on our individual sites, including webpage design, databases and images, belongs to the submitter, unless otherwise noted. It may be freely copied for your personal use. "Borrowing" design, databases or images without first receiving permission for use on another website can be considered copyright infringement, as well as discourteous. If you find something of value on these pages that you want to use, please LINK to the page, do not copy it and put it on your own site. We would like to think we are generous folks, so if you find something you would like to use, please contact the submitter of the information or the County Coordinator for that county.
Please check the USGenWeb Project Copyright Information page for more information.
Publications that may be available online:
- Local histories or other published works copyrighted before 1924. Note that these books are not always readily available to county coordinators for conversion into online books. Most genealogy libraries do not circulate these books, and if they are available at a library, the library may restrict the copying of the book because of the fragile nature of the book.
- Published and Unpublished works copyrighted after 1923, where the author or publisher has given written permission to the NEGenWeb project allowing display of the work.
- Government records that are not copyrighted (a publication gathered or written with government funds) which have been transcribed by individuals and donated to the NEGenWeb or USGenWeb project.
- Census records which have been transcribed by an individual and donated to the NEGenWeb or USGenWeb project. Census record microfilm records, whether they are Soundex indexes, or actual census records are all handwritten and must be transcribed by people into a format that can be displayed.
- Transcriptions of cemeteries, court and land records written by individuals can be donated to NEGenWeb Project. If such material was previously published with a copyright, the data can be donated by the author with a WRITTEN copyright release to NEGenWeb Project. Contact the NEGenWeb County Coordinator or State Coordinator for more information.
Records not available online:
- Census records recorded after 1940. US law prohibits the release of this information until at least 72 years after the information was gathered.
- Birth and death certificates starting about 1904 must be obtained from the Nebraska Heath and Human Services System. Marriage certificates are available from that same source starting about 1909. Copies of marriage records can also be obtained from the appropriate county courthouse. County officials in each County determine the availability of the records under their control.
- The USGenWeb project does not provide online genealogy files (GEDCOM's), but links may be given to such records.
For additional information see:
in the NEGenWeb Project Resource Center
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A special thank-you goes to Gary Martens for working on this for us.
This page last modified: Saturday, 11-Feb-2017 20:17:51 MST