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Copyright for Genealogists

Some portions of your family research are protected by copyright law and some are not. Learn more about the copyright laws of various countries as they relate to publishing your genealogy in books, gedcom files or on the Web.

Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy
Mike Goad covers the portions of U.S. copyright law which most apply to genealogists, with examples that constitute both copyright infringement and "fair use."

Copyright Table
Genealogist Natalie Cottrill compiled this handy table with the assistance of Dennis Karjala, Professor of Law.

Do You Own What You Upload?
If you're considering submitting your genealogy gedcom file to an online service then make sure you read this article by Gary Hoffman.

Who Owns Genealogy? Cousins and Copyright
Gary B. Hoffman, a California attorney and genealogist, discusses a number of issues related to copyright and genealogy, including who owns a compiled family history, what you can legally borrow from the previous research of others, and how you can secure copyright protection for your own family history.

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