Do I need to do anything if I notice someone uploading headstone images from a website? [closed]

+27 votes

The photos are clearly marked IGP and Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives' Home Page says "Please Do Not copy anything found here for use on any other website."

closed with the note: Answered by Paula
in Policy and Style by Maryann Hurt G2G6 Mach 8 (84.2k points)
closed by Maryann Hurt
Thank you for posting this. If the image is not from a public site it should not be used. It can only be used if you can show certification to be able to use that image.

I post images from as they are now in the public domain. I post other images regarding my family with the permission of the Clan Chief.

I have found images on subscription only pages that I would like to post that I cannot because I do not have the copyright for that image.

I question why images are considered in the public domain.   Unless you explicitly know that they are in the public domain, then they aren't.  I upload images to Find-a-grave, and they clearly state that "Content, other than items of fact, which has been contributed to Find A Grave by members remain the property of the submitter and Find A Grave is the licensed distributor of such content."  In other words,  the images from Find-a-Grave, which are part of Ancestry, are not in the public domain.   Even the abominable Ancestry says "Be aware that content, including photographs, even if submitted to a site of which you are a member, belongs to the creator or submitter and you should not reproduce it without permission of the owner "  I've encountered this problem with someone posting images from Find-a-Grave to Wikitree.  I changed the privacy level of my great-great-grandparents and was contacted by someone who was upset that he couldn't upload a Find-a-Grave image to their Wikitree entry.  I told him that it wasn't a very good photograph, and I plan to take one this summer (this is true), but it bugged me at the time that he was posting something from Find-a-Grave.  But since I didn't know explicitly that he doesn't own the content, I decided not to pursue it. 

I am wondering  to what extent I am ignorant. Please tell me why photos like this of a grave stone and other genealogy information is kept secret. I will share all the information and photos with anyone who would want them. Why would someone not allow another to have access to something that might help them learn about their family tree.

I'm 71 and have been doing this for twenty years, and my family also. I just don't understand why someone would do this.

 Imagine my perplexed dog look...
Isn't the POINT of wikitree to share information?   I'm with you, Daulton - I don't understand why, if that person is in my family tree, that a gravestone picture would be off-limits.  If a person doesn't want to share the information or picture, why are they posting it?
I agree with you Mary And Daulton.  Does not make sense  about the headstone/markers. why not share. I am in process of doing a cemetery and I have over 600 headstones I need to place on the profiles for wikitree .  If  someone feels that they would like to use the picture go for it.
I have to agree with all three of you!  We have so many "brickwall" families in our tree that keeping these "private so you can't share or copy, etc" defeats the purpose of using the site to build or find info to build trees!  To hear that even gravestones are copyrighted is just plain nuts when anyone can see them publicly!
Hi Daulton, Mary Thomas, Mary G and Lori Jo

This question is about copying photos from a website which specifically requests that you don't copy from it to another website.

It is not about keeping anything secret. You can add a link in a biography to the photo on that site.

It doesn't apply to photos you take.
You can not use photos you have not taken your self, unless.......

1: you have permission from the photographer.

2: you have downloaded it from a website that clearly states that all photos are freely available to use without further permission.

3: you have bought the original print of the photograph and there is no contract of restrictions.

If you see a photo on another site, that you would like to use, then the polite thing to do, is simply to send the submitter a kind request to allow you to post it on here. I have often done this my self, and have so far never been refused.

I would think you could add a brief statement saying that your photos may be copied to another site.  This should allow individuals to copy the photo to Wikitree or any other site.

Thank you for that advise Maryann!  I didn't even think about using links instead of fretting over this subject!
Thank you for your advise Joann!  What do you do if the person that took or posted these copyrighted items is deceased now?

I guess that will depend on when the photographer died.

Here is the Legal guide from the Governments Intellectual property Office:

This is basically what we should be taking note of:


How long does copyright in images or
photos last?
Generally speaking, in the UK copyright in images lasts
for the life of the creator plus 70 years from the end of
the calendar year of their death although the length of
the copyright period will depend on when the image
was created. That means that images less than 70 years
old are still in copyright, and older ones may well be,
depending on when the creator died.
For old images or photos, you may never be entirely sure
if something is in copyright, but knowing the age of the
photo will be a good guide to make an educated guess
whether the photo is likely to be protected by copyright.
There may be material in the image which helps to date
it. For instance, a photo of a particular brand of motorcar
may be evidence that the photograph was taken after the
first year of manufacture.
It is important to be aware that copyright duration can
be very complex for certain older works (including some
photographs) that were unpublished on 1 August 1989
and where the author has died. Prior to the adoption of
the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, certain
unpublished works were granted perpetual copyright
up until the point they were first published. In order to
remove this perpetual copyright, the 1988 Act reduced
the term of protection for such works to 50 years from
the implementation of the Act. This means that many
works which were not published prior to 1 August 1989,
and where the creator died before 1 January 1969, are
due to remain in copyright until 31 December 2039 at
the earliest. This will be the case for many photographs
created between 1 June 1957 and 1 August 1989. "
I will say, that the best thing to do in general, is to e-mail the person who put the photo online. If that person is deceased, the best bet will be to contact the family and ask, who would have inherited the original images.

2 Answers

+19 votes
Best answer
A WikiTree Mentor will work with this person to correct that problem. Please fill out a Mentor Intervention Request which you can find below:
by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (241k points)
selected by Cynthia Larson
Thanks Paula!
+18 votes
I would edit your question and add the tags "Mentors" so that they are alerted about this problem.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
I have requested that a mentor come to this g2g since the "mentors" tag did not appear to get their attention.
I would like to add thank you for bringing this to our attention and if you need any help leave a message on my profile!

Thanks Jillaine
Anytime there is a problem with a member, start at

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