Source attribution for published biography

+6 votes
71 views
I am in the process of collecting information for the biography of my grandfather, Frank Miller (Miller-33358). While going through his scrapbooks, I found a page torn from a magazine, dated May 1946. On it was a biography written about my grandfather's civilian and military careers. It had far more information that I ever knew about what he did. I did an online search and this publication has not been scanned and stored digitally. I sent a question to the current publishers of the magazine to see if I needed permission to show this article in my grandfather's biography. In the meantime, I attributed it properly and listed full details in the Sources section. Is this correct? I've been reading about plagerism and Wikipedia articles, where the articles are simply cut and pasted into biographies. This is not really the same thing, and since the article can't be found anywhere online, I can't post a link to it.
WikiTree profile: Frank Miller
in Policy and Style by Julie Mangano G2G6 (7.4k points)

1 Answer

+4 votes
I would think you are ok by both accounts - with proper attribution per the WikiTree style guide and rules you are avoiding copyright and/or plagiarism issues. Your "borrowing" of the copy represents an arguable 'fair use' that is defensible until the publisher writes a letter demanding that it be removed. Similarly, your copy of the text does not constitute plagiarism in as much as you are not representing the work as your own. I find many of these concerns tedious in that we are assembling data from many different sources to document and give life to the ancestors we honor with these trees. Since all of us borrow from primary and secondary sources to document these profiles rights-use is very complicated. In most cases if the person of the profile is your direct ancestor or a member of your family line most libraries, archives, and publishers will permit the non-commercial 'fair use' of their materials.
by Leake Little G2G6 Mach 1 (11.2k points)

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