Is it enough to give credit or must I also get permission?

+14 votes

I've seen several questions previously in this forum regarding adding photos or document images from Find A Grave, Ancestry, and other web sites to WikiTree profiles.  Sometimes an answer appears that says it's OK as long as we cite the source of the photo and credit the photographer.  I just read a great article "Don't Just Take" by The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, that I want to recommend to anyone with questions about this topic.  Here is one statement in her article: 

"It’s wrong to take someone else’s work and use it without getting permission and giving whatever credit the creator wants given."

in The Tree House by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (547k points)
Thank you for posting this Star. It is very important to ask permission and give credit.  So frustrating when folks take headstone photos from Find A Grave and post them to WikiTree profiles they do not manage.  

A person I had contacted on Find A Grave, gave permission to use a  fantastic portrait and then joined WikiTree, adding wonderful profiles to expand their tree branch here :)
A couple of thoughts: (1) Look at the terms of use for the site where the image comes from. There are likely clauses about permitted use. (2) In publications pictures not taken by the author have an attribution and a statement like "used with permission."

Patricia, I agree with what you are saying but would temper the part where you say "So frustrating when folks take headstone photos from Find A Grave and post them to WikiTree profiles they do not manage."  I have taken photos of gravesites at distant cemeteries, then add them both to Find A Grave and WikiTree. After I have done what I can with the profiles on WikiTree I set those profiles loose unless I have a special interest in them. I see nothing wrong with doing that.

My issue is that I don't want to be profile manager of a profile with photos that were stolen from Find A Grave and have had to remove myself as PM of those profiles, to distance myself from the photos.
But my point is just because I am not the manager of the profile or credit the photo you would have a hard time finding out that I did not need permission because the photos on both sites were taken by me and in fact they are exactly the same, just added to both sites by the person who took them. Someone else could be managing the profile on WikiTree at this time and to most it could look like the picture was taken from Find A Grave when in fact it was uploaded here first.

 if the photos were your own or you had used them with permission of the copyright holder  surely you should state  that it is your own photography  in the box for copyright info when you upload the image. That will remain even if you orphan the profile. I just put 'own photo' on this one.  I am not the manager of the profile

 I feel that if I found an unattributed photo on one of 'my' profiles, I would ask the uploader to confirm they had the right to upload it. If they didn't then I would remove it.
Helen, I did, I no longer add to Find A Grave but that is another topic,  but my point is that n the profile I am referring to I no longer manage the FAG memorial or the WikiTree profile so it is not a simple thing to figure out who to credit when they look the same but the pictures are legally added to both sites..

2 Answers

+2 votes

If you were writing a book it is quite permissible to quote short excerpts from say other books or publications. You do not have to seek permission to do so, however, proper etiquette would suggest you note credit where credit is do. Anything beyond short excerpts could be tagged as intrusions of copyright presuming a copyright exists. Bulk downloading from Find A Grave could be a problem.

by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 8 (86.8k points)

Yes, for written works, properly attributed short excerpts are permissible.

However, photos are the equivalent of the entire book. Republishing of either an entire book or an entire photograph without the copyright holder's permission is a violation of copyright law.

+2 votes
Since you are talking about images I would say that it would always be best to get premission first an also cite the source
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)

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