EU copyright laws

+7 votes

With all the buzz about the EU and their copyright laws, will Wikitreers lose some of the information that we have taken years to develop? Will Wikitree itself lose any names/families from the tree? Once all of the EU laws take effect, will the Wikitreers have an option to either keep our information or remove it from the tree? Please do not say that once the information is here it belongs to Wikitree because we are all here to help each other. Nobody here is intelligent enough to have total knowledge of EU copyright laws. I would prefer to not be involved and take everything that I have introduced to Wkkitree and forget about it instead of having any potential problems years down the line. Personally I do not see any problems with people that have already passed away,

Will any of these  laws be grandfathered in? Many of the genealogical sites post that they have Billions of bits of information. How can all of that be swooped up from everyone in the world? I have legal copies of documents that are a few hundred years old. I don't mean copy something from I mean I have sent for a copy of certain documents. Will I be able to use them? I paid for them and it is my  family.

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU.  It is scheduled to depart at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019. Will that have any bearing on what we can document or not from the copyright, sources,policy? What if The United States does not accept the new copyright laws? Thank you for any and all replies, Just remember please do not quote Wikitrees rules "Wikitree is a wonderful organization and they say...." Wikitree may not have a say in this. So lets leave the "I heart Wikitree" out of it. please. 

When documents will be outlawed only outlaws will have documents. LMFAO

“Big Brother is Watching You.”
 - George Orwell 1984

in Policy and Style by Jerry Dolman G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
Thanks for all of the answers. So basically we can add these docs as long as we show copyrights of those that "own" them? What about documents that I have from the county government and not through a  third party?

These new laws will also protect US docs from  people that live in the EU?  What about people from the EU that now live in the US? What about American born that now live in the EU? what about discussing these docs from the EU like in G2G, will we have to note the copyright even in discussion? Is all of this really worth it?
You shouldn't publish copyright material unless licensed to do so. What exactly is copyright varies to country. For a good example about how laws differ even within Europe look at this article Here is a warning of the use of an image of the Louvre on wiki commons

Images of many 'public' records  are copyright in parts of Europe and in other countries.

This has been so for many years. Nothing new about it ; whats possibly going to be new is the introduction of monitoring software.

6 Answers

+12 votes
Best answer

ICARUS, or International Center for Archival Research, makes the following statement on their website:

Terms of use

  1. The herewith stated terms regulate the use of all images and descriptive meta data provided on Matricula-Online with the domains resp. www, By clicking the button “Continue to Matricula” you agree to comply with our terms of use.
  2. All data may be used for private or research purposes only and in accordance with the respective legal terms of the Law of Personal Status and the Data Protection Act in each of its currently valid versions of the respective state.
  3. The reproduction, publication and circulation of provided images as mentioned in item 1. to third persons, electronically and/or analogous, requires the approval of the respective archive/institution (diocese, regional church, parish).
  4. Every user commits to inform Matricula in case digital or analogous publications are made using (even to the least extend) data or images from the Matricula website. In case of extensive use of data or images for a printed publication, an analogous and, if available, a digital sample copy must be provided. In case of online publications, the provision of the link to said publication will suffice.
    Explanation: ICARUS wishes to stay up-to-date on the latest research developments, especially when achieved with the help of archival material provided on the ICARUS platforms. Therefore, we insist on this commitment with which we intend to stay in contact with our users.
  5. We reserve the right to change or amend these terms of use at any given time.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (465k points)
selected by Jerry Dolman
+11 votes

The GRO in the United Kingdom states the following:


The material featured on this website is subject to Crown Copyright unless otherwise indicated. Where any of the Crown Copyright material on this website is being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged.

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (465k points)
The same applies to images of other documents made by an individual at a local records office. Official copies usually have a copyright statement on them. If you take photos (after paying for a licence) you agree not to publish them without explicit permission.)
There is of course no problem with transcribing the document and publishing the transcription.
Images of birth, marriage and death certificates are not copyright . However you need to be careful that no-one included on the certificate is still alive
Reproduction of Birth, Death and Marriage Certicates
PDF › re...

Probably , none of this will change in or out of Europe. These images should not be uploaded to wiki-tree.
If the EU does pass a direction on monitoring copyright violation on the internet each country has to transpose it into their national law Even if they have left the EU , the UK may adopt similar measures.
+10 votes

The Opava Archive (Czech Republic) webpage states:

Last update: 2018-06-17 23:59:13
Publishing of any textual or visual part of this database is subjected to consent of the Regional Archives in Opava. Proper referencing is required.

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (465k points)
+10 votes
The changes are in the enforcement of copyright not changing anyone's existing copyright. If you have legal copies of documents, they will still be legal.That is, copyright holders still hold their copyright.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (443k points)
+10 votes

Most French archives sites (each departement manages its own archives) have a terms of use which you must agree to before proceeding to research. The terms may vary from one departement to the other, but provided you give credit (cite the provenance of data), don't post screen captures (unless that is explicitly allowed) and do not publish information about living individuals or people born less than 100 years ago, you're fine.

These sites are free. I believe they are wary of sites that will take their data to sell it. (subscription sites).

by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (474k points)
Yes, most archives do have terms of use that may be stronger than just a copyright but  all are somewhat different. That’s what will make the rule the most complicated to implement since it also includes links to information and not just copies of the info if the terms state that.
+8 votes
I do not feel that uploading images is a good idea regardless of the laws so I do not do that. I would rather cite where the document can e found by others if they wish. /since i do not work on profiles of living people on WikiTree who could potentially live in any EU country anymore the effects of this law would not have much for me to worry about. If you are really worried then just keep a copy of your work on your personal computer and it would be very unlikely the EU would even bother with trying to charge you with a violation.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
Dale, I agree and upvoted, however I'm using a phone and initially the vote went the wrong way. I'm not sure if changing it removes the down.
I agree also. Not that it would help on the upload scanning, perhaps the Wikipedia tagging requirements could help make people be aware of the problems. This was mentioned in another post.

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