Copyright and Image Guideline
- Because of the complexity of Copyright Law, the Scotland Project has decided to set out clear Copyright Guidelines to follow, for genealogy research in Scotland, for all those creative members involved on WikiTree.
- This is not Legal Advice. If you are at all in doubt as to what is allowed and what is not, it is recommended you speak to the holder of the document or image, or a lawyer who specializes in international copyright law.
- Please remember that WikiTree is a private American commercial company. So commercial use laws will apply. WikiTree operates in an international environment so various laws from other countries may apply, such as those mentioned on this page that are covered by Scottish law.
- No Illegal or Infringing Content. As set out in WikiTree's Terms of Service, members of this Project will not post or transmit to the Website any material that You know or ought reasonably to have known (i) cannot be legally distributed (whether by law or regulation or in contempt of any court or other governmental authority or body); (ii) that infringes the copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights ("Intellectual Property Rights") of any third party; or (iii) that contains any content that is illegal, threatening, harassing, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or indecent.
UK Crown Copyright.
- Simply stated, "Crown Copyright" in the "United Kingdom", allows for the "free re-use" of the content of the "Government created document" in question, in any format, under "Open Government" license. There are some exceptions, including those which are under Crown "letters patent" and "Acts of Parliament". The document form "containing the information" and any logos, etc. is under Crown Copyright, therefore, any reproduction of the government document is strictly controlled. The Scotland Project recommends a transcript of the content of any item, pertaining to "Genealogy Research", involved in UK Crown Copyright. Please also include an "Acknowledgement". Again, please be advised, this only applies to "UK Crown Copyright".
- Basically, "Copyright" is an "intellectual property right" which protects the rights of the "creator" of the original intellectual property. This includes charts, images, websites and blogs. Original works "now" automatically qualify for protection upon creation.
- "Public Domain" covers any intellectual works which are out of Copyright, or never under any Copyright Law. Check that the item involved is definitely out of "Copyright" and include an "Acknowledgement".
- "Fair Use" originated in the United States and is known as "Fair Dealing" in the UK and other parts of the World. This provides for the use of Images/Documents, "which are still under Copyright Law", in a non-commercial study or research, criticism, review or reporting of current events. Permission from the Copyright Owner and an "Acknowledgement' is definitely called for.
- The "Scotland Project" follows WikiTree guidelines as far as Acknowledgements are concerned. We, therefore, recommend an attribute or acknowledgement for every "Image/Document". This, at the very least, needs to be an attribute for the Image/Document, added underneath an "Acknowledgements" header at the bottom of the WT profile involved. Wikimedia Commons Images also have a citation section for every image, which can also be copy/pasted into the Image text box during upload. Wikipedia also has a citation section for every page. The "suggested" citation for Genealogy is usually the "Chicago style".
Copyright Usage Guidelines.
- The "Scotland Project" strongly recommends that "No Images" from ScotlandsPeople be used on WikiTree. This means no uploads...only "Transcripts of the Content" of the document in question, be it census, church record, statutory register or others..i.e. as quoted at "Scotland's People", "Visitors to this website are granted permission to access this material, to download and copy such material onto electronic, magnetic, optical or similar storage media and to make printed copies of any such downloaded material, provided that such activities and copies are for non-commercial private study and research only."...therefore " content Transcripts only" are recommended. See: Scotland's People Copyright.
National Archives of Scotland.
- "webarchive.nrscotland.gov.uk" is now the National Records of Scotland website. It was merged with the General Register Office in 2011. It all falls under Crown Copyright rules.
- "undiscoveredscotland.co.uk" falls under Copyright Law.
National Records of Scotland.
- "nrscotland.gov.uk" is covered by Crown Copyright unless otherwise indicated. You are "free to use and re-use the content of the document" under Open Government License. Enquiries to the communications department are advised.
Registers of Scotland.
- "ros.gov.uk" falls under Crown Copyright Law as well. "Content only Transcripts" are advised.
- "scotlandsplaces.gov.uk" also falls under Crown Copyright Law. And again, Crown Copyright "only" allows the free usage of "document content".
The Scottish Register of Tartans
- The Scottish Register of Tartans allows for use of images in a restricted manner under Fair Dealings. This provides for the use of Images/Documents, "which are still under Copyright Law", in a non-commercial study or research, criticism, review or reporting of current events. Permission from the Copyright Owner and an "Acknowledgement' is definitely called for.
- Electric Scotland is a comprehensive site containing the history and culture of Scotland and Scots abroad, and also has a Scots Diaspora section. Please follow it's Terms of Service regarding Copyright.
Scottish Archive Network.
- "scan.org.uk" or the Scottish Archive Network, started in 1999, is a combined effort to digitise historical records. This facility is developing all the time and will build into a major research resource for all types of archive users. It is maintained by the "National Archives of Scotland", so we believe that all documents will fall under Crown Copyright.
British History Online.
- british-history.ac.uk is a not for profit Digital Library with a range of premium subscription publications available with permission from the staff. The usual "Copyright" rules apply for each individual item, and "citation and acknowledgement" are asked for, by the site.
- With regards to usage of "familysearch.org" Images, The Scotland Project recommends that... "Unless you are the creator of the item/original document/image/source, please do not upload any images from "Family Search". Please use "inline citations" with links to the original source, i.e. Birth, Marriage, Death, Census, et. al. involved, and also adding a Transcript of the content of any census, will, etc. The FS website facilitates this citation link with a ready made citation to the left side of the document search. It is then a simple matter to copy/paste the transcript of the census, etc, to the profile bio. Links to FS trees do not constitute a reliable primary source and therefore are not recommended for use by the Scotland Project.
- "findmypast.com" is a behind a pay per view wall, therefore any links will not be able to be viewed by anybody without a subscription. The Scotland Project therefore recommends transcribing the document content by hand or copy/paste. See: Intellectual Property Rights.
- "ancestry.com" is another behind a paywall site and again, any links will not be viewable to anybody without a subscription. Again, the Scotland Project advises "Transcribing the document content" for your use on WT.
- "geni.com" was acquired by MyHeritage in 2012 and again, is another site that is partially behind a paywall site. You can register for a free account, but images may be under copyright if not personally uploaded by the user.
- "myheritage.com" is a behind a paywall site and links are not viewable by anybody without a subscription.And, again, Images may be under copyright if not personally uploaded by the user.
- "billiongraves.com" is an incorporated company who invites submissions and transcribing to it's site. All content is subject to Copyright use allowances for Images and content made by user submission. It is recommended to ask for permission to use any Headstone Images.
- "findagrave.com" is another virtual Cemetery site who also invites submissions from members who look after memorials. Like BillionGraves, all content is subject to Copyright use allowances for Images and content made by user submission. Again, the "Scotland Project" recommends gaining permission to use any Headstone Images, from the owner of the Image.
- "genealogybank.com" is another behind a paywall site. Again, transcription is recommended as links are not free to see.
British Newspaper Archive.
- "britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk" is also a pay site. Their content can also be viewed under a Findmypast subscription.
- "trove.nla.gov.au" is an "Australian" content archive of mostly old newspapers. It falls under an "Australian Creative Commons Copyright License" envelope unless otherwise stated on the article. Please note: This site is Australian and as such, copyright laws slightly differ.
- The "hathitrust.org" Digital Library has a combination of Public Domain, Open Use and Copyright works in its collection of publications. Please follow the guidelines on their site for each publication, including attribution.
- "gutenberg.org" falls under Free Use policy. All their eBooks are free to use, read and download. They do ask for donations.
- "en.wikipedia.org" policy is basically to "create and promote content which is free of encumbrances of Copyright where ever possible". Therefore, although most Wikipedia content is copyright free, "not all" of it is. Therefore, the "whole Wikipedia page" should be read in whole. They advise that users comply with "each" individual Image's usage license.
- Due to the complexity of Copyright on Images from other people, it is advised to only use "Recent Images" which you have taken yourself.
- Vintage "Public Domain Images" taken or made by other persons before 1923 are also in the safe to use zone.
- Please see: US Copyright for specific information related to the United States.
- From 1923-1968, any works registered but not renewed, are in the Public Domain.
- All public works without copyrights notice from 1923-1977 are free to use.
- From 1978-1989, all published work without copyright notice and subsequent registration within 5 years are also in the Public Domain.
- Any works created during the 1970's "with copyright by the creator" are "Under Copyright" for the lifetime of the creator, plus 70 years.
See: Photos FAQ
- "pixabay.com" has many royalty free Images. Hotlinks are not allowed. Content may be protected by trademarks, publicity or privacy rights. Pixabay has now moved their policy to an Unsplash policy. This now constitutes a grey area as far as Copyright goes. See: Pixabay Terms. So, the Scotland Project recommends, to avoid using photos with people, private properties, logos or trademarks.
- "commons.wikimedia.org" has a large collection of freely usable Images. However, not all are free to use. Some need the permission of the owner. The Scotland Project recommends a full citation in the Image text box and/or an acknowledgement placed at the bottom of the profile involved.
Ross & Cromarty Roots
- Ross & Cromarty Roots has a collection of Gravestone Images mostly contributed by the the public. There is a cutoff period of the 31st of December 1979 for submitted photographs, unless family wish it displayed. It is a free to view site which asks for an attribution to be placed with every Image or copied information from the site.
- Please Note: This list is not yet complete and advise that people should "always" err on the side of caution, as regards Copyright Law and Genealogy Research, in particular, the various Copyright Law differences in our different World countries.
Further Reading and References Links.
- Wikitree, by Wikipedia
- Wikipedia, by Wikipedia
- UK Copyright, by Wikipedia
- Creative Commons, by Wikipedia
- Copyleft by Wikipedia
- Copyright Attribution or Acknowledgement by Wikipedia
- Commercial Law by Wikipedia
- Ten things you may not know about Wikipedia Images, by Wikipedia
- Wikipedia Image Use Policy
- Wikipedia Public Domain Images
- Wikipedia Image use copyright
- Wikipedia Copyrights
- Wikipedia Readers FAQ'S
- Wikipedia Non-free Content
- Wikipedia Media usage questions
- National Archives Document Reproduction Management Guidelines. pdf.
- Crown Copyright Reuse
- Crown Copyright Flowchart.pdf.
- Non-Crown Copyright Flowchart.pdf.
- National Archives guide to Copyright.pdf.
- Scottish Government Crown Copyright
- NRS Copyright and Disclaimer
- UK Copyright Law
- Scotland National Galleries Copyright
- Thomson Reuters UK, Practical Law Copyright step by step
- Smartcopying, au edu, Australian School information site
- Edinburgh Napier University thesis, Copyright in Scotland pdf
- UK National Archives Copyright pdf
- Stanford University Library, Copyright & Fairuse
- UnSplash License
- Family History Leaves, Copyright Blog
- apgen.org, Assoc. of Pro Genealogists copyright links
- copyright.gov, US copyright links
This has received Project Leadership approval. Crawford-15512 22:04, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
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