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Posted by Marsha Bone on November 22, 1999 at 18:18:50:

Last spring while at an estate sale I purchased a collection of genealogy quarterly journals dating from 1955 to 1962. The wealth of genealogical information in these journals is wonderful. I would like to compile all the information in these journals into one book, index it and sell it. My delima is that I know that they were copyrighted but do not know if the copyright was renewed in it's 28th year. The copyright office says, first of all, I have to search or have a search done to see if the copyright was renewed for "each" issue! There were 4 journals per year for 8 years. The copyright office will do a search for the absurd price of $65 an hour (or any fraction there of) or I guess I could "fly" from Tennessee to Washington and search for free. All options are out of the question. I also went to the online files for the Copyright office to do a look-up for the renewals. What a joke. I couldn't understand the "umpteen dozen" codes that you had to use just to access the thing let alone find anything. Anyway, to get to my question. Since all the material contained in these journals were public record and most were contributed by others for putting in the journals (example: family bible records, census, orphan reports from old court house records) why couldn't I just use the contents of the journals and give the same credit as was given in the journal? Is that legal? I want to do the right thing here but this is all so very confusing. I hope somebody out there can give me a little guidance and answer my questions. Marsha :)


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