Intellectual Property Forums (
Other >> Copyright Forum >> Copyright on newspaper obituaries
(Message started by: kneller on May 22nd, 2006, 1:23pm)

Title: Copyright on newspaper obituaries
Post by kneller on May 22nd, 2006, 1:23pm
If I wanted to reprint old newspaper obituaries from the 1920's and 1930's what am I up against?  Is the author the family that wrote and paid to put the obituaries in the newspaper or the newspaper itself.  How long does copyright last on newspapers with the author unknown?  If the information presented in the transcription are just the facts in the origianl obituary, is that an infringement?  I don't see how the name, date of death and family names listed would be an infringement.

Title: Re: Copyright on newspaper obituaries
Post by JSonnabend on May 22nd, 2006, 2:53pm
Obits published before 1923 (if I've done my math right) are in the public domain.  Those published after are in the public domain only if their registrations were not renewed (or they did not bear proper copyright notice).  Chances are good, I would imagine, that most obit registrations are not routinely renewed.

The facts published, e.g., name, date of death, cause of death, etc., are not protectible under copyright and you are free to republish them.

- Jeff

Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board