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715.3 Application Tips for Genealogies

 

715.3 Application Tips for Genealogies

 

Submitting an online application is the preferred way to register a genealogy. When completing the application, the applicant should provide the name of the author who created the genealogy on the Author screen. In the field marked Author Created, the applicant should check one or more of the boxes that accurately describe the material that the author created.

 

Examples:

 

• The applicant should check the box marked “text” if the author wrote the captions, footnotes, comments, biographies, or other textual expression that appears in the genealogy.

 

• If the author created any of the artwork or took any of the photographs that appear in the genealogy, the applicant should check the boxes marked “artwork” or “photograph(s),” as applicable.

 

• If the author selected, coordinated, and/or arranged the names, dates, records, photographs, or other material that appears in the genealogy, the applicant should provide a brief statement to that effect in the field marked Other. For example, the Literary Division will accept a brief statement, such as: “selection, coordination, and arrangement of family photographs, newspaper clippings, census records, and other source material,” “selection and arrangement of information obtained from family records, court records, church records, and gravestones,” “selection of family photos, coordination of family names and relationships, and arrangement of facts and historical information,” or the like.

 

For additional guidance on completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 618.4.

 

The applicant should provide the exact same information on the Limitation of Claim screen in the field marked New Material Included. In other words, if the applicant checked the box for “text” in the Author Created field, the applicant also should check the box for “text” on the Limitation of Claim screen in the New Material Included field. If the applicant stated “selection and arrangement of church records” on the Author Created screen in the field marked Other, the applicant should state “selection and arrangement of church records” on the Limitation of Claim screen in the field marked Other. For additional guidance on completing these portions of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 621.8.

 

A registration for a genealogy does not cover any of the factual information that may be included in the work. Nor does it cover material that is in the public domain, material that has been previously published, material that has been previously registered, or material that is owned by another person or legal entity. If the genealogy contains this type of material the applicant should exclude it from the application by checking the appropriate boxes that appear on the Limitation of Claim screen in the field marked Material Excluded.

 

Examples:

 

• The applicant should check the box marked “text” if the genealogy contains an appreciable amount of text that is in the public domain, text that has been previously published, text that has been previously registered, or text owned by a third party.

 

• The applicant should check the box marked “photograph(s),” if the genealogy contains an appreciable number of photos that are in the public domain, photos that have been previously published, photos that have been previously registered, or photos owned by a third party.

 

• The applicant should check the box marked “artwork” if the genealogy contains an appreciable amount of artwork that is in the public domain, artwork that has been previously published, artwork that has been previously registered, or artwork owned by a third party.

 

If the genealogy contains an appreciable amount of material that has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, the applicant should provide the registration number and the year that the registration was issued in the field marked Previous Registration. For additional guidance on completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 621.8 (F).

 

If the genealogy appears to contain an appreciable amount of public domain material, previously published material, previously registered material, or material that is owned by another party, and if the applicant failed to exclude that material from the claim, the registration specialist may add an annotation to the registration record, such as “Regarding authorship information and limitation of claim: Registration does not extend to previously registered, previously published, public domain, or separately owned material, or to facts.”

 

If it is unclear whether the author contributed text, artwork, photographs, or compilation authorship to the genealogy, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant. If the genealogy does not contain a sufficient amount of original authorship to warrant registration, the specialist may refuse to register the claim.

 

Examples:

 

• Jane Springer created a genealogy titled The Springers of Springfield, Massachusetts. She gathered information from local courthouses, churches, cemeteries, and other sources; she assembled this information into a book; and wrote a brief introduction for the work. Jane may register the introduction by checking the box for “text” in the Author Created and New Material Included fields. She may register the compilation of information by stating “selection and arrangement of family records” on the Author Created and Limitation of Claim screens in the fields marked Other.

 

• Jennifer Smith submits an application to register a genealogy titled The Smith Family of Hamilton County, Virginia. Jennifer wrote the introduction for this work, the captions for each photograph, and a short biography for each member of the family. The genealogy also contains text and photographs created by other family members. On the Author Created screen Jennifer checks the boxes for “text” and states “selection, coordination, and arrangement of family records” in the field marked Other. Jennifer should have provided this exact same information on the Limitation of Claim screen in the New Material Included field. In addition, she should have checked the boxes for “text” and “photograph(s)” in the Material Excluded field because the genealogy contains text or photos created and owned by other parties. The registration specialist will register the claim with an annotation, such as: “Regarding authorship information: Registration does not extend to previously registered, previously published, public domain, or separately owned material, or to facts.”

 

• Thomas Henry submits an application to register a genealogy titled The Henrys in Spokane County. On the Author Created screen he checks the box for “text” and states “compilation of public records” in the field marked Other. In the Note to Copyright Office field, Thomas explains that he wrote the introduction for this work and he prepared a list of all the members of the Henry family who were born in Spokane County. The names are listed in chronological order based on the individual’s date of birth. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant. Although the introduction may be registered as “text,” the Office cannot register the claim in “compilation,” because preparing a list of all of the family members from a particular county and organizing the names in chronological order does not contain a sufficient amount of compilation authorship to warrant registration.