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The Muniment Room:Copyrights

From The Muniment Room, a resource for social history, family history, and local history.

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All text and images in The Muniment Room are either the copyright of The Trustees of The Willis Fleming Historical Trust, or else licensed to The Trustees of The Willis Fleming Historical Trust by the contributors.

If you contribute material to The Muniment Room, you thereby license it to The Trustees of The Willis Fleming Historical Trust, who own and maintain The Muniment Room. In order to contribute, you must be in a position to grant this license, which means that either

  • you hold the copyright to the material, for instance because you produced it yourself, or
  • the material is in the public domain or its copyright is explicitly disclaimed.

In the first case, you retain copyright to your materials, and you can later republish them in any way you like.

By licensing text to The Muniment Room, you permit it to be modified by other contributors.

Never use materials that infringe the copyrights of others; if in doubt, write it yourself. Copyright law governs the creative expression of ideas, not the ideas or information themselves, and therefore it is legal to read an encyclopedia article or other work, reformulate the concepts in your own words, and submit it to The Muniment Room. However, it would still be highly unethical to do so without citing the original as a reference.

With the exception of material in which you retain the copyright, text and images in The Muniment Room may not be redistributed.

If you use part of a copyrighted work under 'fair use', or if you obtain special permission to use a copyrighted work from the copyright holder, you must make a note of that fact (along with names and dates).

It is not necessary to obtain the permission of a copyright holder before linking to copyrighted material -- just as an author of a book does not need permission to cite someone else's work in their bibliography.

The legal basis for UK copyright is the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, and subsequent modifications and revisions. For literary and artistic works, copyright ends 70 years after the last surviving author dies, or, if unknown, 70 years after creation or publication.

Crown copyright protection in published material lasts for fifty years from the end of the year in which the material was first published. Therefore material published fifty-one years ago, and any Crown copyright material published before that date, would now be out of copyright, and may be freely reproduced.

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