[APG Public List] copyright

P. McGregor pmcgr at allstream.net
Wed Nov 25 16:27:46 MST 2009

This is a very interesting and timely discussion since I am smack in the 
middle of arranging to have a book published on a specific topic for which 
there exist many historical postcards. I have over 500 in my own collection. 
The manuscript has been submitted and I am waiting for feedback from the 

I will have to preface my comments by saying I am in Canada, so while the 
new copyright laws have a lot of similarities there may be some differences 
between countries.

My intention, along with reproducing many of the cards, was to include some 
of the more interesting messages. No names and no addresses, just the year 
and from what place and to what place the card was sent to add some 
perspective. So, since I doubt any two postcard messages are the same and 
since I hold the original, I don't think there is any way someone else could 
claim infringement by my publishing the unique message on the back of a 

I would suggest that if the card is available on ebay and is of genealogical 
interest to someone, rather than trying to copy the image (which often has 
that annoying camera watermark in the lower right corner), just buy the card 
if it is not overly expensive.


Patty McGregor
Ottawa, Canada 

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