This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The difference between claiming copyright and actually having it

Anyone can claim copyright. Right now I could copy a story by Shakespeare, post it on a web page, and write "copyright". I could put a C with a circle around it. I could include a paragraph warning people that they need written permission from me. I could threaten. But I can't actually have copyright on it.

Since posting on the web is so easy, and so common, it became routine for these copyright notices to be applied. Even libraries do it. Of course copyright only belongs to the creator of a piece, never to a library, or, well, anyone else. And once copyright expires, the work goes into public domain.

If you're afraid of posting a photo from 1908 for fear of copyright violation, it's probably better that you don't. But since that photo from 1908 is public domain, it's probably better than you don't tell someone the "facts" about copyright that you don't know.

I wish I could stop people from claiming copyright on things they don't own, but I can't. So I wrote this. I hope this helps.
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