Sunday, July 29, 2007

How much to say?

When I first saw the initial theme (family photos) for the Aug 1 Carnival of Genealogy, I noticed nothing wrong with it. Which is strange, since I have written over the years several blog posts involving copyright issues.

For example

1) When Google was sued for copyright violations,
2) The debunking of Poor Man’s Copyright by Snopes and myself.
3) Elvis Presley entering the public domain in Europe
4) Martha Reeves’ complaint to the FTC about Ebay
5) And my own violation of copyright law regarding photographs back in 2003

So I should have spotted the issues involved, but others did.

So the theme got changed to moral/ethical and legal issues we’ve experienced involving genealogy or genea-blogging.

I haven’t been researching my genealogy or genea-blogging very long. But I can think of one issue I’ve faced. I’m putting together a family website with all of the information I’m gathering from my research. It’s password protected so only family members will be able to access it. However, in listening to a tape recording made of Relative A who passed away several years ago, he made a comment about a dispute he had with Relative B. A dispute he claimed caused him to cease speaking with Relative B.

Relative B is still alive. I’m not sure he knows why Relative A stopped speaking with him – for if he did know, I suspect it was a dispute that could easily have been worked out, as I think Relative A was unfortunately misinformed.

I’ve decided there is no good that can come of putting the information on the website. Or of telling Relative B, since the dispute can no longer be resolved, and it’s even possible Relative A exaggerated a bit on the tape when they said they had ceased speaking with Relative B. It’s possible Relative B never knew Relative A was upset, and if so, I have no desire to inform him now.

It’s on the tape. Several others have copies of the tape if they wish to listen to it. It’s not like I’m burying the information. And it’s the only family dispute of this nature that I am aware of. I knew Relative A well, and the idea he would cease speaking to anyone over anger is surprising – but as I said, if he wasn’t exaggerating, I think he was misinformed about an action Relative B took.

Obviously, I also faced an issue of how much to say in this post.

No comments: