Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Add Copyright Notice To Citation

I received the following comment from Craig Manson, at GeneaBlogie, to my recent post on the proper citation for the song lyrics from "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys. As you may or may not know, Craig is a law professor and knows his way around a good citation.


I always recommend that the standard citation forms be supplemented with a copyright notice when large portions of copyrighted material are used. I think including the copyright notice shows that the user respects the copyright and actually may bolster the case for “fair use.” The copyright info, of course, should be in the source material. But if it's not there, then copyrights registered or renewed after 1978 can be found easily at the U.S. Copyright Office's search site.

For Good Vibrations, the copyright information is:
Copyright ©1966 & 1978, Brian Wilson and Mike Love

As to these online lyrics sites, some are better than others. Some are wildly inaccurate! So it's particularly important, as you say, to include the Web address so others can find it.

Thanks for your focus on citation issues! It's a real service to our community.

Craig Manson

This is a brilliant suggestion. With the addition of the copyright notice, the citation for the lyrics would be written:

Wilson, Brian, and Mike Love. “Good Vibrations.” Lyrics. Good Vibrations, Single. Brian Wilson, 1966. Copyright ©1966 & 1978, Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Lyrics Freak (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/beach+boys/
good+vibrations_20013757.html : accessed 18 October 2007).

While the addition of a copyright notice to a citation is not a silver bullet if you are in fact infringing on someone's copyright, as Craig points out, it actually may bolster the case for “fair use” when your use is in fact fair.
Thank you Craig, for adding this important advice to our discussion on citations.


Blogger Terry Thornton said...

Thanks Maven and Craig, I agree that the copyright notice helps tremendously. In a source citation I'm using later this week on HC, I'm following Craig's advice to place the copyright notice within the citation. And following Craig's current series on his excellent blog, GeneaBlogie, about defamation and invasion of privacy, I requested and got permission from living heirs of the two individuals pictured at Hill Country yesterday. I think the blogging community owes both the footnoteMaven and the GeneaBlogie a huge THANKS for helping us improve how we are blogging!
Terry Thornton
Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi

October 23, 2007 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

We do what we can. And may I say, you really have it together.


October 25, 2007 at 5:23 PM  

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