Rights Field

The rights field will indicate the status of the document as pertains to publication.

Researching copyright status is going to be done as a separate step, so for initial processing, we only need to determine whether the document is in Public Domain, or whether a rightsholder needs to be identified.


Determining Public Domain

If it is an unpublished document, and the author of the documents died more than 70 years ago (before 1950), the document is in the public domain.

Enter "Public Domain" in the Rights field of the person, which will make it easier for people doing copyright research to apply that to all the documents authored by them.

This means that all letters and unpublished writings by Jane Addams are in the public domain.

For other authors, check our biographical identifications, or do a Google search for a death date.

If it is a published document, and it was written before 1923, it is in the public domain.

For a quick summary of copyright law, see the Digital Copyright Slider.

Enter: "Public domain" in the Rights field for those that qualify.

If the Document is still in copyright

We will conduct research to determine the rightsholder and then request permission to publish the document. In some cases, this research may already have been completed, so you will want to check the biographical identification for the individual.

Enter: "Rightsholder being researched" for those that have not been cleared.

Once copyright research has been completed, other possible entries are:

  • Copyright permission secured
  • Good faith effort was made; if you have information, please contact JAPP.

If you are updating the rights for an individual after researching the copyright, be certain to change all entries made by that person.

People and Organizations

Enter the actual rightsholders name and contact information in the Rightsholder field.

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