Using lengthy material given to you by someone who died.

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mcrosbie

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I am in a dilemma as to how much material that was given to me by another person (to use in my memoir/biography) can I use when he has subsequently died? I think that I should be able to use quite a bit of this material, (which is actually about a school trip the subject took his high school students on, along parents and a couple of other teachers) on during the summer vacation. I think if I give the author of this story about the school trip credit for the segment he gave me, I should be okay. I will not be quoting him verbatim, since his writing skills are not very good. I will have to edit it as I go over it. I will leave out some details such as the meals they ate, as it was a band trip and their experiences performing in various towns is more relevant to my story.

Any feedback you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Marilyn
 

Marlys

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I think you need to consult a copyright lawyer. Unless the person also willed you the copyright to his material, the rights to it went to his heirs even if you have physical possession of the material.
 

Maryn

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Amen to that.

Also worth noting that we cannot and do not give legal advice at AbsoluteWrite, so this thread may be locked with the recommendation that you consult an attorney. It doesn't mean you did anything so awful in asking, just that we'd be placing the site and its owners at risk were we to give answers.
 

Maryn

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Best of luck getting the answer you hope for.
 

Old Hack

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Seconding (thirding?) the advice to speak to a specialist lawyer about this, and to not rely on advice from online people. Physical ownership of documents is one thing; owning the right to use them for publication in any way is an entirely different thing. Make sure you're ok to go ahead before you do. Good luck.
 

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