January 25, 2015

Elmer J. Coffey (1883-1929)

Strange things happen when dealing with people about family history.

Some months ago I found a Find A Grave entry for a distant cousin, Elmer J. Coffey, FAG memorial no. 39352431, which included a copy of Elmer's death certificate with a watermark reading "DO NOT COPY."

First time I've ever seen anything like that.  Surely, there are some photos clearly marked with a copyright but they are few and far between.

So, being the "nice guy" that I am, I posted a "Flower" containing a link to the FamilySearch.org site where anyone wanting a copy could find his death certificate without the watermark.

Today, I received a note from the fellow who "owns" the memorial.

It read:
I really, really detest those icons that can be added to Find A Grave memorials. I'd like it very much if you would remove the one you added to my grandfather's memorial. If someone needs a free and unaltered copy of his death certificate they can put forth the effort and search for one like I did.
Well, that part about putting forth the effort to find one like he did really ticked me off.  I have always thought that my hobby was a share-and-share-alike activity.  Besides, I felt like he was trying to copyright a public document, freely available online!

Finally, after a few back-and-forth's that were getting no where fast, I decided to delete it to pamper the old fellow.  At the same time, he decided that I must be partly correct because when I went to delete my "Flower," he had deleted the watermarked death certificate.

So, To read more about Elmer J. Coffey and his family, as well as view an unaltered death certificate for him, see my blog of Jan. 6, 2011 and updated Jan. 25, 2015.

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