A Copyright Tale

I’ve been thinking about the copyright status of my great grandmother’s speech. Prior to 1978, US copyright hinged upon publication with an appropriate copyright notice. Public performance alone did not constitute publication, so I suspect that these weblog posts are in fact the first “publication” of this speech. As such, the post-1978 copyright rules apply. Copyright is therefor automatic and extends for the author’s life plus 70 years. Emma passed away in 1953, so the copyright doesn’t expire until 2023. As to who actually holds the copyright, I’m not sure. Emma’s closest living heir is my father, but when I inherited the notebook, did I also inherit the rights in the contents? Who knows?