Putting ‘The Rattle Families’ on the Internet

‘The Rattle Families’ is an historic work of great importance to researchers of the Rattle family. When published in 1968, Thomas generously gave a large number of copies of his book to various institutions including the Society of Genealogists, in order that future generations would freely benefit from his labours. The inclusion of his work on the Reffell Family History website continues that tradition whilst considerably widening it to the potential global audience.

After 55 years it seems that his work is in danger to being forgotten, unless someone may stubble across a copy in a library or those fortunate few who retain an original copy in private hands. As is stated in the page about Thomas, there were no descendants from either of his two marriages. Contact has been made with the estate of the Rattle family in Canada, and it has been ascertained that there is no objection to Thomas’s work being published on this website which is owned and run by a cousin. Many thanks are given to those kind people there.

Canadian copyright law* states “The general rule is that copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 years following the end of the calendar year. Therefore, protection will expire on December 31st of the 50th year. After that, the work becomes part of the public domain and anyone can use it.” Therefore actual or implied copyright of ‘The Rattle Families’ will expire on 31 December 2023.

*Source Canadian Intellectual Property Office