A point of contention that frequently arises is a claim to copyright material. It should be remembered that facts by themselves cannot be made copyright although a biographical presentation that includes those facts can be subject to copyright law.
A rather interesting situation can occur in the matter of Letters. The writer of the letters is the copyright holder. Permission is required to publish letters written by someone else even if they were written to you. A copyright holder who is not actually the writer of the letters may never see the letters to which he or she hold the copyright. This is because the person to whom the letters were written owns the physical items. If the writer dies the heirs of the writer then become the new copyright holders and therefore may not have ever actually viewed the letters.
The owner may show the letters to whomsoever he or she wishes. The owner may decide to destroy the letters or give them away or pass them to family or give or sell them to a complete stranger or donate them to a library for posterity. The owner of the letters (unless also an heir of the estate of the writer and thus a copyright holder) cannot publish the contents of the letters without permission from the copyright holder although small portions of the letters can be legally quoted.
A reader of this rather bizarre situation will very quickly realise that if a copyright holder has never seen the letters then he or she is not in the happy position of determining whether or not the letters have ever been published, provided of course, that they have not been (a) reproduced in the actual hand of the writer or (b) attributed to the writer. Indeed the copyright holder may not even be aware that the letters exist at all!
Copyright laws vary from country to country. There are many different categories including Images, Films, Books etc.
Generally speaking if material is published on a Website the laws of the Country of the Website apply as opposed to the country of the Author if it differs.
For Information on Copyright Expiry for Individual Countries Click HERE