Original Versus Derivative

Sources are said to be original or derivative.

The original source is, generally speaking, the original document in its original form. My birth certificate, on file in the county office in the county where I was born is my original birth certificate. The little card my parents were given with my date and place of birth and certificate number–that is derivative because it was created from the original. The photocopy of the certificate that I had made years ago–that’s derivative because it is a copy of the original certificate. That “certification of live birth” I got a few years back because I needed it ( and that is a typed transcription of my name, date and place of birth, and names and places of birth for my parents) is also a derivative copy–because it was created from information obtained from the original. These copies are all official legal documents and have the raised seal.

But they are derivative because the original was used as the source of the information–either via a transcription or a photocopy.

Calling them derivative does not mean that they are invalid or fraudulent. It just means they were are not the original birth certificate on file in the court house.

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