Documents entered on tree from Family Search libraries cannot be viewed at home.
There are at least two instances when a document entered on an ancestor cannot be viewed at home. 1. A LDS member and I share a common ancestor. When the LDS member attaches a document to that ancestor, I am unable to view that document from my home. I am instructed to visit the local family history center, which has been closed since the covid pandemic. 2. I was a regular visitor to my local family history center prior to the pandemic. When I found a document on an ancestor, and attached it to that ancestor's profile, I had great difficulty in viewing that document at home. In collaboration with other Family Search members, we found it better to take a screen shot of the document and send it to our home computer. We then were able to attach it to the "Memories" section of the ancestor. I know that proprietory entities in Poland, have rights to limit access to those records. But once a Family Search member finds a "single" document and attaches it to a common ancestor, are non-LDS members prohibited from viewing that single document?? The LDS member who shares a common ancestor with me is very willing to collaborate and we have shared common information. It just seems strange that LDS members can see my ancestor profile and documemts but I cannot see their documents.
Restrictions on access to documents can depend on whether you are at a FHC or Affiliate Library, your membership status in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and your country.
Since 2019, FamilySearch has not officially acknowledged that LDS members have greater access to some record sets than non-LDS, but it is a widely known "open secret".
Restrictions are determined by a contract between FamilySearch and the record owner/custodian. If you have some possible sway over the custodian (e.g. they are a church and you belong to that church, or they are a government archive in a country/jurisdiction where you can vote), then I suggest you contact them and ask them to start negotiations with FamilySearch for a new contract that gives non-LDS users of FamilySearch the same access as LDS members.
Restrictions are usually imposed because the records are online behind a paywall. So check websites such as Ancestry.com and FindMyPast to see if the records are there. The FamilySearch Wiki is a good place to learn where to find records.3
From comments seen on this FS Community, the documents attached to Memories, if DIRECTLY attached, have the same viewing restrictions the original digitised microfilm have according to the Catalog. So that if a LSD member who can see certain records directly attaches a record to FS Family Tree, a non LDS member may not be able to see the record. See A van Helsdingen's comments above, above greater access to records for LDS church members.
If a record is only viewable in a FamilySearch Center/ Affiliate Library and is directly attached to Family Tree, it will be not viewable outside similar Centers
As you have commented you have been able to send a screen shot of the record to your home computer. Another option may be to copy the record to a USB stick you have taken with you, or to take a paper copy, depending on what the Center allows.0
There's also the option of the FHL lookup service, especially if there are currently no FHCs or Affiliate Libraries open in your area.1
I need to clarify my earlier question. First, I have no issues with the ownership of historical document or the fees that proprietory entities may charge. They provide a valuable service for us. Second, I have no issues with LDS Church members having on line access to documents. Decades of photocopying, then digitizing historical documents through innumerable volunteers is greatly appreciated and deserving of perks. The central point of my question has to do with a single document that LDS members, or even non-LDS Church members such as myself, who find records in Family Search Centers. Once that single document is attached to a profile of a common ancestor, that single document is now in the public domain and viewable by anyone in the entire world online. The issue I have is vetting that document. For example if I use an example of my 3rd great grandfather birth certificate with a LDS film #8021344, but I cannot view that document, I can't determine if this a document correctly attached to my ancestor. I cannot vet all the names, relationships, ages, village of residence, etc. If I simply attach it to the relative unvetted, that would be a great disservice if it is incorrect. Once a document is in the public domain, it must be properly vetted. I believe that the single document attached to common ancestor needs to be viewable to protect the integrity of the documentation.0
@TWhite28, attaching a document to a profile does not magically make the document public domain.
If you acquire a scan from a book that's still in copyright, you may be allowed to use that scan as part of a source citation (under a "fair use" clause), but the book -- and the individual page from it -- will still be copyrighted.
Copyright doesn't usually apply to historical documents themselves (because they're too old), but it can apply to images or scans of them. Therefore, attaching an image from a historical document is exactly analogous to attaching a scan from a book: it may be allowed, but it does not transfer anything into the public domain.3
What @Julia Szent-Gyö says is correct. It obviously is not good from a genealogical point of view that some sources attached to people in the FSFT will be inaccessible to you from home, but that's the reality.
On subscription websites such as Ancestry.com, the records are generally available to all users from all computers. The record owners get royalties in return for this, so there's no incentive for them to make their records available only to select users as they'd lose revenue. But FamilySearch does not, as a general rule, offer royalties to record owners/custodians. The only leverage FamilySearch has over them is the good will created when FamilySearch digitizes (or in the past microfilmed) their records for free. When a record custodian expresses objections to their records being online, FamilySearch has to look for a compromise by suggesting that only some users will be able to see them. As I said earlier, this is most commonly done by making distinctions between users who are Latter Day Saints and those who are not, between users at FHCs, Affiliate Libraries and home, and between users in different countries. There are no exceptions made for records attached to the FSFT- it there were, that would be a loophole users would exploit to get around the restrictions. You'd see records attached incorrectly for the sole purpose of being able to view the record from home.0
I agree with the first sentence of your above comments that "it is not good from a genealogical point of view that some sources attached to people in (Family Tree) are inaccessible". My view is that there is an increasing likelihood that erroneous documentation will imbed itself into family trees. In the past 2 years during the pandemic, my local Family History Center was closed. During this period, I have accumulated a whole page of LDS films that were attached to my ancestors' profiles/sources. If and when my local FHC re-opens, I expect to visit the center and vet those documentations. Based on prior experience, I expect to find that most of the documentations will be supported by names, relationships, ages, village of residence, etc. However, I also expect to find some documentation to be totally wrong and should not be placed on the tree. The best time to catch and correct the error is shortly after it was entered. But now 2 years have elapsed without any vetting, and I fear that some branches of the tree are deadwood-- totally inaccurate. Prior to the pandemic, I would visit my local FHC, and examine the document. I can no longer do that.
The last sentence of your comments, "a loophole that some users would exploit", I don't necessarily agree with. Yes, there will always be people who exploit, but in comparison with the number of inaccurate documentations being place "unvetted" into family trees", the risks are greater for genealogy.
I know that Family Search is constrained by contracts, copyright laws, lawyers, royalties, finances, etc. The purpose of my comments is the hope that FS can revisit its policies on accessibiliy to records0
"The purpose of my comments is the hope that FS can revisit its policies on accessibiliy to records"
FamilySearch cannot unilaterally change anything about access to records. Any change has to be bilateral- agreed to by both them and record owner/custodian(s). The only unilateral thing they could do is to change their negotiating strategy and in future negotiations make it a "bottom line" that records which are attached to people in the FSFT MUST be accessible to all users of FamilySearch from all computers.2
General comment: yes the record images may not be distributable but I would recommend for researchers to create a transcript of the genealogical data (their conclusions about the record) and include those in the 'record notes' - such that - for the exact reasons in this thread 'the genealogical data' (i.e. names, dates, places and relations - which I believe is 'fair use' especially since Familysearch is non-commercial) may be seen by all. This might be a sufficient work-around for FSFT.0
A lecture I attended back in pre-COVID days about FamilySearch records addressed this. The lady who gave it said that each collection had its own determination of access level, and the decision was made by the collection owner, which was almost never FamilySearch but another organization or individual. That makes a lot of sense to me, because some things are unavailable in FamilySearch but available elsewhere, often in multiple locations. Books, for example, are often available online with full text viewable in other places such as Ancestry, but are locked by copyright in FamilySearch. This says to me that the donator is really the issue, not the actual copyright. If someone wants an example, here is a short list (pertaining to Virginia genealogy).
Cavaliers and pioneers : abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants. Supplement, Northern Neck Grants no. 1, 1690-1692
· FS URL, restricted access: https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/88293-cavaliers-and-pioneers-abstracts-of-virginia-land-patents-and-grants-supplement-northern-neck-grants-no-1-1690-1692?offset=1
· Ancestry URL, full text online: https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/48408/
Abstracts of Fauquier County, Virginia : wills, inventories and accounts, 1759-1800
· FS URL, restricted access: https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/140865-abstracts-of-fauquier-county-virginia-wills-inventories-and-accounts-1759-1800?offset=2
· Ancestry URL, full text online: https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/49009/0
The issue, as I see it, is that FamilySearch takes a very conservative, restrictive attitude regarding copyright.
In respect of books, there is an option which FamilySearch could follow called controlled digital lending (CDL), which the Internet Archive (archive.org) provides under its option called Books to Borrow, where you can "borrow" a book for an hour. The Internet Archive has extensive legal opinion that this is legal from a copyright point of view.
FamilySearch could introduce controlled digital lending if it wanted to, either directly or through the Internet Archive, and provide increased access for researchers but in the past has advised CDL will not available, without advising the reason.
Perhaps FamilySearch's main motivation is that it does not want to get sued.0