How do I get permission to share images of historical record or documents online?
yeh that verbiage is very misleading.
most historical documents created before 1923 - are in the PUBLIC DOMAIN to begin with.
can you point to one specific document that you are alluding to - so we can see if you are looking at an item in FS Memories or items in FS historical Records or elsewhere.
Thanks for the quick reply, the image I wanted to share is https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSM1-LHHP-6. It's a 1904 declaration of intent from the Massachusetts State Archives so it is in the public domain. My question was about licensing agreements. For example - GenealogyBank prohibits posting of all digital images and transcriptions (only extractions are allowed) while Newspapers.com allows posting a small amount of public domain images.0
I really do not see a problem with you doing anything you want with the image
1) - note they let you download a copy - so if they let you download a copy - I dnt think they really care what you do with it. (if there was some legal contract limiting its use they would not have allowed the download.)
2) if the item is created by the US Government, US government documents do not retain copy right and are considered to be in the public domain from the get go (this includes for example US Census records).
I now see its not a US documents but a state document.
Many states (but not all ) also consider their documents in the public domain.
3) most all documents created before 1923 - even if they once had a copyright - now have their copy right expired and are also in the public domain.
4) Even if a document was under copyright - I am pretty sure in most cases one could argue "incidental/educational use" for making a copy of a single page of a large collection of items.
BUT even newspapers.com really seems to have no intent of pursuing people who post something like an obituary etc. I do believe that FamilySearch has already formally contacted Newspapers.com and newspapers.com said they had no problem with people uploading copies of the items to FS.
I believe this is mainly because Newspapers.com in most cases doesn't even have the copyright and they would probably lose a court case if it came into question, (when we are talking about individual items like you are alluding to.
All the above being said . . . personally i feel in most cases genealogist are within their bounds to do what you allude to.
BUT I AM NOT A LAWYER and THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE by any definition.
and that is one reason that getting any straight counsel on things like what you ask about is very difficult .
No one wants to say anything that might put them in legal jeopardy!!
So even FamilySearch - with their good intentions - often comes up with some very vague and confusing statements on what can be done with what . . . so i t can be frustrating at times in knowing if you are within your legal bounds.
anything I share here is personal opinion and not FS Policy.0
On a side note - I asked this same sort of question to Ancestry.com
and they basically came back and said - "if we let you download something" then we don't really care what you do with it . . ." - (including reposting it on FamilySearch,.org)
(assuming you aren't talking about items that people clearly DO have copy right on - which could include items in FS memories (or similar items in Ancestry) where the item was created since 1923 and the person who uploaded it was indeed the copyright holder (which is rare by the way))
( a current scan for example of a 1900 photo - does not give the person scanning it a copyright on the scan as one of just various examples) nor does scanning anything give the person scanning a copyright - there was NO creative originality in the scan. copyright assumes originality,0
It is always better to be safe that to have item you wish to share restricted and removed from FamilySearch. Bless you with your continued desire to share information you find about your ancestors.0
that link is for LDS church trademarks and for church copyrights and items CREATED by FamilySearch.
I am of the opinion in most cases it wont even apply . . . the LDS church nor even Familysearch are NOT the copyright owners of the items in question.
again . . . if Familysearch lets you download something in the first place that they have provided as part of their digitization work - and there is no clear reason/notice to believe someone has copyright - then I don't see any reason we shouldn't be able to do what we wish with the item - - especially when so many items fall under public domain policy. <my personal opinion and not official policy>
Note that even if FamilySearch was the entity who digitized an item - that does NOT give them copyright.
It is the person/entity who originally created the document that has copyright. and if that was before 1923 the copy right has expired. and if it was the US government, their items are already in the public domain (even after 1923).0
You have shared some great points, but it is still my suggestion and opinion that if you have questions, our legal offices are the best way to feel "secure" in what you do. If they can confirm that something you have found at our website is indeed considered part of the "public domain", it does not hurt to receive that confirmation. Sharing it then at FamilySearch will not come back to haunt you, especially if you enter the reason for your upload and that you have confirmed that the item is found in the "public domain". I hope that my reasoning makes sense.
If they indicate that they can't confirm what your actions should be, rather than assume, it is always best not to publish anything that you feel you may not have authority to share. In addition, I am sure they can provide you with access to authorities who may be able to help you with your decision.
As a side note, what is true at Ancestry.com regarding policy should not be assumed as fact for other websites including FamilySearch.org.
Thanks, as always, for sharing your point of view.0
It is still my suggestion, however, that contacting our Intellectual Rights department may be helpful. Their purpose may be to answer questions about materials created by FamilySearch, but it cannot hurt to get an opinion from them regarding items you find here that you wish to publish elsewhere. They can certainly confirm whether or not a document you wish to publish elsewhere is under "Public Domain".
lets see what they say . . .
Im just pointing out I think it is outside of their domain - - FamilySearch doesn't have the copyright on the items in question.
and anything created in 1904 - even if it had copyight - is now in the public domain.0
also the word "content" in that post above I believe is being totally misunderstood
The content they are referring to is anything that THEY have created (anything that they have legal ownership of) - which does NOT include the vast majority (if not all) of the historical images in FamilySearch to begin with,
But feel free to ask them . . .
My experience is that they are not vey helpful for anything that was NOT created by them. (because that is all that they have legal room to talk about - that which they have created)0
Yes contract law is different than copyright law
I am also a FAN of the Legal Genealogist :-)
and as stated previously government documents are in the public domain anyway - including the State of Massachusetts
(often because they have financial income to protect - and not because the law is on their side)
Its a very merky and unclear subject for the novice and even the expert - because of so many claims that are unfounded as well as so many different scenarios that could apply.1