Why did Family Search allow Find My Past to keep most of the records
I have been trying to research my ancestors and in the past I have used Family Search to see the original documents but now I have to pay Find My Past a subscription to look at them.
I think this is a horrible idea to pay for research that should be free.
Will the decision ever be reversed?
@NormaPrice2 FamilySearch works with several commercial family history websites, including findmypast.com. Each organization has obtained rights to certain historical records from the record custodians. They sometimes choose to share portions of their record collections with FamilySearch. Often that sharing only involves the indexes to their records. As commercial entities, these websites have a right to make a profit from the work they do in digitizing and indexing historical records. So, we are grateful for whatever portion of their record collections they make freely available to the public through FamilySearch.3
And the contract may change over time. There are records that are only available on one of the commercial sites for a period of time - often 3 years - and then those records are more widely available on other sites, including FamilySearch.0
Remember that ultimately these records have record custodians, and that for many records these custodians are government officials/archives or the business that owns the physical records.
Either FamilySearch or FindMyPast must have originally acquired the rights to the original records through a contract with the record custodians, and then they made a contract with the other that allows the records to be behind a paywall. The second contract would be authorized by or at the very least not blocked by the first contract with the record custodian. Sometimes what happens is that the original records remain property of the custodian, but the scans of the records are owned by whoever digitized them, and thus they can be sold, leased and used for profit without the consent of the custodian.0