I know that when you click on a record, there's an option to download the current record. But is there a way to bulk download images/records from Familysearch?
@Devon Joseph You've gotten good answers from several of our community members. To make it "Official", here is our help center article about downloading records:
Note that it states that you must download images one at a time. If you download image after image after image, you will eventually hit the limit for downloading and will get an error message. Our records are intended for individuals to use as they document the lives of their ancestors. They are not meant to be downloaded in bulk. Another help center article that might be useful:
@Devon Joseph, there would likely be some restrictions on that type of download placed by the various collection holders
There were some hackers who developed programs to do just that. Over the years, FamilySearch has had to develop counter-measures to prevent abuse of the system. As @Chas Howell mentions, it would be a violation of the contracts with the record holders.
I know from experience that if you download too many images in a given time period, you lose the ability to download for about 10-15 minutes.
Thank you for all your responses. @Chas Howell and @Áine Ní Donnghaile mentioned "record holders". I thought FamilySearch owns these records. Now the records I'm thinking about are Sri Lankan birth, death and marriage certificates. Who owns the rights to the microfiche copies of those records?
Am I right in thinking that FamilySearch have the rights to the records. And the download restrictions are to stop people from downloading the records and publishing them elsewhere without the permission of FamilySearch?
In general, the creator of the record is still the record holder. For example, the Roman Catholic Church - possibly the specific diocese or archdiocese - is the record holder for baptismal and marriage and other RC Church records. The City of New York is the record holder for vital records for the 5 boroughs.
Those entities gave FamilySearch and its predecessors permission to microfilm and (now) take digital photographs of the records.
Hope that helps.
@Devon Joseph, no, FS is not the owner of the records. They negotiate with the owners or record custodians to create microfilm and/or digital copies of the records. The ownership of those copies is complicated: the owner or custodian of the originals retains the right to control access to them in any form, including film or digital copies. So in a sense, FS doesn't own full rights to any of its holdings.