19 June 2012

Scanning Books in the Family History Library: Not Everyone is Happy [per Dick Eastman]

In a discussion with a colleague a couple of weeks ago, I learned about the effort underway by the Family History Library to scan its books to put them in digital format. This includes the books held by the various local FamilySearch Centers.

Dick Eastman has put online a detailed post, in response to a reader query, about this topic with regards to the benefits of digital access to these books.  The articles starts out with:

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.

I received an email message from a newsletter reader expressing dismay with the procedure being used to digitize books at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I answered the message and then decided to share my answers here with others in case anyone else has similar concerns.

I suspect this person is not happy with my reply.

Read the full article.

Do also read the many comments that have been posted?

Please do post your thoughts on the NGS FB page or as a comment to this post.

Editors Note: I was personally interested in the copyright issues with regard to this and so asked some colleagues (including and not limited to Craig Scott, Heritage Books, and Judy G Russell, The Legal Genealogist) who shared their thoughts and who also talked to those at FamilySearch and learned the following [caveat – any errors are mine]:

·    Any book published before 1923 is in the public domain.
·    Any book published in the United States between 1923 and the end of 1977 that does not contain a copyright notice is in the public domain.
·    Copyright protection for books published between 1978 and 1989 follows complex rules. Some books published during these years will be in the public domain; others will be copyright-protected for 70 years after the death of the author; other works of corporate authorship will be copyright-protected for the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 yers from creation.
·    Any book published in the United States after 1 March 1989 is copyright-protected for 70 years after the death of the author or, if a work of corporate authorship, for the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation.
·    If a book is found to be digitized that is under copyright, once notified, FamilySearch would pull the title from public access.

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