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Copyrights should expire and the works pass into the public domain, and in the public domain. Press Release October 23, 2007 Washington, DC Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Wayne Metcalfe, vice president of the Genealogical Society of Utah, today announced a five-year partnership agreement to digitize case files of approved pension applications of widows of Civil War Union soldiers from the National Archives.If clause 3.3 survived into the final agreement, then it's a grand irony that Evans, who may be NARA's chief proponent for keeping public domain documents in the public domain, is leaving NARA to work for the Family and Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Evans, let me digress onto another subject that I hope to write about. GSU has many years of experience microfilming historical records at the National Archives and throughout the world and in recent years has moved to providing digital capture and publishing services.
I find it highly troubling that Family Search claims copyright in digitized images of public domain documents and if this clause made it into the final agreement, by signing the agreement NARA implicitly acknowledges that doctrine. created by us, or by third parties as work for hire, or where the copyright has been assigned to us." I hope that since the policy doesn't explicitly make claim to copyright in digitized public domain documents, that that is a reflection of the corporation's policy on the issue.The widows’ pension application files, a rich source of information about ordinary American citizens of the time, include supporting documents such as affidavits, depositions of witnesses, marriage certificates, birth records, death certificates, and pages from family bibles.“For a number of years we have had a very productive relationship with Family Search,” said Professor Allen Weinstein.While I don't know that Ancestry has such an agreement in place, I know that they've published between 150 and 200 NARA record collections and are working on more.However, when I read the draft agreement, clause 3.3 gave me heartburn.