5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2020 12:47 PM by Rebecca Collier

    Is Fold3.com a U.S. Government run website?

    Alice Lane Tracker

      If it is not a government website, how would a private entity obtain all of those military records? Shouldn't they be in the public domain? Thank you for your help

        • Re: Is Fold3.com a U.S. Government run website?
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Ms. Lane,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          NARA’s digitization partners, Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and FamilySearch.org, have digitized selected NARA microfilm publications and original records and made them available on their web sites. The list on NARA’s Microfilm Publications and Original Records Digitized by Our Digitization Partners web page includes all microfilm publications and original records that have been either partially or wholly digitized by the partners. The list will be updated when additional materials are digitized.

           

          Please note that FamilySearch.org is a free site. Ancestry and Fold3 are both subscription services that allow free searches of some or all index terms for each title. Free access to Ancestry.com and Fold3.com is available in all Research Rooms at the National Archives, including those in NARA’s regional archives and Presidential libraries. Agreements with our partners are such that there will eventually be free access online to all these digitized records using the National Archives Catalog. As microfilm publications become available in the National Archives Catalog, a link is added in the Publication Title column.

           

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

           

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Is Fold3.com a U.S. Government run website?
              Alice Lane Tracker

              I found this in a post by LIsha Penn in July of 2019. Doesn't the following apply to Fold3. I am confused about what is public domain and copyright laws. The following states "private study, scholarship, or research" not personal gain as is the case with Fold3.

               

              The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of

              photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in

              the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

                • Re: Is Fold3.com a U.S. Government run website?
                  Rebecca Collier Ranger

                  Dear Ms. Lane,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                   

                  NARA partners with organizations like Fold 3, Ancestry, Family Search and others to increase access to our archival holdings. Typically, a partner digitizes material from NARA's holdings, and retains a digital copy of those records. The partner may integrate that copy into a subscription service and provide enhanced features through their online platform, such as full text searching and indexing. The partner may charge subscribers for this service. NARA also receives a digital copy of the records from the partner, which NARA can release to the public subject to an embargo period.

                   

                  Even when digitized by a partner, works of the U.S. government are not eligible for copyright protection and are in the public domain.

                   

                  NARA partnership agreements are available at https://www.archives.gov/digitization/partnerships. Each agreement contains more information regarding the embargo period and intellectual property rights.

                   

                  We hope this is helpful.

                   

                  2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Is Fold3.com a U.S. Government run website?
                      Alice Lane Tracker

                      Sorry to keep asking about this but I am having trouble understanding fair use.  I was a bookseller for a while and came upon books that were reprinted by other than the author's printer of the time because the copyright had lapsed, thus, a new printer of the books bought the copyright and their new copyright is protected.

                       

                      So, did the United States government own a copyright on the military rosters that Fold3 is selling subscriptions for and did the United States government let that copyright lapse thus allowing Fold3 to purchase the copyright and become the owner.

                        • Re: Is Fold3.com a U.S. Government run website?
                          Rebecca Collier Ranger

                          Dear Ms. Lane,

                           

                          Thank you for posting your 2nd follow-up request on History Hub!

                           

                          As mentioned in our previous reply, records/works of the U.S. government are NOT eligible for copyright protection and thus, are in the public domain. Organizations such as Fold3 are charging for the additional features and services they provide.  They do not hold the copyright to government records.

                           

                          This is similar to how companies such as Westlaw, LexisNexis and others operate with regard to federal statutes and court decisions. Those documents are also in the public domain as U.S. government records/works. But the companies sell subscriptions that allow for enhanced research capabilities, such as indexing, searching and associating like documents together.

                           

                          We hope this information is helpful.

                           

                          2 people found this helpful