Family Search images

+14 votes

I see that quite a number of people adds Family Search images to Wikitree. From my understanding of Family Search's use policy one is not permitted to use their images on other sites. Does Wikitree have any agreement about that with Family Search. In other words what policy should one follow with regards to Family Search images and Wikitree?

Currently I only reference the Family Search image as a source and refrain from adding the image itself to Wikitree.


Danie Malan
in Policy and Style by Daniël Gerhardus Malan G2G Crew (580 points)
retagged by Darlene Athey-Hill
Rather than soliciting opinions, why not contact FamilySearch for clarification of their policy?

I added tags for images and Family_Search to bring this to the attention of more members.  I believe that Family Search is OK with allowing Wikitree to post images, but adding the link certainly is just as useful and would save on storage space!  wink

2 Answers

+17 votes

I fear you are right, Daniël. According to the FamilySearch Terms of Use, Licenses and Restrictions paragraph 3:

You may not post content from this site on another website or on a computer network without our permission.

It seems better to give a citation of the FamilySearch record (easily done by copying and pasting what they give under "Cite this Record"), and then transcribing relevant parts of the image. Provided the document is old enough, the content cannot be owned by FamilySearch. But the image may be, or at least they assert that it is.

by Jim Richardson G2G6 Pilot (270k points)
While you can't download and repost Family Search images without permission, I suppose you could request permission and see what happens. I've never tried it and I'm doubtful they would provide it, but I guess it's worth a shot.

On the other hand, there are quite a few sites with similar record image copies that they've made on their own, and it's conceivable that one or more of them might allow copying with appropriate citation. As you mention above, each site has their own permissions policies as they spent time and money imaging the documents and they want to ensure that someone doesn't simply take advantage of them.
+4 votes
Hi Daniel, to make it simple without going into the merrits of what is allowed to be downloaded and what not.

When you visit a record image on FamilySearch, you will see a "Download" button on the top right hand view of the image. If you click on it and the image downloads, you are fine. In fact they welcome it as long as you properly cite your source.

When a download is restricted the download button will not function and you will see a popup message.

FamilySearch has a rigid permissions system for all their records because they have different agreements in place with different sources of the records. You can visit their forum's history if you would like to know more. It has been discussed at length there.
by Louis Heyman G2G6 Mach 7 (72.0k points)
edited by Louis Heyman

Hi Louis. Could you please give a link to the relevant forum page, if it still exists? All I've found is this which says

The FamilySearch forums was hosted by FamilySearch ... It existed until the end of 2012, when it was closed down.

 The FamilySearch Terms of Use which I referred to before do allow downloads but

only for your personal, noncommercial use

The paragraph saying that posting to another site requires permission follows soon after that statement, suggesting that posting elsewhere is not considered personal use.

It's disappointing that posting of images is not allowed without specific permission, but it can be managed by citing and transcribing.

Seems I've been arround quite a while and read too much, maybe you should contact them yourself as I did back then.
Ok, it's a pity if relevant information from the forums in the past has disappeared.

But those Terms of Use clearly state the current position. They say that people who want to post images to another website need to obtain permission. As you suggest, anybody who wants to do that can contact FamilySearch and ask.
It seems that you have your mind made up so it doesn't appear to me as if anything I say will will convince you otherwise. Take the advice and contact them.
Louis, my mind is made up by reading a carefully written Terms of Use document. Sorry but you haven't said anything with documentary backup to dispel this.

On contacting them: sure, as I said, anybody who wants to post images can individually contact FamilySearch to ask for permission. I am content to use the cite and transcribe method.
I had the same opinion. It is a pity that you won't contact them, now you won't experience how fantastic the people from FamilySearch are.

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