Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Copyright and PERSI

We learn from the Fort Wayne, Indiana Journal Gazette that the Allen County Public Library has partnered with BrightSolid[1]  to continue the PERSI (Periodical Source Index) with an added option - online links to images of pages from those publications.

Ol' Myrt's initial reaction, just reading the headlines?

What a headache to obtain permission from the copyright holders in each publication.

The Journal Gazette quotes ACPL Director Jeff Krull who says  "Because of copyright laws, providing the article would require getting permission from every publisher, difficult at best. But Clegg said Brightsolid has been able to do it in the United Kingdom and believes it can use its model to do so here."

I think obtaining permission is going to be a lot harder than thought. Individual authors may also hold copyright to those articles. For instance, I've permitted some genealogy societies to publish a copyrighted copy of a DearMYRTLE column from AOL or in my blog in their society newsletter or journals. Just how will Brightsolid manage to accomplish contacting not only 6,000 journal editors/publishers but individual authors like Ol' Myrt here? We shall see.

It is one thing for an ACPL genealogy department employees or volunteers making a copy of an article to send to individuals here and there, but to place the article on the web is a different story altogether.

Don't get me wrong - idea is a great one. It would make my research of previously compiled genealogies a whole lot easier.

But we shall see what we shall see.

[1] Dan Stockman, “PERSI scopes out genealogy journals,” The Journal Gazette, posted 14 July 2013 ( accessed 15 July 2013).
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Myrt     :)
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  1. Agreed. I talked to Curt Wicher about this at RootsTech. As a former Society president, I was concerned about permissions and remuneration. It will be interesting to see what they offer Societies and authors....

  2. I have the same concerns, DearMYRTLE, both as an author and as the Editor of a genealogical journal in Canada. And my society, like many, offers copies of articles and full issues of older journals for a small fee. This income is low, but very important to us. Better, perhaps, for Brightsolid, in the case of societies/organizations, to offer direct links to societies' web pages, or, I suppose, some financial consideration in return for allowing copying/display on-line.
    And one complication not always mentioned, is that PERSI articles come from several countries. And copyright law is not the same in all countries.

  3. Many of the Society journals are available to their members ONLY. It is one of the carrots of membership. Why would they allow this to occur? What would be the advantage?

  4. Would the copyright still be in force for publications from before 1900?

  5. I commented on the PERSI announcement on the Find My Past blog. The FMP response wasn't satisfactory to me. As a Society Editor and copyright holder myself, I shouldn't be asked to individually contact FMP. Rather FMP and/or ACPL will need to contact all in an organized manner.

  6. I also made a comment on the FMP blog announcement. As an author for quite a few society publications over the years--and especially considering recent events--I am particularly sensitive about protecting the copyrights of authors. It is a lofty goal, but I don't see how it could possibly be accomplished without violating the authors' rights.