Author Topic: Guidance from Mods please, in Common Room as well as Census Board  (Read 27126 times)

Offline Brambletye

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Guidance from Mods please, in Common Room as well as Census Board
« on: Thursday 31 January 08 20:44 GMT (UK) »
A few of us are having our Census lookups binned because we are apparently in breach of copyright, in spite of having the strapline in our profile re Crown Copyright etc.

We have looked on Census Resource and Discussion board, but can't seem to find any guidance about what's acceptable and what is not, unless it's so far back in the order we've missed it.

I believe we now need a clearly defined template for our posts, or to be actually told in so many words what it is that's causing the problem - unless we are all going to have to go offline and PM each other to avoid offending the Powers That Be.

Give us a clue please guys - if all we do is transcribe what we see on the Census page, and/or the description of the address, area, Enumeration district etc. and it still gets trashed, what are we doing wrong...?

Is it that we are also pointing up the failings of commercial websites by pointing out their crass mistranscriptions as well, for the benefit of of other searchers?

In short, we need specific information as to where we are going wrong - a blanket posting on every occasion saying our post has been removed due to copyright issues will only invite guesswork on our part as to which piece of info. is offending (and possibly also invite a further incorrect posting in future), and as we are all only trying to help our fellow Rootschatters, we really don't need the public embarrassment of being "outed" on copyright issues without our being told why.

We need to know how much info. we are allowed to give, and what we are not allowed to post, and why, so we don't keep messing it up, in ignorance of the full terms of the ruling.

Personally, I am at a loss to understand it - if I go to my local R.O., pull the fiche, transcribe it, and post it here, I can do that, can't I? as long as I acknowledge Crown Copyright? why does it make a difference if I transcribe it from a scanned image? being Devil's advocate here, but we need advice, or we can't make the best use of the site to help each other.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from

Offline Little Nell

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All census information: Crown Copyright

Offline Copyright-Editor

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Re: Guidance from Mods please, in Common Room as well as Census Board
« Reply #2 on: Friday 01 February 08 08:43 GMT (UK) »
This message repeated on the other thread (see link above)

The guidance is given very clearly in the RootsChat Copyright Policy. The link is at the bottom of the page. This has been in place for quite a while and there are no plans to alter it. We believe it to be fair. We have also had this discussion before and given the same guidance before. There are Copyright warning messages on the Look-up Request boards, stickied at the top of the board everyone is asked to read them before posting. These warnings essentially say the same thing.

RootsChat Copyright policy is that you MAY NOT copy and paste material from any index or database compiled by someone else. This is particularly the case for material found online, but also applies to other published material. The layout and transcription (with all its faults) are copyright of the individual or organisation who has published them. The FACTS are not copyright.

So for example, the layout of online databases such as FreeBMD, FreeCEN, FreeREG, IGI, ScotlandsPeople, Immigration Indexes, Census indexes from Ancestry, findmypast, the Genealogist, Origins Network (to name but a few) are all copyright of those organisations. Other resources such as BVRI, NBI, individual county family history society indexes published on CD are also subject to copyright. Census transcriptions should only be made from the original census image and the rule is that you should transcribe what you see, not what others think they have seen.

If the Copyright team sees any material which is laid out in a standard format (even spacings, use of "abt" for ages on the census when the actual age is shown, precise punctuation) or even someone else's reference number, that post is likely to be deleted. A standard format tends to indicate copying and pasting. Quoting a "Source Citation" which looks as if it has come straight from the Ancestry index, including the GSU number (which has nothing to do with a census reference), is also likely to draw the black and red ink. We always look carefully at anything which appears in a standard format if we can reproduce this format ourselves by cutting and pasting the info, we are suspicious. We tend to err on the side of caution - it is for the protection of the site and its owners.

We do not aim to tell you what copyright law is or how it should be interpreted, but what we are trying to do here is give clear guidance on what is allowed here on RootsChat. We do not speak for other sites.

Best Wishes
RootsChat Copyright team

Moderator Comment: Broken Link Corrected