Saturday, December 1, 2012

178. State Archives Outmaneuvered?

    The following item appeared in the Oct. 17, 2012, minutes of the Oversight Committee on Public Records. It looks like some commercial company made an official request for all of the Indiana State Archives indexes to put online for profit. And it looks like the state couldn't legally refuse them! Who do you suppose it
    My only comment is: "Darn, why didn't I think of that!" [The other question is: "Can someone else request all of the Health Department vital records databases? Every public database in Indiana? The mind boggles at the possibilities!!!]

2 2. Administrative Rule 60 IAC 4 – Electronic Data
Jim Corridan said this is more urgent and it might be helpful to do some research because there is a way to maybe consider doing an emergency rule even though our statute does not say we have the authority to do this. The dilemma is they have been contacted by a for profit corporation who wants access to all of the indexes at the State Archives, all of the electronic indexes, so that they can then and if we had them on line – all of the digital images related to those indexes - the vast work that the volunteers have done for decades, they want access to all that information in a public records request, so that they can turn around and put it on his website and then sell that information. Mr. Corridan stated the way the law is written we cannot reject it now but by adopting this rule, in the future if someone asks us to sell it, we would never have to give them this information. Mr. Corridan said he believes they will be the first Agency to ever adopt this concept for rules and statute. Pam Bennett asked if this rule would stop the current request and Mr. Corridan stated they cannot stop this because they have already made the request. Jerry Bonnet stated the Secretary of State’s office sells some of their databases to vendors. Jim Corridan stated this will allow us to sell it to someone if we have a contract with them, but what they are trying to do is get the information through a public records request. Caroline Bradley asked if we have to provide it for free. Mr. Corridan stated there is a caveat that if we had to reprogram our software in order to extract it and give it to them, we could charge them for whatever that cost would be, but we have it in Excel spreadsheet. We could probably charge them for a copy of the CD.

1 comment:

  1. They are supposed to be PUBLIC RECORDS! What's the problem?