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Why is the 1957 Census of Govts deemed under copyright?

I just talked with a researcher who was interested in getting his hands on a digital copy of the 1957 Census of Governments. My momentary joy at finding a copy at the University of Michigan (my go-to library to find digital govt documents!) quickly turned to disappointment on seeing the message:

Page images and full text of this item are not available due to copyright restrictions.

There ought to be a way for people/librarians to check the document for copyrighted bits and then quickly flip a switch to release it into the public domain and make it accessible to everyone. Is that too much to ask? Over time, we could lessen the impact that Google’s scorched earth copyright policy has on documents that should rightfully be in the public domain. And another thing, why didn’t they scan statistical resources to .csv files?!

That is all.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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