Many of the General Conference talks are copyrighted by
Intellectual Reserve (a copyright and licensing entity of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints). We are using the talks in
this corpus under what is called "Fair
Use", and (as is discussed below) this relies on providing
access only through the web interface. We cannot redistribute
any of the 10,000 talks in the corpus in full-text format (i.e. the
entire talk) or we would jeopardize our legal status. Sorry -- no
exceptions -- to anyone, at any time, or for any reason. Many of
these talks are available, however, from
other sites on the Web.
The following are the four criteria used to determine whether materials
fall under the provisions of the Fair Use Law. As can be seen, by
allowing people to search the talks only via this web interface,
we are within the scope of the Fair Use Law.
What favors Fair Use status
Corpus of LDS General Conference
The amount and substantiality of
the portion made available
Very small portions of the original
text, rather than full-text access
Under no circumstances whatsoever
do end users at our site have access to entire talks, unlike
other sites like
scriptures.byu.edu (see links to talks
here). All access is
via the web interface, and the vast majority of what users see
are simply charts and tables showing the frequency of words or
phrases in different parts of the corpus. Access to small
portions of the original text is more of an "afterthought",
rather than the central feature of the interface.
Access to actual portions of the
original text is limited to very short
"Keyword in Context" displays, where users see just a handful of words to
the left and the right of the word(s) searched for. In addition,
all access is logged, and users can only perform a limited
number of searches per day. As a result, it would be difficult
for end users to re-create even one paragraph from the original
text, and it would be virtually impossible to re-create
an entire page of text, much less one entire talk.
This "snippet defense" (which
relies on limited access to the original text via small snippets
from the web interface) is the same one used by
Google Books for its use
of millions of copyrighted materials. In addition, we have
consulted two lawyers who specialize in Internet copyright law
(names available upon request). They have both stated that
because of our limited access to end users, as well as our
status with regards to the other three factors shown here, we
are clearly in accord with the provisions of the Fair Use
The purpose and character of the
Our use of the texts is strictly
for academic research, and is purely non-commercial.
The nature of the copyrighted work
There are no creative works (e.g.
works of fiction) in the corpus, but rather these are talks
dealing with LDS doctrine and practice.
The effect of the use upon the
Little or no effect on the
Of course the General Conference
talks do not generate revenue, so this is probably not much of
an issue. Nevertheless, we note that because of the very limited access
via our web interface (see the first item above), it is
extremely unlikely that anyone would use this corpus as a
"substitute" for other access to the original texts.
sources make these texts available as "complete articles", which
are meant to be read in their entirety. That is completely
impossible with our interface.
Access to the texts via our
interface, as compared to access via other sources, serves two
completely different audiences. Our interface is designed for
people who want to see the frequency of words, phrases,
collocates, etc. over time, and it is (purposely) completely and
wholly inadequate for
anyone who wishes to read the entire text of an article.