FOIA request for information about income/revenue generated by the LADMF

Reclaim The Records filed this request with the Department Of Commerce, National Technical Information Service of Alexandria, VA.
Tracking #

DOC-OS-2021-000578

Due Jan. 1, 2021
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Reclaim The Records

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I represent a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Reclaim The Records. We are an activist group of genealogists, historians, journalists, and open government advocates. We acquire genealogical and historical data sets and images from government sources, often through the use of Freedom of Information laws. We then upload those records to the Internet, making them freely available to the public and returning them to the public domain.

I am requesting information about the "Social Security Death Master File" (SSDMF), and the more recent creation of the "Limited Access Death Master File" (LADMF). Please note that we are NOT requesting the actual SSDMF or LADMF files or data in this FOIA request. Rather, our organization is interested in information about historical and current access to the data sets, and about the revenue they or fees relating to them may generate, all of which are controlled by your agency, NTIS, and not by the Social Security Administration.

To put it plainly, we'd like to find out how much money the government has made by selling copies of, or access to, the files, such as the number of organizations purchasing annual blocks of name-based or SSN-based look-ups, the purchase of one-time or monthly or weekly update packages via CD-ROM or FTP access, the purchase of web-based access for automated scripting, and so on. We are also interested in how much money the government has made by selling other "products" that enable access to the data, such as the mandatory annual fees surrounding certification for the LADMF, re-certification, attestations of firewall status and sufficiency, and so on.

We are also asking about the following "reports" or "products", all of which are currently listed in the NTIS catalog online:

- DMFCERT0002: National Technical Information Service (NTIS): Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF), Subscriber Certification Form Processing Fee.
- DMFCERT0003: National Technical Information Service (NTIS): Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF), Subscriber Certification Attestation Form Processing Fee.
- DMFCERT0004: National Technical Information Service (NTIS): Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF), Subscriber Certification Firewall Form Processing Fee.
- DMF100: Death Master File (DMF) Limited Inquiry 100.
- DMF25: Death Master File (DMF) Limited Inquiry Product 25.
- DMF5: Death Master File (DMF) Limited Inquiry Product 5.
- DMF50: Death Master File (DMF) Limited Inquiry Product 50.
- DMF1000C: Death Master File Custom Mega Inquiry Package 1,000,000.
- DMF100C: Death Master File Custom Mega Inquiry Package 100,000.
- DMF100K: Death Master File Mega Inquiry Package 100,000.
- DMF1MILLION: Death Master File Mega Inquiry Package 1 Million.
- DMF200C: Death Master File Custom Mega Inquiry Package 200,000.
- DMF200K: Death Master File Mega Inquiry Package 200,000.
- DMF400C: Death Master File Custom Mega Inquiry Package 400,000.
- DMF400K: Death Master File Mega Inquiry Package 400,000.
- DMF750C: Death Master File Custom Mega Inquiry Package 750,000.
- DMF750K: Death Master File Mega Inquiry Package 750,000.
- DMFWEB: Death Master File (DMF) Web Services.
- SUB5470: Death Master File (DMF) Interactive Mode.
- DMFAUT: Death Master File (DMF) Automated Batch Processing.
- DMFMAN: Death Master File (DMF) Manual Batch Processing.
- SUB5471: Death Master File (DMF) Manual Batch Processing.
- the sometimes-referenced, and possibly now superseded, reports or products SUB-5472, SUB-5473, and DMF1
- any other similar reports or products related to the SSDMF or LADMF, whether online or offline
- any other similar reports or products governing certification, re-certification, or payment for access to the SSDMF or LADMF, whether online or offline

For each of those items mentioned above, and for each of the years 2010-2020 (inclusive), we would like to receive records relating to:

- the number of organizations (or individuals) who have purchased access to one or more of those products or reports, and if so which ones, for each of the years 2010-2020 (inclusive)
- the organization/company/agency names and the associated e-mail addresses of all the organizations (or individuals) who have purchased access to one or more of those items, and if so which ones, for each of the years 2010-2020 (inclusive)
- if applicable to the report/product, if the organization purchased a multi-seat/multi-user package rather than a one-seat/one-user package, then the number of users/seats purchased within each of those organizations, for each of the years 2010-2020 (inclusive)
- the sum of all revenue generated through sales for each of those items, for each of the years 2010-2020 (inclusive)

To give an example, we are looking for data that says something like "for the NTIS report/product 'DMF200K', described as the 'Death Master File Mega Inquiry Package 200,000', there were XXX organizations or individuals who purchased access in calendar year 2015...and the official names and associated e-mail addresses of all those organizations that bought access to that one report/product in calendar year 2015 are X,Y,Z...and each organization or individual paid $XXX for that one report/product in that one year...and this many of those organizations purchased multi-seat/multi-user packages, asking for XX seats, thereby costing them $YYY...and collectively, the amount of revenue/income generated by all sales of just this one report/product within this one year are $ZZZ,ZZZ."

We'd like that sort of data for each and every report/product as mentioned above, or any other items that seem pertinent to this request, and for each and every year between 2010-2020, inclusive. We'd also like that kind of breakdown for all certifications or other fees associated with accessing the SSDMF or the LADMF. (Surely you have some sort of annual profit statement and customer list for each of your products?)

We realize that some of these "products" only came into being after the creation of the more tightly-controlled "Limited Access Death Master File" (LADMF), which was created in the budget of 2013 and went into service in November 2016, and that some other reports/products may have had their prices changed or raised over the years, or been retired from the catalog. Please provide the historical data as best as possible, rather than just the current prices.

We request that these files be turned over to us in their original digital format, if possible. We would prefer to receive them through online file transfer, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, but are also willing to receive them on a portable USB drive if that is easier for you, and we are willing to pay the costs for purchasing that drive and for its insured and trackable domestic shipping, as well as any fees associated with fulfilling this request. Please inform us of all fees in advance of fulfilling our order.

We also request to be treated as a "media requester" for the purposes of calculating the fees for this FOIA request. We are a non-profit organization, not a commercial entity. We do not charge for copies of any of the tens of millions of records we have already acquired from government agencies and released to the public. We are one of the largest open records organizations in the United States. As of October 1, 2020, our e-mail newsletter, which has been published several times a year for the past six years, now has a circulation of over 7,500 subscribers. Our social media outlets such as our Facebook page have more than 11,000 followers, and our Twitter account has more than 6,100 followers.

We have even created several free standalone websites to both disseminate and discuss the data that we receive from government entities. As just one example, please see our website https://www.MissouriDeathIndex.com/ and our multiple associated newsletter issues linked from that website. We don't just release data sets, we discuss them too, using our editorial skills and discretion, and then disseminate those discussions to our readers.

Therefore, under 45 CFR 1602.2, we believe that we properly meet the legal qualifications as a "media requester" entity, and so we would need to pay only any duplication fees after the first 100 pages of material, and we should not need to pay any search fees or review fees.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your timely response, as the statute requires.

sincerely yours,

Brooke Schreier Ganz, on behalf of Reclaim The Records
info@reclaimtherecords.org
https://www.reclaimtherecords.org/

From: Department Of Commerce, National Technical Information Service

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://www.foiaonline.gov/foiaonline/action/public/submissionDetails?trackingNumber=DOC-OS-2021-000578&type=request)

* Tracking Number: DOC-OS-2021-000578
* Requester Name: Brooke Ganz
* Date Submitted: 12/28/2020
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description:
"
I represent a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Reclaim The Records. We are an activist group of genealogists, historians, journalists, and open government advocates. We acquire genealogical and historical data sets and images from government sources, often through the use of Freedom of Information laws. We then upload those records to the Internet, making them freely available to the public and returning them to the public domain.

I am requesting information about the "Social Security Death Master File" (SSDMF), and the more recent creation of the "Limited Access Death Master File" (LADMF). Please note that we are NOT requesting the actual SSDMF or LADMF files or data in this FOIA request. Rather, our organization is interested in information about historical and current access to the data sets, and about the revenue they or fees relating to them may generate, all of which are controlled by your agency, NTIS, and not by the Social Security Administration.

To put it plainly, we'd like to find out how much money the government has made by selling copies of, or access to, the files, such as the number of organizations purchasing annual blocks of name-based or SSN-based look-ups, the purchase of one-time or monthly or weekly update packages via CD-ROM or FTP access, the purchase of web-based access for automated scripting, and so on. We are also interested in how much money the government has made by selling other "products" that enable access to the data, such as the mandatory annual fees surrounding certification for the LADMF, re-certification, attestations of firewall status and sufficiency, and so on.

We are also asking about the following "reports" or "products", all of which are currently listed in the NTIS catalog online:

- DMFCERT0002: National Technical Information Service (NTIS): Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF), Subscriber Certification Form Processing Fee.
- DMFCERT0003: National Technical Information Service (NTIS): Limited ..."

Files

There are no files associated with this request.