Genealogists familiar with the Ellis Island database are probably also familiar with the fact that one can't copy the images of the original manifests that are on that site. Well, copying manifest images is permitted, and this article tells you how to do it. Ordinarily one can right click on any image in a Web browser window and the browser will pop up a little menu with a number of choices including "Save image...". But if one right clicks on an Ellis Island manifest image, the browser pops up a message saying "This function is disabled!" as in this screenshot. After reading this article, you'll be able to reply, "Ha! That's what you think!"
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, or "SOLEIF" as they refer to themselves, try to prevent visitors to their Web site from copying original manifest images. But according to the terms of service on SOLIEF's Web site, "...you may...download, copy, store [or] print...any Information solely for your personal, non-commercial use...". They even capitalize the word "Information" so you know they're serious! =) They note that you also must agree not to "download, copy, or store any Information for non-personal use, including, but not limited to, posting or making available such Information on an internet website, whether in isolation or as part of a collection of Information". I am not a lawyer and I don't even play one on television, so I'll leave it up to you and your legal experts to decide how to play nice with these terms and whether or not their terms of service can abrogate your Fair Use rights.
Once you have a manifest image page open and enlarged, the manifest image is displayed in a browser window with a title like "Manifest Enlarger". The instructions below start from that point. Scroll through these instructions until you find the browser you use. They're most complicated for Internet Explorer and Safari users. Given that Internet Explorer has the added disadvantages of being insecure and not displaying some Web sites properly (like this one), I recommend that you try a browser other than Internet Explorer for following these instructions and for everyday use as well. Opera and Firefox are excellent, free alternatives -- they're both more secure than Microsoft's product, and Opera is especially fast.
If for some reason you can't or don't want to follow these steps, you can follow the steps for Netscape and they'll work for you, too. But the steps below are a whole lot easier because you only have to go through them once.
There's no need to undo the settings change you made here; it won't interfere with your Web browsing and it doesn't pose a security risk.
These instructions only work for Netscape 6.0 and newer. If you're using a 4.x version of Netscape, I commend your loyalty and patience but urge you to switch to something newer!
Konqueror and Opera users have nothing to worry about. If you right click on a manifest image while using one of these browsers, you'll see a normal popup menu instead of the "This function is disabled!" message. It's like having a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card. =)
I tested Konqueror 3.5.4 under FreeBSD 6.0, Opera 8.5 under OS X and Opera 7.54 under Windows.