They are public records. If you want to determine your criminal record in California, do a live scan at one of the many live scan operator locations then submit to California DOJ for record
If someone goes down to the Courthouse and pulls all the files there to create a database this is legal and the records are public. On the other hand your criminal history (aka rap sheet) is private and can be accessed only be a few organizations. Anyone who disseminates your rap sheet commits a crime.