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Re: Freeancestry.com shut down by legal threats

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  • Dennis Benarz
    It appears that the folks who run Ancestry.com have an aversion to anything associating them with the concept of free . Some folks (and some genealogists) are
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 30, 2007
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      It appears that the folks who run Ancestry.com have an aversion to
      anything associating them with the concept of "free". Some folks (and
      some genealogists) are chiefly motivated by profit.

      Here's another old local proverb from Debica: "(He) whose hands are
      light is unprofitable". How true! In this matter, Ancestry.com is
      both heavy-handed and very profitable.

      I keep telling you, Lavrentiy, to call yourself a family historian
      rather than a genealogist. The upside is that, as a family historian,
      you'll sleep easier at night, wake up more refreshed, and live
      longer. The downside is that we family historians are all as poor as
      church mice. But we're very happy, personally fulfilled church mice!

      Ciao, amigo!

      Dennis


      --- In Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com, Laurence Krupnak
      <Lkrupnak@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Freeonancestry.com is now off line because of legal threats.
      > There is a note about why at:
      >
      > http://www.interment.net/freeonancestry.htm
      >
      >
      > Anybody knowledgeable who can explain what's up?
      >
      >
      > Here's freeancestry.com:
      >
      >
      >
      > http://www.freeancestry.com/
      >
      > ________
      >
      > Lavrentiy
      >
    • Nick Bulka
      Nothing personal Dennis, but I think it s unlikely that the word free has anything to do with this. This is almost certainly about protecting a business
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 30, 2007
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        Nothing personal Dennis, but I think it's unlikely that the word "free"
        has anything to do with this.
        This is almost certainly about protecting a business trademark, which is
        very valuable, and very expensive to establish.
        Ancestry.com has every right to protect their holdings, and it's not
        heavy-handed, it's the law.
        Stealing is stealing, and those that steal should get what they deserve.
        Ancestry.com is a business. They care about profit. Why is that a bad
        thing?

        -nick



        Dennis Benarz wrote:
        > It appears that the folks who run Ancestry.com have an aversion to
        > anything associating them with the concept of "free". Some folks (and
        > some genealogists) are chiefly motivated by profit.
        >
        > Here's another old local proverb from Debica: "(He) whose hands are
        > light is unprofitable". How true! In this matter, Ancestry.com is
        > both heavy-handed and very profitable.
        >
        > I keep telling you, Lavrentiy, to call yourself a family historian
        > rather than a genealogist. The upside is that, as a family historian,
        > you'll sleep easier at night, wake up more refreshed, and live
        > longer. The downside is that we family historians are all as poor as
        > church mice. But we're very happy, personally fulfilled church mice!
        >
        > Ciao, amigo!
        >
        > Dennis
        >
        >
        > --- In Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com, Laurence Krupnak
        > <Lkrupnak@...> wrote:
        >
        >>
        >>
        >> Freeonancestry.com is now off line because of legal threats.
        >> There is a note about why at:
        >>
        >> http://www.interment.net/freeonancestry.htm
        >>
        >>
        >> Anybody knowledgeable who can explain what's up?
        >>
        >>
        >> Here's freeancestry.com:
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> http://www.freeancestry.com/
        >>
        >> ________
        >>
        >> Lavrentiy
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Dee Sager
        Nick, Ancestry.com started out years ago as a place for genealogists/family historians to compare notes and set up their own family trees online in order to
        Message 3 of 6 , May 1, 2007
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          Nick,

          Ancestry.com started out years ago as a place for genealogists/family
          historians to compare notes and set up their own family trees online in
          order to connect with others searching for the same family members. THEN
          Ancestry.com started putting census records online and decided that they
          could charge a small fee. When I first subscribed to the census records, it
          was $19.95 per year. Granted, now, they have records online that are
          difficult to acquire elsewhere - especially in one place. HOWEVER, the
          records that include OUR family trees are still on the Ancestry.com website
          and are no longer free. Instead of keeping their prices reasonable and
          giving back a little of what's been given to them, their prices keep
          escalating to reflect a LARGE profit each year.

          Caring about profit is NOT a bad thing. Ancestry.com's subscription prices
          are based on what the traffic will bear, i.e., as much as they can get and
          not drive customers away. Ancestry.com needs a profit in order to keep
          adding more records. However, I feel that they could be a little less greedy
          and give back something to the genealogy community who actually grew their
          company into what it is today.

          Ancestry.com used to provide free subscriptions to libraries. The last I
          heard, they no longer do this. Several libraries in Oregon were recently
          closed because they lost state and federal funding. The small public
          libraries in my area no longer offer Ancestry.com records. They can't afford
          to. Don't know if Mormon Family History Libraries still do. If there is a
          cost to Ancestry.com to provide free access over the internet to libraries,
          it isn't much.

          Ancestry.com has lost its connection to the genealogists/common people and
          is now just another company looking for profit. THAT'S the bad thing.

          Dee


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Nick Bulka" <nick@...>
          To: <Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 7:56 PM
          Subject: Re: [Galicia_Poland-Ukraine] Re: Freeancestry.com shut down by
          legal threats


          Nothing personal Dennis, but I think it's unlikely that the word "free"
          has anything to do with this.
          This is almost certainly about protecting a business trademark, which is
          very valuable, and very expensive to establish.
          Ancestry.com has every right to protect their holdings, and it's not
          heavy-handed, it's the law.
          Stealing is stealing, and those that steal should get what they deserve.
          Ancestry.com is a business. They care about profit. Why is that a bad
          thing?

          -nick



          Dennis Benarz wrote:
          > It appears that the folks who run Ancestry.com have an aversion to
          > anything associating them with the concept of "free". Some folks (and
          > some genealogists) are chiefly motivated by profit.
          >
          > Here's another old local proverb from Debica: "(He) whose hands are
          > light is unprofitable". How true! In this matter, Ancestry.com is
          > both heavy-handed and very profitable.
          >
          > I keep telling you, Lavrentiy, to call yourself a family historian
          > rather than a genealogist. The upside is that, as a family historian,
          > you'll sleep easier at night, wake up more refreshed, and live
          > longer. The downside is that we family historians are all as poor as
          > church mice. But we're very happy, personally fulfilled church mice!
          >
          > Ciao, amigo!
          >
          > Dennis
          >
          >
          > --- In Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com, Laurence Krupnak
          > <Lkrupnak@...> wrote:
          >
          >>
          >>
          >> Freeonancestry.com is now off line because of legal threats.
          >> There is a note about why at:
          >>
          >> http://www.interment.net/freeonancestry.htm
          >>
          >>
          >> Anybody knowledgeable who can explain what's up?
          >>
          >>
          >> Here's freeancestry.com:
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> http://www.freeancestry.com/
          >>
          >> ________
          >>
          >> Lavrentiy
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >



          Yahoo! Groups Links






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          PM
        • Dennis Benarz
          Hi Nick The Generations Network now controls a stable of dot coms associated with genealogy and family history: MyFamily.com, Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com,
          Message 4 of 6 , May 1, 2007
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            Hi Nick

            The Generations Network now controls a stable of "dot coms"
            associated with genealogy and family history: MyFamily.com,
            Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, and Rootsweb.com. Plus, they own
            FamilyTreeMaker software and operate OneWorldTree. If we extend your
            view to the Nth degree, eventually no one will be able to
            discuss "family", "ancestry", "genealogy", "roots", and "trees"
            online without prior permission and/or paying royalties and fees.

            There is nothing wrong with seeking a profit per se. There is
            something inherently wrong with a big company seeking to become a
            monopoly so that everyone will be forced to pay for things which were
            once free. It is my view that our history and heritage are our
            birthrights and not commercial commodities to be bought and sold.

            In the words of Tim Sullivan, the company's CEO and president: "The
            Generations Network has a powerful mission..." That mission would
            appear to include becoming the sole (for profit) online source of
            genealogical information by buying out the competition and by
            intimidating the little guys who give it away for free. I applaud the
            efforts of the "little guys" - like Matt Bielawa of HalGal and Don
            Szumowski of PolishRoots - for continuing to provide free online
            access to our history and heritage. Some years ago, in order to avoid
            potential hassles with the "big guys", I selected a Polish word
            meaning heritage or connection as the web name for the free
            information that our research group provides online. The world is
            sick with profit-takers; it needs a big dose of cordial, free, Slavic
            hospitality. And this group, among others, helps provide that
            remedy.

            I wonder if Tim Sullivan is aware that power corrupts and absolute
            power corrupts absolutely. Perhaps he knows but doesn't care.

            I think that "free" has a lot to do with it, Nick. My views. Sue me.

            Dennis


            --- In Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com, Nick Bulka <nick@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Nothing personal Dennis, but I think it's unlikely that the
            word "free"
            > has anything to do with this.
            > This is almost certainly about protecting a business trademark,
            which is
            > very valuable, and very expensive to establish.
            > Ancestry.com has every right to protect their holdings, and it's
            not
            > heavy-handed, it's the law.
            > Stealing is stealing, and those that steal should get what they
            deserve.
            > Ancestry.com is a business. They care about profit. Why is that a
            bad
            > thing?
            >
            > -nick
            >
            >
            >
            > Dennis Benarz wrote:
            > > It appears that the folks who run Ancestry.com have an aversion
            to
            > > anything associating them with the concept of "free". Some folks
            (and
            > > some genealogists) are chiefly motivated by profit.
            > >
            > > Here's another old local proverb from Debica: "(He) whose hands
            are
            > > light is unprofitable". How true! In this matter, Ancestry.com is
            > > both heavy-handed and very profitable.
            > >
            > > I keep telling you, Lavrentiy, to call yourself a family
            historian
            > > rather than a genealogist. The upside is that, as a family
            historian,
            > > you'll sleep easier at night, wake up more refreshed, and live
            > > longer. The downside is that we family historians are all as poor
            as
            > > church mice. But we're very happy, personally fulfilled church
            mice!
            > >
            > > Ciao, amigo!
            > >
            > > Dennis
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com, Laurence Krupnak
            > > <Lkrupnak@> wrote:
            > >
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Freeonancestry.com is now off line because of legal threats.
            > >> There is a note about why at:
            > >>
            > >> http://www.interment.net/freeonancestry.htm
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Anybody knowledgeable who can explain what's up?
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Here's freeancestry.com:
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> http://www.freeancestry.com/
            > >>
            > >> ________
            > >>
            > >> Lavrentiy
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Chris Smolinski
            ... Coincidentally, I was at the local FHC this past Monday, and the volunteer read a letter stating that Ancestry access there would be limited to 2 or 3
            Message 5 of 6 , May 2, 2007
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              >Ancestry.com used to provide free subscriptions to libraries. The last I
              >heard, they no longer do this. Several libraries in Oregon were recently
              >closed because they lost state and federal funding. The small public
              >libraries in my area no longer offer Ancestry.com records. They can't afford
              >to. Don't know if Mormon Family History Libraries still do. If there is a

              Coincidentally, I was at the local FHC this past Monday, and the
              volunteer read a letter stating that Ancestry access there would be
              limited to 2 or 3 years of the census. I've never used Ancestry from
              the FHC, so I don't know whether they have a full or library edition
              right now. The one computer at the FHC always seems to be connected
              to the FHL www.familysearch.org website, anyway. I've never used it
              other than to quickly find information about the content of various
              microfilms.

              >cost to Ancestry.com to provide free access over the internet to libraries,
              >it isn't much.

              There's two parts of the "cost" - the actual cost of providing the
              service, and the loss of revenue from providing a service for free
              that reduces your paying customer base. Every person who goes to the
              library for free access is one less potential paying customer.

              >Ancestry.com has lost its connection to the genealogists/common people and
              >is now just another company looking for profit. THAT'S the bad thing.

              There's nothing stopping someone else from starting up their own
              online genealogy information service. Of course in order to provide
              the information, you'll need to buy/produce it, which will cost
              money. You'll also need to pay the costs of serving the information,
              bandwidth, etc. Which means you'll need to charge your customers for
              access.

              I've noticed several free online sites that have census
              transcriptions, immigration records, etc, all typed in by volunteers.
              The upside is that they're free to access. The downside is that, as
              the information is generated by paid volunteers, there's very little
              content (generally one or two partial census transcriptions for a
              given county). People get real excited when such a project starts,
              then seem to lose interest once the real (tedious and boring) work
              starts. Another example of how communism doesn't work. (As if those
              of us of Polish decent need another example!) I'm not knocking the
              efforts of those people in providing what information they have, I
              think it's great. But it's not as complete as Ancestry's, and it
              never will be.

              --

              ---
              Chris Smolinski
              Black Cat Systems
              http://www.blackcatsystems.com
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