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Re: [Galicia_Poland-Ukraine] Re: Freeancestry.com shut down by legal threats

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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