Ancestry.com - Love 'em or hate 'em?
After what Ancestry.com tried to pull this week, you probably don't "love 'em." But then, just yesterday, I located a document for an ancestor on their site after which I thought to myself, "I sure am glad I have an Ancestry subscription - I probably wouldn't have found that anywhere else."
Ancestry does provide a wonderful service. Although a bit pricey for many, I'm sure they put millions and millions of dollars into their efforts. We should not expect something for nothing.
This week, however, Ancestry went too far. The genealogy community, represented by a variety of bloggers, fought back. Ancestry "listened" and removed (for now) their new Internet Biographical Collection database.
Basically, Ancestry cached the pages from other's websites and called the pages their own by requiring a subscription to access them. Imagine Becky Wiseman's surprise when she received an email from someone asking for more information they found on Becky's website at Ancestry.com. Becky does not have a website at Ancestry.com, and she knew that what they were talking about was not her free pages at Rootsweb. Becky researched the issue and learned that Ancestry had copied her personal website and made it available, for a fee, at Ancestry.
This didn't happen to just a few websites.
Ancestry started listening, and soon made their new Internet Biographical Collection database free, after giving them a valid email address.
Yesterday Ancestry issued a statement suggesting that they were trying to help the genealogy community by archiving websites. They have now pulled the database.
I'm now more motivated to increase my efforts with the FamilySearchIndexing project.
Here's what others are saying:
The Generations Network Continues to Tarnish Their Image (GenealogyBlog)
Is This Fair Use? (Kinexxions)
Cache 22 - Has Ancestry.com Gone Too Far? (About.com's Genealogy)
Internet Biographical Collection is Free at Ancestry (Ancestry 24-7)
Numbers, Ranking & Ancestry.com (DearMYRTLE)
Ancestry.com is Caching some web site data (Genea-Musings)
Internet Biographical Collection is Free at Ancestry.com (Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter)
More Naughty Than Nice (Family Matters)
Greedy Ancestry.com Stabs Friends in the Back (Creative Gene)
Ancestry.com scrapes websites; places harvested content behind membership wall (Family Oral History)
Ancestry.com Nothing but Theifs (sic) (Untangled Family Roots)
Ancestry.com: Copyright Violations? (AnceStories)
Any thoughts? Leave a comment below.