Publishing with Help from

I studied’s AncestryPress for quite awhile without trying it. There didn’t seem to be a lot written about it. Eventually, I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. Ancestry Press lets one create family history books and charts. I decided to try a family history book. You must have a family tree uploaded with to …Continue reading →


Resources: California Voter Registrations 1900-1968 has just added California Voter Registrations for the years 1900 to 1968. I tried this out last night. My great-uncle, Carl Edward Manson (1893-1966), was the first family member to migrate to California from Texas before World War II. I found him and his then-wife Mary on the 1940 voter rolls registered at 5820 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Thereafter, …Continue reading →


Some Final Thoughts on "Did Ancestry Violate Copyright Law?"

I think an analysis of the statutory “fair use” factors can lead to the conclusion that’s “Internet Biographical Collection” as it was initially set up, did not constitute a fair use of the copyrighted material collected and used. I think that Ancestry’s IBC probably does not qualify for the system caching “safe harbor” for infringement in the Digital Millennium …Continue reading →


Did Ancestry Violate Copyright Law?. . . . It Depends. . . .Part 4 of 4

Here are some important observations before we go on: (1) Ancestry’s IBC is operationally unlike Google’s search engine. “Fair use” and direct infringement cases are highly fact-specific. (2) Whether Google’s search engine is or is not “fair use” has yet to be considered adequatelyby a court because: The Field case involves unique facts (i.e., the plaintiff “set up” Google to …Continue reading →


Did Ancestry Violate Copyright Law? . . . . Part 3of 4: Fair Use

We’ve explored the Field v. Google, Inc., case thus far and learned about the facts of that case and some of the holdings. A number of commenters have insisted (and still insist) that because the court found Google’s caching to be “fair use,” the same result would obtain with respect to Ancestry’s Internet Biographical Collection. I do believe that the …Continue reading →


Part 3 of Legal Analysis Temporarily Delayed

It’ll be here later today. I have to add a few things and I got busy with my first priority–my students!


Did Ancestry Violate Copyright Law? . . . . Part 2 of 4

Before we get to the heart of the legal analysis, here are some additional facts which may be legally significant. They were provided in the Comments to yesterday’s post by Janice Brown of Cow Hampshire. Janice first called my attention to this issue in late August. Ancestry also provided an option (to subscribers only, and even after IBC became “free”) …Continue reading →


Did Ancestry Violate the Copyright Law? . . . Prologue

Part I of A Legal Analysis of the Late Controversy By now, the brouhaha over’s “Internet Biographical Collection” has largely blown over. Ancestry has said that they will permanently remove the database and the genealogical community is ready to move on. The passage of a little time and the cooling of passion on the issue permits some calm and …Continue reading →


Ancestry Apologizes; WVR Shows the Way (Maybe) has now permanently pulled its “Internet Biographical Collection.” This statement was released yesterday. Additionally, Ancestry has apologized to Janice Brown for what they call“the inadvertant [sic] use of your blog.” I’ve previously said that Ancestry needs to take a consultative approach with the genealogical community when it wants use the efforts of this community. The statement yesterday seems to …Continue reading →


Blogospheric Science

The controversy over Ancestry’s “Internet Biographical Collection” set the genea-blogosphere awhirl. Hardly any active genea-blogger failed to weigh in on this issue. And that fact apparently carried some influence with The Generations Network. Additionally, readers and commenters were active. Although I usually don’t swell on such matters, GeneaBlogie received more visits on this controversy than we’ve had on any other …Continue reading →

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