The way I understand copyright is that currently anything that is published (whether on a blog, website, book, magazine, etc.) is under copyright whether it has been officially registered or not. So my work is under copyright. Big Deal. The cost of registering your work under copyright is prohibitive. Proving "loss of monetary gain" is nearly impossible. I'm not going to be able to stop anyone from taking it, whether that be a big company or an individual. The only way I could stop it is by not publishing it in the first place.
A Creative Commons license has been added to this blog, prominently, in the upper right corner. I've done this not to stop someone from using my content but to make them at least think about how they will use it. And, hopefully they will use proper source citations and attribute what they do use to me. The license also, supposedly, prohibits use of my content for monetary gain. Will it stop someone or some company from doing so? Probably not. Will it give me recourse to take action if they do so? Not sure. But it makes me feel a bit better for having it displayed prominently.
And why am I researching my family history? Not for myself - for my ancestors, so that they might not be forgotten - for my relatives, so that they will know something of their history - for others unrelated to me so that they might get some insight into what life was like for the common person in different times. So why would I want to stop publishing? Why would I want to prohibit search engines from finding my stuff?
My first post on this subject Is this Fair Use? shows some screen shots before Ancestry changed it to a "free" database.
Some additional posts on the subject:
- Dick Eastman has a post announcing that the Internet Biographical Collection is Free at Ancestry.com and there are already some diverse opinions in the comments.
- Craig Manson speaks out with Ancestry.com: Thieves, Hypocrites, Blunderers, or Fair Users?
- Susan Kitchens has a parody of the Ancestry home page Ancestry.com scrapes websites; places harvested content behind membership wall
- Chris Dunham was the first to report, last October, that Ancestry had a bot that was scanning the Web for biographical information and has written Caching for Cash
- Denise Olson thinks Ancestry is More Naughty Than Nice
- Stephen Danko has some Thoughts on Ancestry’s Internet Biographical Collection
- Bill West talks about Early Morning Genealogy Scraping
- John Newmark adds his thoughts on Caching, Ancestry, Archive, and Google
- Lori Thorton has issued a Challenge to everyone who is outraged by Ancestry's actions to get on board FamilySearchIndexing's project and help index "the vault" in Salt Lake City. The sooner we get this done, the less dependent we become upon The Generations Network!
*** Update 10:25 a.m. ***
Kimberly Powell has posted The Legality of Caching with some additonal interesting thoughts on this new tool in Ancestry's arsenal.
*** Additional Links Added at 6:40 p.m. ***
- Dear Myrtle speaks out with Numbers, ranking & Ancestry.com
- Randy Seaver has More on Ancestry's "Internet Biographical Collection"
- footnoteMaven tells us why Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should