Oh No, It’s the “L” Word!!...

We all know about the “C” word right, that’s right … copyright. Well today we’re talking about “L” word! That’s right … LOOK-UPS. Genealogy Facebook groups can be a wonderful thing, there’s no doubt about it. They’re a great place to share and ask questions. But I was dismayed and disappointed when browsing a number of them recently, simply because of the number of people asking for look-ups on various big-pay-sites. I was disappointed for two reasons: firstly for those who asked, and secondly for those who responded. Sharing information from big-pay-sites is against their rules – against their terms and conditions. Now I understand that there’s a number of reasons why people do this … I didn’t know – this is probably the most common one. And it comes as much from those asking, as those providing the information. Can I suggest going toย the bottom of any big-pay-site, look for the Terms & Conditions, and have a read through. It’s always on the home page, right down the very bottom. You should always know what you can and can’t do on any site – but even more so when it comes to sharing information. It costs too much to subscribe – while I don’t agree with this statement, this is a common complaint, and if this is your reasoning, there are many libraries and societies around that have subscriptions, so why not pay them a visit. Or if you prefer to do your research at home, save up your queries, and take out a one-month subscription. Big-pay-sites need subscriptions to be able continue to acquire more records, simple as that. But I like helping out – I’m all for helping out, but as long as it’s within the...

Another Copyright Issue

Copyright. Yes, it’s that word again. The word few like the hear. The word that gets me kicked out of Facebook groups. But the word copyright is an important one. Copyright is there for a reason. Copyight is a law that is there to protect the work of the author or compiler. But before I get into that, let me just say that there’s no doubt that genealogists for the most part, are a wonderful bunch of generous people who love to help each other out. Be it on research advice, cemetery visits, or lookups. Research advice, fine. Cemetery visits, transcriptions or headstone photos fine. But lookups can be an issue. The issue of doing lookups from big-pay-sites has been mentioned before, and you can read all about that here,ย as has the general copyright issue before which you can read here. But another copyright issue has come up that needs to be addressed, and that is offering lookups from books. In theory doing a lookup from a book sounds fine. You have a book, you offer to do lookups, and respond back to those who ask with details of yes/no they’re in there. But this is the digital age, and what I saw on Facebook was someone offering to do lookups from a number of books (probably all out of print, but all still in copyright). But to help out fellow researchers, the person had kindly photographed the entire index of each book and pasted it online. Like it or not, that breaches copyright law. Several in fact. But not only that, the person then posted photographs of EVERY page that anyone was interested in. Again. That breaches copyright. Copyright is there for a reason. It is to protect...

It Pays to Read the Ts&Cs...

Ts & Cs (Terms and Conditions). You know that little checkbox we click saying that we “agree to the Terms and Conditions” usually without reading anything. It is important. And here’s why. An issue arose earlier this week where someone on Facebook asked “if anyone who has a subscription to a certain Big-Pay-Site can do a look up for me?” Sounds innocent enough. And we’ve all seen it many times. While I’m totally all for helping out, doing lookups and so on – Facebook groups are great for that, I was reminded about a blog post that The Legal Genealogist did stating how ethically wrong it is to do so on Big-Pay-Sites, so I put the link up as a response, and boy did that cause controversy. I was accused of not wanting to help, and told how rude it was to put that up, and that the post is ‘old and isn’t relevant now’ … I’m still not sure what that means, because it most certainly is, and that my membership to the group ‘was currently being discussed’. I wasn’t selling anything, I wasn’t being rude, I was helping a fellow group member by educating them that it was wrong to ask someone who has a subscription to do a look up for you. I urge anyone member or non-member to any Big-Pay-Sites, to look at the Ts & Cs, they’re on the home page of each of them – right down the bottom. And you’ll see it stated there that you are allowed to use the site for your ‘personal use only’, and if found to be using the site wrongly, they reserve the right reneg your membership. I get that not everyone can afford a membership....

17 Websites to Find Photos for Your Blog...

From time to time I write a non-genealogy related post. One more general. This is one of those. But all of the links listed below are useful for not just regular bloggers, but they can certainly be used for those who are geneablogging as well. I have always believed that graphics in blog posts are important. And when you read the “what makes a good blog post” type articles, photographs and images always seem to get a mention, so I’m not the only one. Over the years I have been asked where do you get the images that I use on my blog, and the simple answer is I use BigStock which you do have to pay for, but it is low-cost compared to some. But there are other valuable resources out there that you can use, so I thought I’d introduce you to some of them. Many are free free stock photo sites, with a few pay stock photo sites listed as well. It kind of goes without saying that you MUST read the terms of use on each site, because each is different. Some are free without any attribution needed, some require attribution. Some allow you to alter the image, and others don’t. Some are available for personal use only, but not commercial. Others are fine for either use. So be aware, read the licence. ———————————————– BigStock – $ www.bigstockphoto.com BigStock (formerly BigStockPhoto) offers users over 35 million royalty-free photographs and images. They are available to download in various sizes and various file formats, and are available for individuals and commercial organisations. BigStock is a pay site, and you can pay per month, or buy credits. I use the credit method, and just purchase a batch of...