* Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

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ColeValleyGirl
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Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 05 Aug 2021 07:19

Ancestry have changed their terms of service -- in about 4 weeks time they will become able to use anything you put on their site in any way they want in perpetuity.

More details here and here.

If you don't want to give them the rights they are taking, you have about 4 weeks to delete what is already there, and should not upload anything else. Of course, you can't do anything about images that people have taken from your tree and attached to theirs.

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Mark1834
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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by Mark1834 » 05 Aug 2021 08:10

Thanks Helen, a useful reminder. I've never been happy with their existing right to use material "as necessary to provide the service", but it's very clear in the new version. Anything you upload is a free donation.

I've only ever uploaded a summary tree generated via my plugin that completely removes all references to living or private individuals, extracts key facts, and strips out all media and sources automatically in one step without having to use complex menu options. It's sufficient "cousin bait" while keeping full control of the material.
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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by mjashby » 05 Aug 2021 12:48

I wonder if Ancestry's lawyers have considered at their potential liability if action is pursued for breach of copyright when images have been uploaded by users come directly from other data providers who own sole publishing rights, e.g. FindMyPast, TNA or Regional Archives; or when users upload copies of UK BMD Certificates etc.

Mervyn

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Mark1834
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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by Mark1834 » 05 Aug 2021 13:13

Ancestry’s terms clearly place responsibility with the person doing the uploading. However, I’m sure that if a copyright owner did try to claim against Ancestry a key part of their case would be that Ancestry had not taken reasonable steps to ensure that copyright was respected. I suspect that there will be a test case sooner or later, as it all appears pretty chaotic and unregulated at the moment.
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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by AdrianBruce » 05 Aug 2021 14:23

So far as I can see, FindMyPast's Ts & Cs already grant them an irrevocable license to use user-generated content.

In truth, if I carry on using Ancestry as I do, then I find it difficult to see how the situation changes for me, either now or after my death. And seeing the text of the previous phrase about using material "as necessary to provide the service" made me immediately think that the quoted part was a set of weasel words that could justify anything right now. I'd agree with Mark that - like it or not - it is clearer now.
Adrian

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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by AdrianBruce » 05 Aug 2021 14:36

Incidentally, as regards images such as family photos - I can't help thinking there's a lot of protestation across the board, not just relating to Ancestry, that actually has a touch of (presumably) unrealised hypocrisy. Part of my Ancestry tree includes a photo of me with my great-gran. I didn't take the photo and presume that either my Mum or her aunt did. Either way, copyright still belongs to their estate and I confess that I never got permission from either before loading a scan of the print in our photo album. Logically, I'm in breach of copyright, as, I suspect, are many of those who complain about Ancestry's use of their photos - that perhaps they should never have loaded in the first place.

But I also fear what will happen if I don't load these images - it's what happened to a number of photos from the other side of the family when another great-gran burnt part of her album after great-grandad's death until grandpa stopped her.
Adrian


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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by klm2OUMK » 15 Aug 2021 08:07

Thank you for letting us know this important very big change to Ancestry Terms and Conditions as from 3rd August 2021, with very little warning. This is a poor unethical decision in light of copyright of personal family history records

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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Aug 2021 08:38

It isn't a copyright issue.

You always retain copyright in whatever is copyrightable. However, that doesn't include facts, so effectively doesn't include your tree . You provide Ancestry with a set of uncopyrightable facts and they decide how to present them (and their presentation is copyright to them). It potentially doesn't include Media either, if the author/photographer died more than 75 years ago. It would include original material that was produced by somebody living or not yet dead 75 years -- for example, I include a few PDFs explaining my reasoning for certain facts and those are copyright to me.

[I also suppose that if your tree is a complete work of fiction with deliberately no relationship to facts, it would be copyrightable... but that's just speculation that's amusing to me.]

It is a terms of service/licencing issue.

Before Ancestry retreated, they were claiming (in the terms of service) a perpetual licence to use anything you'd uploaded in any way they saw fit. This didn't affect your copyright (if any) but did mean you were giving up the right to stop Ancestry using it as soon as you uploaded it.

They've now walked back from that and 'clarified' that their right to use your material ends at the point at which you delete it but (if I understand correctly) they can do what they will with it until then. And of course others can take what they want and use it and probably won't respect copyright anyway.

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klm2OUMK
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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by klm2OUMK » 15 Aug 2021 08:50

Apologies with regards to my misuse of the word 'copyright' in my previous post and for correcting me.

(Thank you for your clarification on the current situation on new Ancestry T&C)

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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by AdrianBruce » 15 Aug 2021 10:15

Just to add that one thing to come out of this, is that most providers of facilities for online family trees, also appear to require an irrevocable license to use user-contributed stuff (FMP does, e.g., as does FamilySearch).

Ancestry didn't, it does now, but it's the only one that I've seen that makes it clear that the license is revoked when the stuff is (wholly) deleted. Which, in my view, actually puts them ahead of the game...
Adrian

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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Aug 2021 10:33

FamilySearch is a whole other ball of wool that I've never managed to get to the end of: Familysearch terms of use (2018) and “ownership” of information?

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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by LornaCraig » 15 Aug 2021 10:38

it's the only one that I've seen that makes it clear that the license is revoked when the stuff is (wholly) deleted. Which, in my view, actually puts them ahead of the game...
According to information in the very first link Helen gave in her first post, My Heritage also relinquish the right to use anything when it is wholly deleted. (I don't use My Heritage, so have no personal experience).
Lorna

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Re: Change to Ancestry Terms of Service

Post by AdrianBruce » 15 Aug 2021 14:39

Thanks Lorna
Adrian

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