Author Topic: People stealing things off your tree?  (Read 2150 times)

Offline melba_schmelba

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Re: People stealing things off your tree?
« Reply #27 on: Wednesday 20 June 18 19:29 BST (UK) »
"People steal from printed family histories too, a relative of a relative wholesale copied & photographed a FH I made and put it on their own tree with no acknowledgement!"

This happened to me, too. One of the four or so cousins with whom I shared my expensively-researched printed family tree document gave it to a man who keeps a large tree online with as many people from a specific area as he can find. I noticed he had some info about my family online and contacted him. He proceeded to email me my entire document, complete with all of my data and all of the commentary I had written. I was shocked. I told him that I was the original author of what he had sent me and at first he vehemently denied it. Then he got nasty, called me names, and said it didn't matter because it was all in the public domain. I realized he would never acknowledge my research and that the data was now his, so I begged him to delete the commentary and certain specific identifying details about a family member who had been born and died less than 100 years ago. I don't know if he ever did it. All I know is that he was offering my research on a CD to anyone who would give him data on living people who belonged to this extended family. It was a deeply upsetting experience for me.
Sorry to hear, it is so annoying and stressful when you spend so much time on things and someone just takes it and passes it off as their own. I suspected if I confronted the person they might also get nasty and then refuse to delete it or simply ignore me. I suppose I could ask ancestry to delete it, but I'd be surprised if they took any notice ::). I wonder whether or not copyright law applies, of course most people can't afford to bring a case or won't because it's only something done not for profit anyway.

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Offline Josephine

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Re: People stealing things off your tree?
« Reply #28 on: Wednesday 20 June 18 20:00 BST (UK) »
Sorry to hear, it is so annoying and stressful when you spend so much time on things and someone just takes it and passes it off as their own. I suspected if I confronted the person they might also get nasty and then refuse to delete it or simply ignore me. I suppose I could ask ancestry to delete it, but I'd be surprised if they took any notice ::). I wonder whether or not copyright law applies, of course most people can't afford to bring a case or won't because it's only something done not for profit anyway.

Thanks. I've also worked as a newspaper reporter and I still feel irked when I remember the time some jerk plagiarized an article of mine. But at least when that happened my editor emailed the offending newspaper and it complied with our demands (replacing their so-called reporter's byline with our newspaper's name and adding a link to the original story).

The ability to freely copy, paste and otherwise reproduce someone else's work is too big a temptation for some to resist, while other folks might not have a full appreciation of the issues. The way that people use their online trees as they would a notebook in their desk drawer also complicates matters: for me, there's a big difference between the tree I keep on my computer and something I would consider publishable, but that's not the case for most people nowadays.

I don't know how Ancestry would respond. It might be worth a try.
England: Barnett; Beaumont; Christy; George; Holland; Parker; Pope; Salisbury
Scotland: Currie; Curror; Dobson; Muir; Oliver; Pryde; Turnbull; Wilson
Ireland: Carson; Colbert; Coy; Craig; McGlinchey; Riley; Rooney; Trotter; Waters/Watters

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Offline melba_schmelba

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Re: People stealing things off your tree?
« Reply #29 on: Thursday 21 June 18 11:53 BST (UK) »
I suspect the professional response you met with from the newspaper wouldn't be replicated by ancestry :o :o. I am afraid it's probably just too much of a faff to go through (as the person who plagiarized knew), as I'd have to go and photograph the FH which is half way across the country, then post links to ancestry,  and then perhaps be met with questions of how I can claim that is my work as my name isn't on every page? Not worth it sadly.

Online bearkat

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Re: People stealing things off your tree?
« Reply #30 on: Thursday 21 June 18 12:21 BST (UK) »
I have been researching a family for a long time as have several other people.  They have all got stuck at the same point and had either given up or made assumptions.  When I eventually cracked this brickwall I decided to put the tree on Ancestry and make it public, complete with BMD, wills etc.

I am surprised how few people have copied this tree.

Middx - VAUS, ROBERTS, EVERSFIELD, INMAN, STAR, HOLBECK, WYATT, BICKFORD, SMITH, REDWOOD
Hants - SMALL, HAMMERTON, GRIST, FRYER, TRODD, WOODFORD, CROUTEAR, BECK, BENDELL, KEEPING, HARDING
Kent - BAYLY, BORER, MITCHELL, PLANE, VERNON, FARRANCE, CHAPMAN, MEDHURST, LOMAX, WYATT, IDEN
Devon - TOPE, BICKFORD, FOSTER
YKS - QUIRK, McGUIRE, BENN
Nott/Derbs - SLACK
Herts - BARNES
L'pool- PLUMBE
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Offline IJDisney

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Re: People stealing things off your tree?
« Reply #31 on: Friday 22 June 18 23:11 BST (UK) »
I treat Ancestry like I treat Facebook.  Once shared. it is in the public domain, and there is no use complaining about what other people do with your words. You chose to let this person have full access to your research without putting any safeguards in place. It is wrong that they didn't acknowledge you as their source, but it is not an unusual (nor new) occurrence. People see a source of information and will attach it to their tree because they want to increase its volume (quantity over quality being the evident aim of most trees I see online). 'Click and paste' is very easy, and faffing about with acknowledging sources is something many people are too lazy to do. I am not condoning the behaviour, but you gave them access without knowing who they were. You wouldn't do that with your physical possessions, so why do with your intellectual property?

You can always comment on the images they have used, and state that it is your work. I commented on someone mislabeling a picture on their tree as a common ancestor of ours, when it was in fact a famous philosopher. The picture is still on their tree, but my comment and correction is also still attached to it, so anyone interested enough can see their error, and also their laziness in not removing it.