Friday, January 18, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Reader Questions and Helpful Comments

It's time for another Follow-Up Friday post where I try to answer reader questions and pass along helpful and useful reader comments.  Here is this week's selection:

1)  On Wall Street Journal Article Features Genealogy! (17 January 2013):

*  Sharon asked:  "Wouldn't printing out and distributing a copy of this article at your meeting infringe on WSJ's copyright?"

*  My response:  My intent is to print out one copy for my own personal use, and then pass that around the group to read it and perhaps note where it was obtained.  I will not charge for it, and will share it with the group for educational purposes.  My opinion is that this falls in the "fair use" category of copyright law.  Now if I had made 30 copies, one for everyone at the meeting, that would violate the WSJ copyright IMHO.  Note that I am not an attorney and am not an expert on copyright law.

In her post "A Calculated Risk," Judy G. Russell highlighted the fair use paragraphs of the copyright law.

2)  On UPDATED: Genealogist Beware - Checking Out (14 January 2013):

*  Miss Penelope Dreadful noted:  "This company might consider using proceeds to hire a proof-reader. Quite Dreadful!"

My comment:  Agreed!  And it's consistent on all of their websites.  

*  Emily Garber said:  "What I think is interesting is the use of a URL with a .org suffix. I mistakenly thought that only nonprofits could use that. But a perusal of Wikipedia disabused me of that notion. Apparently, commercial companies can hide behind the .org URL."

My comment:  After all, a COMpany is also an ORGanization, right?  I note that Walter Scott said: 'O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! '"  I don't think he knew about the Internet, though!

*  M.J. offered:  "I've received several unsolicited emails from this "company" over the last week or so. I was also suspicious after taking a look and agree it's a site to avoid."

*  Dave L. commented:  "Not to distract from the central point of this post, but please remember that it's important to review the terms and conditions of EVERY online service you think about using. When you click on the button that says, 'I have read and agree to the terms and conditions...' that's exactly what it means -- you agree to the terms and conditions. If you don't like them, don't sign up for the site!"

*  JJT said:  "In light of those interesting terms of service, I think people might find this description on the main site humorous:

' is a new domain extension for organizations, projects, websites and people with a higher standard of social responsibility and ethical behaviour.' "

and "Also, plenty of people reporting this and other related sites here:  A very busy bee."

*  Debbie Parker Wayne noted:  "BE AWARE: For those using ads on your blogs, you may see this company's ads in your posts - and they own more than the two domain names I see listed in Christine's and Randy's posts. I went to Christine's blog to read the posts linked by Randy. The ad displayed at the top of Christine's blog post was for a similar domain name. A whois check shows that domain (not entered here so they don't get more publicity) is owned by the same person who owns the two domain names listed in the article.  Kind of ironic to be advertising for the company being described as a scam. I wish I had done a screen grab."

and: "... And apparently the ad displays frequently. I refreshed the page four times and once again got the ad for the domain named owned by the same person as the questionable domains."

My comments:  Thank you for all of the links and help and commentary on this issue.  Hopefully, we have alerted the genealogical community to the practices of this "organization."

*  Dick noted:  "Unfortunately, I can only provide documentation of my ancestry back to the time of Noah. It seems all of the older certified copies were damaged in the Flood. I'm now trying to put them all in proper citation format (yeah, right).  I'm still trying to figure out who certified Adam's birth certificate."

*  Tammy said:  "Randy, thought you might be interested to see how this "works" in Jewish genealogy, where families claim descent from King David (and then use the Bible to get from King David to Adam):

While the lineages I wrote about suffer from the same flaws as the non-Jewish trees you discussed, I learned afterwards from Schelley Dardashti about the Dayan family of Aleppo. Their documentation is viewable here, relying on 700+ year old parchments from the Cairo genizah:"

*  Heather Rojo commented:  "Isn't it fun! Don't worry about taking it seriously, the royal family of England has their pedigree back to Adam, too. If they can do it, I guess it must be more than just fashionable."

4)  On Whose Hand Is This? (11 January 2013):

*  Michele Zenner Bertals offered:  "We should make a book exclusively with Google book scan errors. LOL"

My response:  Good one, nice ring, isn't it?  Who has found similar Google book scan errors?

*  Richard Trudel offered:  "Left Handed-male in my op. But looking at the bottom right of this picture, it seems that this picture was 'doctored'."

My response:  I agree on the left-handed...male because of fingernail treatment and hair on fingers?

5)  Thank you to my readers for their comments.  I know that the Captcha "feature" is difficult to overcome at times, and appreciate your persistence.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Re: WSJ article and copyright:

I see what you mean on "fair use." From the original posting, I thought that you were going to print copies for everyone in the group and pass them out. I think that would have been a no-no.