Wednesday, August 1, 2012's Terms and Conditions Revised

After Judy G. Russell's post on Monday, titled Terms of Use:, I was concerned that my use of screen shots and document images obtained from the's website were prohibited.  I sent an email to requesting clarification of some specific areas of concern for me (and others).

Brian Speckart, Marketing Manager of North America for Brightsolid Online Publishing Company Inc., provided a link to the updated Terms and Conditions page at  I appreciate that Brian and the Brightsolid team revised the T&Cs quickly and to the benefit of most researchers, especially professionals and geneabloggers!

Judy G. Russell highlighted the revisions as they apply to professionals and geneabloggers in her post Update: Amends Terms on The Legal Genealogist blog.

I encourage every subscriber to read the revised Terms and Conditions at

Here were the questions that I asked Brian about in my email on Monday, and my interpretation of the revised T&Cs as they apply to my specific questions.  I am not an attorney, so my interpretations may be wrong; if so, I hope that will correct any misinterpretations I have:

1)  Can I use a screen capture of the website pages, or a snippet (magnified view of part of the image) of the web page, which may contain all or some of a record, on my blog?  If not, why not?

My interpretation:  It is permissible to use a screen capture of a FindMyPast website page, including all or part of the image of a document.  I am unclear about the snippet.

2)  Can I use an image of a record (e.g., census page, parish register, etc.) saved from FindMyPast on my blog?  If not, why not?

My interpretation:  I cannot use an image of a document or record, that I saved to my computer, on my blog without their written permission.  

3)  Can I use the image of a record saved from FindMyPast and attach it to a person or source in my genealogy software program (e.g., RootsMagic)?  If not, why not?

My interpretation:  This was not addressed.  My guess is that I can attach the downloaded record, as long as it was for my personal use, to a person or a source in my genealogy software program.

4)  Can I use the image of a record saved from FindMyPast and attach it to a person or a source in an online family tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree,, MyHeritage, FMP, etc.)?  If not, why not.

My interpretation:  I cannot "share" a downloaded and attached document image in an online family tree.  It's unclear if I can attach the document image to a family tree.

5)  If I am not permitted to do any or all of the above according to the T&Cs, will grant me permission to do them? If so, which ones will FMP grant me permission to do?  Or do I have to request permission in each instance?

My interpretation:  I need to request written permission for every document image that I want to post to my blog, or put in a periodical or book publication, or add to an online family tree.

6)  Since I have already posted some screen captures on my blog, will FMP permit me to remove them from my blog posts without any penalty if that is not permitted?

My interpretation: now permits screen captures, so this is not an issue.

7)  Who owns the copyright or database rights to the England and Wales Census Record images, the parish register index and images, the images from the Civil Registration books, etc.?  Are those spelled out anywhere when a user accesses the database?

My interpretation:  Other organizations and individuals own the intellectual property rights to the document images.  The property rights holders are usually identified on most records.

8)  Why are there limitations on posting images to a blog, or including them in a book?  Do the holders of the copyright for the image require this?

My interpretation:  No direct response here, but it's implied in 7) above!

Things are not "wonderful" for professional genealogists who are performing client work.  The FindMyPast Terms and Conditions require the use of "Pay As You Go" Credits for client work.  The Credits for the World Subscription offer was $13.95 for 100 credits.  Most record transcriptions, and most record images cost between 5 and 30 credits.  Therefore, it may relatively expensive (much more than $60 a year) to do extensive online research for clients at 

Another piece of good news today - the $4.95 per month World Subscription offer is still available. If that interests you, I encourage you to subscribe immediately because the company set aside only so many at this special price.  The special offer may end at any time!

What do my readers think?  Are my interpretations correct?  Please comment!  also identify other questions that pertain to these issues.

My thanks to Judy Russell for highlighting this issue on her blog and on Facebook.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Chris Paton said...

There's been an another update unfortunately - see