Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I Took the Tuesday's Tip Post Down - UPDATED

I wrote a blog post yesterday titled "Tuesday's Tip: Online Digital Newspaper Archive" with a link to an EXCEL spreadsheet with a long list of online historical newspapers provided by a Genea-Musings named Ronny.

Last night, I received this comment from Miriam J. Robbins, author of the Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors and owner of several other websites, including one with links to Online Historical Newspapers.  Here is Miriam's comment:

"This was not 100% Ronny's work. He emailed me some time ago and said he had copied much of the information from my website to his spreadsheet. My website consists of hours and hours of work and my personal research of these sites, and not simply copying and pasting newspaper titles and dates. I told Ronny he was NOT to merge my information with his database and certainly not to email my work to others. This is a direct violation of copyright."

Rather than continue to expose Ronny and myself of a possible copyright violation, I chose to remove the blog post from my blog and the EXCEL spreadsheet from my shared Google Drive folder.

I have informed Miriam and Ronny of my actions, and have raised several issues concerning the blog post and Ronny's spreadsheet.   

UPDATE 13 May 2015:  On 12 May 2015, Miriam J. Robbins, who has the Online Historical Newspapers website with similar content to Ronny's spreadsheet, was concerned that Ronny had copied some or all of her information to his spreadsheet.  When I was notified of this, I took this blog post down until the issue could be resolved.  Ronny informed me and Miriam that he had deleted Miriam's data from his spreadsheet before he sent it to me (and others), and that none of Ronny's information included Miriam's information.  Miriam double checked this, and found that this was the case.  So I am reinstating the blog post.

Ronny updated the spreadsheet after I noted that some of the links were erroneous, and the updated spreadsheet has been substituted for the first one in the link above.  The updated link is:

The URL for this post is:

Stay tuned!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Georgia Genealogy said...

I could not sleep last night so I found myself silently in the background watching this story unfold on Facebook. I'm interested to know if we were thinking the same thing. Staying tuned 😉.

tami osmer glatz said...

bravo, randy for doing the right thing, as I would expect nothing less from you. Hopefully your example will be noted by others who dont see anything wrong with "sharing" the hard work of others without permission or giving credit. Thank you for all you do for the community.

Miriam Robbins said...

Randy, I appreciate you taking down the Tuesday's Tip until I could have the time to fully examine the spreadsheet that Ronny sent you.

Ronny first contacted me a month ago to share the spreadsheet of historical newspaper archives which he had created. He was excited to find my Online Historical Newspapers site, and told me he intended to add the information from my site to his spreadsheet, which he was mailing to other bloggers.

I replied to Ronny that I my website was my copyrighted work...that I had not just gone to newspaper websites and copied the newspaper titles and date ranges, but had studied the websites in depth and spent hours ensuring that the date ranges and names of titles were correct. I edited them on my site when they were not. I requested that he not merge my information with his if he intended to email it to others.

Unfortunately, I did not receive a response to that message, although I know that it was read. So naturally, I was very concerned when I saw Randy's post with Ronny's spreadsheet attached. Because of my experience with having copyright violations in the past, it was easy to jump to the worst conclusions. I acted quickly and emailed Randy with my concerns. He graciously pulled the post temporarily until things could be sorted out.

Around two very long days of work, I have finally had the opportunity to examine the spreadsheet that Ronny sent Randy and I am convinced it is 100% his work and not merged with mine. Ronny also emailed me today and convinced me that he had resorted to his previous work without mine merged with it. He also offered to double check anything that I could show was my work.

I have emailed both Ronny and Randy and offered my apologies. I am grateful that both of them have taken the opportunity to address my concerns and ensure that my copyrighted work was not shared without my permission.

Geolover said...

Your cautious approach, where hot accusations may be exchanged, is a valuable model. Thank you.

T said...

For what ever reason, the spreadsheet link only has one page and the rest can't be loaded.