Friday, September 21, 2018 Blatantly Copies Most of the Content

It's deja vu all over again.  One website copies the content from another website and hopes for more traffic.  This time, it's the data on a really big website (, owned by a major genealogy provider (, that was copied.  Pass the popcorn - how long will it take for to be taken down, and probably penalized?

There were tweets and Facebook posts yesterday about this, and a number of readers and posters were aggravated that their family photographs and cemetery photographs had been smeared over with a PeopleLegacy watermark.  Aggravate your potential customers much?

The two blog posts I've read so far are:

* Appropriating Content from Find-A-Grave by Thomas MacEntee on the Abundant Genealogy blog.  Thomas advocates letting do the work here rather than have thousands of persons waste the time of lawyers and such.

*  No, Find-A-Grave Wasn’t Exactly “Hacked” by Dick Eastman on the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog.  Dick provides a link to a website that can be used to capture website content.

Here is the home page:

Here is the page for one of my ancestors (two images):

Note the watermark over all of the photographs.

Here is the Find A Grave memorial for the same person:

The information provided is identical between the two sites.  The contributor of the photograph is "Anonymous."

The photograph of Thomas Richmond (1848-1917) shown is from my family photograph archives - I posted it Family Photographs - Post 29: Thomas Richmond on 12 November 2008.  The photos used on FindAGrave and PeopleLegacy have been edited a bit by somebody.

My guess is that the Over/Under bet on the date that the site disappears forever from the Internet is 1 October.  What do you think?

It will be interesting to see how much in damages asks for in their lawsuit, and how much they ultimately receive, and how long it takes for all of this to happen.


Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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goneresearching said...

I have already emailed the Copyright Agent which I think is the right department to notify the corporate office of the issue (don't quote me though) and provided an example using links and PDFs of the same memorial on each site.

With my photos on FindAGrave I have my copyright notice directly on the tombstone in the photo. The "swiping" website could not blur it very well and it is still readable so it is direct evidence of the infringement. I have submitted this photo no where else on the internet. And I do a search at Ancestry about twice a year to make sure no one else has posted it there without my permission. And I know I did not give the "swiping" website permission to use my photos.

I think we should all hope which owns pursues this matter vigorously.

Paul Smith said...

I blogged about it yesterday afternoon after hearing about the site in a Facebook Find-A-Grave group.

Diane Gould Hall said...

Makes you wonder what possesses these people to do such a thing. There has to be a motive. It’s not like they thought no one would notice. Come on. This is a large, active, smart, savvy group of people we're talking about. And I don’t mean the Ancestry website, I mean all of use, as users of FindAGrave.
I hope Ancestry takes very quick and very forceful action.

Marian B. Wood said...

Meanwhile, I'm not visiting the bogus thieving site. I don't want to increase its traffic. I think Ancestry will succeed in getting it taken down even before October 1. Fingers crossed.