Stole genealogical sources

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For the past few weeks there has been drama in the genealogical society. A new website called peoplelegacy.com has been taken to steal the content of the site findagrave.com.

Stole user-uploaded content

While it’s serious enough that content is stolen from another site and presented by others as “their own”, some of the content that was stolen was uploaded to findagrave.com by findgrave users. Both images of tombstones and family pictures were now suddenly found on peoplelegacy.com with a large watermark that clearly claimed that peoplelegacy owned the pictures.

Owned by Ancestry

Findagrave.com is owned by one of the world’s largest family research businesses, namely Ancestry. Until MyHeritage was launched, Ancestry was for a long time was the undisputed king in the commercial  genealogy world.

Ancestry obviously did not like the content theft by peoplelegacy.com and in September, they managed to make peoplelegacy.com remove all the photos originally found on findagrave.com.

How could this happen?

Many wondered if findagrave were hacked by the people behind peoplelegacy, but Dick Eastman has probably a clue to how this was done. Dick Eastman is the owner and creator of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and has a theory that people behind peoplelegacy have used a service ala Sitesucker.

Sitesucker do more or less what the name says, it sucks the content of a website. Eastman himself uses the service to back up his own blog, but the service can also be used to suck content from websites own by others.

Still exists

Are you curious about PeopleLegacy, then the page is still there without photos. But they have not managed to get the same search opportunities as findagrave.com has. It is therefore far easier to search for graves after deceased relatives in the United States on findagrave than on peoplelegacy.

Breach of copyright?

Geneastuff does not know US legislation, but according to Norwegian standards, this would be considered as a breach of copyright. In Norway there is a database protection regulated by the Copyright Act. As long as the database can be said to compile a larger number of information or is the result of a significant investment, the chance is that the database is secured by the Copyright Act, similar to a book or other work.