Sunday, March 18, 2007

Family History Centers

Another Side of the Removal From the Family History Centers » Genealogy Blog:
" . . . .a few thoughts with all of you on another topic. For the last seven years, our company has provided free access to inside the family history centers of the LDS Church. During this time, we’ve done this without any formal agreement or compensation.

Several months ago, we informed the Church of our desire to craft a formal relationship that would allow us to continue providing this free access. This is similar to the way that we license to over 1400 public libraries in the U.S. and U.K. We do this for a license fee which lets patrons of these institutions use our service for free inside their facilities. As you can imagine, this is a very popular program among libraries.

Unfortunately, we were not able to come to agreement with the Church on the terms of this proposed relationship.
We are disappointed by this, as we know that patrons of family history centers value, and we think our institutional licensing program is priced very fairly.

We remain willing and eager to have available in family history centers, and we are even hopeful that at some point the Church will reconsider their position and decide to give patrons of their family history centers access to the world’s greatest online resource for for family history research.

We will continue to provide access in family history centers to a small number of databases which are covered by other agreements, and none of our other many agreements with the Church are impacted by this change. We continue to have a number of mutually beneficial agreements and relationships with the Church, and as two large players in the family history space, we share a common goal of getting as many people as we can interested in their family history.

Our relationship is a good one, and we are always looking for ways to cooperate with the Church in order to grow our business and ignite more interest in the category. I’m sharing all of this with all of you because I am sure that there will be some unhappy patrons of family history centers, and I wanted everyone to understand that this was not a one-way decision on our part.

Finally, I am constantly asked whether we think of the Church as a competitor. The answer to this really depends on the underlying assumptions of the question. Are we competing for dollars? No. Do we have exactly the same goals? No. Are we unfriendly? Absolutely not. Is TGN committed to making sure that remains the #1 resource for online family history? Absolutely. Is Ancestry going to continue to be the home of the world’s largest online family tree? Yup. Should we be able to innovate faster than anyone on the planet in this space? Of course. Are we two large players that each have done tremendous things to help people understand their family history

Yes. Can we continue to cooperate with the Church to get millions more people interested in family history? We can, and we will.

From: Tim Sullivan
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:38 PM


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