Thursday, February 05, 2009

Findmypast.com has an amateurish and greedy attitude

Findmypast.com - Terms and Conditions: "Fair Usage Policy for Subscribers

6.1 To ensure a high quality service for all customers, we enforce a “Fair Usage Policy” for Users with a Subscription whereby we place a cap on use of the Services. We have set the current use limit at an average of no more than 1000 Credits per month over a rolling three month period.

6.2 We may revise our Fair Usage Policy from time to time and will advise you of any changes made.

6.3 If you exceed the Fair Usage Policy limits, We reserve the right to invoice you retrospectively for all Credits used at the rate of 12 pence per Credit and to suspend or terminate your use of the Services"

new boys on the block should learn from TGN :-

- Ancestry.com: "Limited Use LICENSE

You are licensed to use the Content only for personal or professional family history research, and may download Content only as search results relevant to that research. The download of the whole or significant portions of any work or database is prohibited. Resale of a work or database or portion thereof, except as specific results relevant to specific research for an individual, is prohibited.

Online or other republication of Content is prohibited except as unique data elements that are part of a unique family history or genealogy. Violation of this License may result in immediate termination of your membership and may result in legal action for injunction, damages or both. You may use access software provided on the Service only while on line and may not download, copy, reuse or distribute that software, except where it is clearly stated in connection with software that it is made available for offline use and a license for that use is provided in connection with that software."

Terms and Conditions for FOOTNOTE: "User Conduct

Footnote.com hereby grants you permission to use the Website according to these Terms of Service. All Users, whether a Visitor, Member or All-Access Member, agree that they will use the Website for personal historical research only and not for any commercial purpose. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, professional researchers, professional historians and others conducting scholarly research may use the Website within the scope of their professional work. Footnote.com does not claim a copyright to images already in the public domain that it has then converted into a digital format. However, through agreements we have obtained, and may continue to obtain, certain images or documents that are protected by copyrights or that, even if in the public domain, are subject to restrictions on reuse. Unless such specific restrictions apply, we encourage Members to reproduce public domain images from the Website for their own personal use."

World Vital Records Terms and Conditions: "We are so sure that you will get valuable genealogy information and family history help with your World Vital Records subscription that we offer a 30 day money back guarantee. If at anytime during your first 30 days of membership you do not get your money's worth simply call us on our toll free number at 1-888-377-0588 and request a refund. We will gladly refund your total membership amount. Simple as that! This money back guarantee applies to all World Vital Records membership plans and does not apply to any shipped products."

6 Comments:

Blogger google said...

Hugh, this policy has been in place and in our Terms & Conditions since December 2005, so we've obviously been greedy and amateurish for a number of years now. Nice to know that someone reads the Ts & Cs though.

The crucial wording is "reserve the right" - we very rarely enforce that except in cases of exceptional abuse, which is what the provision is designed to catch.

Ian @ findmypast.com

3:48 pm  
Blogger Myrt said...

THIS BLOG ENTRY WILL BE POSTED LATER TODAY, HUGH. THANKS for calling a spade a spade.

Findmypast.com has an amateurish and greedy attitude posted earlier today by Hugh Watkins at ENEALOGE, compares the new “Limited Use License” just updated at FindMyPast.com (capping usage of its members to 1000 units/credits per month) with the policies at Ancestry.com, Footnote.com and WordVitalRecords.com.

Ol’ Myrt couldn’t agree more – if people pay for access, they should have access. There are other ways of protecting content (like embedding watermarks). There are always going to be cheaters, but in the genre of genealogy, most folks are reasonable.

Myrt :)

4:13 pm  
Blogger Hugh W said...

yes Ian

we have the same problems with Scotlands People

you just changed terms and Conditions so I followed the link on the email

I have only just subscribed to FTM in anticipation of seeing the 1911 census added to my subscription in due course - now I see you will launch a new package - which is not supporting your loyal subscribers at all

Just now the complete Ancestry Title Listings has 27,129 databases and they will add 1911 as soon as they have access

http://www.arkivalieronline.dk/ has 13 sets of danish census images on line gratis from 1787 to 1925 and church books / parish registers to 1925 (soon to 1950)

But that is a political decision in UK and Scotland within which framework you do your best

5:37 pm  
Blogger Craig Manson said...

Hugh,

Thanks for this!
Ian's comment seems to exemplify the company's attitude as well.

5:51 pm  
Blogger google said...

We have blogged about this on the findmypast.com blog to clarify why why we include this in the terms and conditions.

http://blog.findmypast.com/2009/02/fair-usage-policy-for-subscribers/

Sorry for not using the smiley on my earlier post to convey humour! The dangers of posting online...

1:05 pm  
Blogger Ian said...

Hugh,
Their attitude to their customers couldn't be shown better than the email they sent out just after Christmas touting the 1911 Census coming to findmypast.com as a reason to take out a discounted subscription. A couple of weeks after the discount offered expired they announced that access to the 1911 census on the findmypast.com website would be by additional subscription, even for existing subscribers.
They are just trying to extract every last penny possible from their customers, unfortunately if they carry on like this they won't have any customers.

By the way, I like your blog.

Regards,
Ian

6:05 pm  

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