Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Speculation regarding the "IBC" and Ancestry

After my last post regarding Ancestry removing the "Internet Biographical Collection" I did some checking.

As of half an hour ago (8:10 p.m. eastern time) if you do a standard search, the "Internet Biographical Collection" does not display in the results under Historical Records/Birth, Marriage, & Death. However, you can still go directly to the page for the database (the link was posted earlier today by at least two other blogs but I'm not gonna post it here). It shows up as an "Unknown" database but still has the same verbiage for the source information, i.e. it is an Ancestry database. And it can still be searched.

In the record detail they have added the url of the website as another piece of information, and it is clickable. But if it is a long url, the full address does not display.

In their announcement, Ancestry said "We have decided to remove this collection and search engine from for the time being." This tells me that it will probably be back. But perhaps they will have learned something from all this and will "do it right" this time.
  • They need to change the wording for the source information so that it is very clear that the content is from another site and is not actually their content.
  • They need to prominently display the full url of the website where the information is coming from.
  • They need to remove the link to the cached page as a default. A link to a cached page should only be displayed if the original website is no longer a live site.
  • They should offer it as a free service. It should not be a subscription database.
I'm sure there are some other things they should do also ;-) but I'll leave those suggestions to someone else.

My original post on the subject "Is this Fair Use?" includes some screen shots and I have some additional thoughts in Take a deep breath and relax...

I'm sure Ancestry never thought there would be such an outcry over what they have done. It's a credit to genealogists everywhere, not just the genea-bloggers, who spoke up and made their voice heard. Your opinion does matter, sometimes!

1 comment:

Janice said...


I'd suggest you hold onto those screen shots. I have a variety of them, from when the database was released and showing the changes over the last two days....

I find it appalling that they are trying to say they "did it" because they were concerned about having the important genealogical information on blogs and web sites just disappear. So noble.. and so their unethical behavior had nothing to do with making money? God almighty...some one's nose is growing longer by the second.