All My Ancestors

14 February 2009

Please advise re: potentially pirated pics

Filed under: General, How to by allmyanc

I’m distressed.

I have a password-protected family website.

Not many of my family members appear to be interested but I like having the info available but “safe” behind the password.  It includes info on the living–I can refer persons to it for info and it’s a nice place to store my pics and stories with the appropriate family groups.

Recently I was surfing for some info about my family and was surprised to find some of the photos from my closed website attached to some records in the Family Trees section.  Initially I thought perhaps someone else in the family had shared these photos with the author, but the further I looked, the more sure I was that these photos came from my what I thought was secure website. There’s one of my sons, for example, as young boys with my grandparents that hasn’t been posted or shared anywhere else.

I have (politely) contacted the person who posted this family tree twice and have heard nothing.

I am fairly certain I know how this happened.  One person I gave access to shared his/her password with others in that branch.  How do I handle this?

I am a fairly generous person.  I am willing to share nearly all of what I have.  But that website has pictures on it that came to me from my grandmother and her siblings and their children.  I feel protective of them.  Had I been asked, I probably would have shared.  But this somehow rubs me the wrong way.  I’ve read a zillion posts like this and truthfully, sometimes think “What’s the big deal?  It’s all family.”

But this time, when it happens to me, am I wrong to feel wronged?

Help me out, here.  Or, as Rachel Maddow says, “Talk me down.”


5 Responses to “Please advise re: potentially pirated pics”

  1. I can’t, of course, tell you how to feel but photo theft seems to be increasing. Apparently it can happen in a variety of ways from an innocent mistake to some low-life robot just being unable to resist the temptation. So basically if it’s on the web it’s vulnerable. Also I can confirm that there are worse things that can happen.

  2. I know how you feel. About a year ago a woman called me and she was researching the Sperl (Millvale PA) line and got my number from the cemetery. Since I was researching the family too I told her what I had and I sent her information from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which I had as a Word Document.

    I heard nothing from her again and to my astonishment she had posted it on the LDS site. I was really irked. I would share my information, but honestly, you should ask permission from the documents owner before you do something like that.


  3. Can’t help “talk you down” as I’d be livid. Heck I’m livid on your behalf! I hope that the person who posted the pictures just hasn’t checked their email and that they are not actually ignoring you. If you know who shared your password with someone else I would be contacting them asking for an explanation and requesting that they contact the person who is using your pictures. If you do not hear back from either person in a reasonable amount of time you could try contacting to let them know that someone has posted your stolen photos. You could also leave comments on the pages that have your photos identifying them as yours and stating that they were put there without your permission. There is a lot of my work on various trees at ancestry and other places on the web (complete with my errors)and no reference to where they got the information and it frosts me every time I find it. Only once have I found my info with a link back to me. I have given several people permission to use my work and even they don’t reference me. I’m ranting, sorry ’bout that! Keep us posted.

  4. Thanks, Apple. I don’t think I really wanted to be talked down–I think I wanted someone else to rant with me. :-) I have considered contacting Ancestry and may still.

  5. Hi. I just discovered your blog and had to comment on this post. Back in 1996, I shared my gedcom with another researcher. This was not just names, dates and places, but had considerable narrative information in the notes sections. This person added some of her information (which was incorrect) to mine and put it on Ancestry several years later. I contacted Ancestry and they said there was nothing they could do. Of course, dozens of others have copied from her and now I find my notes all over the World Connect trees on Ancestry. On one of the notes, I mentioned that the information was a letter written to my grandmother, Josephine Milam Saunders, and these people don’t even bother to take that off. Obviously, they don’t read what they take from others. I have gone to some of the trees and added notes asking that they take the information off, but it didn’t do any good. I could go on and on. This happened years ago, and I’m still angry about it, so, yes, I’m ranting also. If you contact Ancestry, please let us know what happens.

Leave a Reply

− 1 = five