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Who the heck are you talking to? I didn't say a word!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 9:31 PM
Subject: Re: [CTFAIRFI-L] Issues and Answers? IV
> Who the Heck are you? Did you transcribe any records? Did you give any
> of your free time to do this for free? The records were sent to those who
> could do this in THEIR FREE TIME, FOR FREE ACCESS ON LINE<
> Now, if you think we did this for a company to expose to the public after
> asking for "a donation" if you don't care, then maybe we should keep
> our records and charge you for them? Would you like that? I am sorry
> about my tone, my mother in law had brain surgery this morning, she
> lives in Westport, CT. I have to be there for God knows how long......
> But I will still help the list in any way I can, WHY? BECAUSE WE NEED
> IT TO BE FREE!!!!!
> Good luck to all!
> New York
> ==== CTFAIRFI Mailing List ====
> Address to unsubscribe from MAIL Mode:
> Please type: "Unsubscribe" in the body of the message
The biggest fear that I see right now, is with all this Rootsweb "bashing"
going on, that there may not be a Rootsweb in the future. Has anyone thought
I for one really enjoy all the lists I belong too, and would miss them a
TO THE REST OF YOU......I STAND BEHIND NANCY, I HAD THE GREATEST
TIME HELPING PUT CT RECORDS IN A TEMPLATE, IN TWO DAYS JUST TO
BE ON LINE TO HELP EVERY ONE, FOR FREE.....GOD BLESS THOSE
THAT DID THE TRANSCRIBING, I WAS ABLE TO PUT THEIR WORK ON
THE WEB, WHICH WE THOUGHT WOULD BE FREE.....FOREVER....
IF WE HAVE TO GO TO ANOTHER SITE TO DO IT, JUST TO MAKE SURE
NO ONE PROFITS.......GOD BE IT!!!!!!!!
Who the Heck are you? Did you transcribe any records? Did you give any
of your free time to do this for free? The records were sent to those who
could do this in THEIR FREE TIME, FOR FREE ACCESS ON LINE<
Now, if you think we did this for a company to expose to the public after
asking for "a donation" if you don't care, then maybe we should keep
our records and charge you for them? Would you like that? I am sorry
about my tone, my mother in law had brain surgery this morning, she
lives in Westport, CT. I have to be there for God knows how long......
But I will still help the list in any way I can, WHY? BECAUSE WE NEED
IT TO BE FREE!!!!!
Good luck to all!
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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Speaking of issues and answers. This came over the Ohio mailing list.
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Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 06:31:28 -0400
From: Maggie Stewart-Zimmerman <73777.25(a)compuserve.com>
Sender: Maggie Stewart-Zimmerman <73777.25(a)compuserve.com>
Subject: [OHGEN-L] Fw: FYI Yahoo-GeoCities
X-Mailing-List: <OHGEN-L(a)rootsweb.com> archive/latest/1867
If you have a site on GeoCities, you absolutely must read these
They are saying that GeoCites owns all webpages and images hosted by them..
==== OHGEN Mailing List ====
This list is for the discussion of topics related to the OHGenWeb project
by OHGenWeb Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators.
OHGenWeb Project: http://www.scioto.org/OHGenWeb/index.html
Allen Richmond, sciototrails(a)usa.net, OHGenWeb State Coordinator
Judy Kelble, jkelble(a)accnorwalk.com, OHGenWeb Assistant State Coordinator
Are there apprenticeship records for the early 1700's in Stratford CT?
Often these are recorded in the legal jurisdiction, but the the
librarian at the State Library didn't know anything about them when I
asked. Would these records be located in England as provincial
Liz Merchant Garrity
Non-Profit Issue Continued:
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 18:30:23 -0600
From: C Hammett <carhammett(a)rootsweb.com>
Subject: [L_O_A_F-L] Clarification re Personal Liability
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
A number of subscribers to both this list and GenConnect, including Paid
Staff Members and even Brian himself (co-owner of RootsWeb), have either
made statements and/or raised questions in regard to RootsWeb's current
and/or future non-profit status, particularly due to the recent change
advertisting as a primary source of revenue.
Like many of us who are List Admins, I regularly exhort others, both via
our List and our web pages, to make donations to RootsWeb, based on
RootsWeb's declared intentions (past two years) to filed for non-profit
status (501(c)(3). I estimate (because the figures have never been made
public) that our efforts have probably resulted in a bare minimum of
million dollars ($500,000 American), and probably significantly more.
Although our public support of, and solicitation for, contributions to
RootsWeb have been based on its declared plan to become non-profit, in
reality, our efforts have been on behalf of a "for-profit corporation"
self-declared lack of profitability being irrelevant).
If RootsWeb determines at any point prior to gaining non-profit status,
remain a "for-profit" private enterprise, what are the potential legal
ramifications for those of us who are or have been "fund raisers" for
(1) Has RootsWeb filed for non-profit status yet?
(2) If not, does RootsWeb still plan to file, and if so, when?
(3) If RootsWeb has not filed, and no longer intends to do so:
(a) Is RootsWeb willing to make public their financial statements?
(b) Where do we all stand legally if suits or charges are filed
RootsWeb for illegal solicitation of funds, etc.?
(c) Is there any possibility of our being considered "agents" of
RootsWeb under the law (in which case we would also be personally liable
RootsWeb were successfully sued and/or criminally prosecuted)?
(4) Does advertising revenue as a primary source of income automatically
preclude RootsWeb from non-profit status anyway?
Please note that the above statements and questions are neither
to RootsWeb, nor "off-topic" on a list primarily composed of RootsWeb
Contributors, a significant number of whom also solicit funds for
(even if only in a "tag line" on a list).
Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Combs &c. RootsWeb -- Dedicated to Free Genealogy on the Internet
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 19:05:43 -0500
From: Sandy <teylu(a)home.com>
Subject: [L_O_A_F-L] For Profit Organization
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
I am one of many who have been seeking information concerning Brian's
stated intent of organizing RootsWeb as a nonprofit and then seeking
"charitable" (i.e, 501(c)(3) ) tax-exempt status.
I think many people are under the mistaken impression a business is "for
profit" by some sort of "default," ... in this case the impression seems
to be RootsWeb is "for profit" only because it has not yet filed its
application for "charitable" status from the IRS.
That is not the case with any business.
You organize as nonprofit or as for profit.
Specifically, in California you have two choices: for profit or non
To organize the business *as* a nonprofit, you are required to state the
tax exempt status you *intend* to seek.
This is why I find it misleading to respond to "Are you nonprofit?" by
offering details of your preparation of an application for 501(c)(3) tax
The response does not answer the question, and obviously can cause
people to believe the only reason you are not nonprofit is because the
application must be approved.
I believe it is clear many people believe this is the case for RootsWeb.
Brian has stated he plans to form two corporations, one for profit and
the other non profit.
The specific identifying names of those corporations have not been
However, according to the California Secretary of State's Documents
Filing Office, Rootsweb.com, Inc., qualified for incorporation within
the past 10 days (of June 1999) under its earlier Delaware qualifying.
In other words, Rootsweb.com, Inc. originally incorporated in Delaware.
I do not know the date of the Delaware incorporation, the CA Secty of
State doesn't record that information.
The various papers including officers, etc., have not been received by
the CA Secty of State's Document Filing Office because the qualifying is
so recent (within the past 10 days).
However, the agent for RootsWeb.com, Inc. is Robert Tillman.
The type corporation is clear regarding for-profit or nonprofit.
"Rootsweb.com, Inc. is definitely NOT a nonprofit," according to the
Documents Filing Office of the California Secretary of State.
No record was apparent of another corporation by similar name of
Rootsweb/RootsWeb having filed incorporation in California.
If another corporation exists concerning RootsWeb, particularly if it is
organized as a nonprofit, I respectfully request Brian Leverich inform
us of this.
A requirement for obtaining IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status *is* being
organized as nonprofit. The structure of Rootsweb.com, Inc., as
currently qualified by the CA Secty of State, would preclude obtaining
You've had your fill, and so have I. My main concern; the new lists
etc. being started for hobbies, pets, etc. I have nothing against
Rootsweb expanding into other areas, that is their perogative. BUT, I
can not and will not support an organization that solicits donations in
the NAME of genealogy, when there is a possibility that that money is
being used for the areas of pets, hobbies, and cooking, and NOT for
genealogy. If Rootsweb wants to expand, give the THOUSANDS of
researchers MORE genealogical records for their donations!
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 14:27:15 -0700
From: "Tom & Joyce Pfeifer" <tj54(a)goodnet.com>
Subject: [L_O_A_F-L] AUP & Status
To Dr. B; Bob Tillman; et al,
There obviously has been concern about the AUP. I'm posting this
the listowners, LOAF, & T-R lists due to no response to my question
regarding the "proper" place for these questions, comments, &
There are two parts to this posting. One dealing with the AUP
and the other with the entity referred to as "Rootsweb".
------------ Part One---------------
I have no problems with rules that I can understand. I don't feel
that I should have to consult my lawyer for "every" agreement I make,
especially those where my signature is not required. I'm not a "dumb
animal", but the language used in the AUP certainly leaves a lot to be
desired. If you expect users to obey the rules who have a lesser formal
educational background than you (and most of us do), then you must keep
simple and straightforward.
The relatively clear message of rule #7 that states you may change
policies at any time is understandable, EXCEPT that you say these
are scattered throughout the massive Rootsweb website and you offer no
to find them. That's not in keeping with your statement that the AUP
not new, but is now in one place.
New users who don't come in through the "front door" and old ones
haven't used it for a time either, are unlikely to ever see the AUP. It
shouldn't surprise you that other sites have links to direct people to
specific RW pages and to sign-up for mailing lists without even knowing
the server is that they're going to. I, like many other listowners,
invited people to join my list who have never visited RW and may not.
have no method to funnel those new people through a place where the AUP
be accessed. You certainly can't expect users to follow the rules if
don't know any exist.
In reference to rule #5 stating the responsibility for posts
to include a financial liability in regards to RW being sued. If I
published, talked in public or private, and said "I think somebody
shoot Lee H. Oswald", I wouldn't be an accessory to murder or be
to fund Jack Ruby's defense trial. (That assumes I never knew Jack)
certainly like a specific scenerio you envision and how you would expect
poster to be liable. The implication that I may be liable for a lawsuit
brought by a third party has the appearance of a restriction on my
With the recent creation of the entity "RootsWeb.com, Inc." a
for-profit corporation (or at least that's the name I hear that has not
disputed) and the eventual creation of a yet un-named 501 (c)(3)
corporation and the apparent continuation of the sole-proprietorship of
Brian L. and Karen I. , DBA "Rootsweb Genealogical Data Cooperative",
distinctions are increasingly unclear. For the purposes of space, I'll
refer to them as "RW", "501", and "B&K", respectively.
With Bob Tillman as Pres./CEO of RW and indicating in that
that only he and Brian and Karen will be establishing policy, then the
that has been presented is obviously policies of B&K, not RW. The AUP
a page that is linked from the main page of B&K. There (to my
are no pages that are identified as RW pages, although the general
references use the name "Rootsweb" freely, it should not be construed to
mean owned by RW, but rather still a B&K product.
It is unclear how Bob Tillman who identifies himself with RW has
authority to return money donated to B&K and refuse access to a B&K
as evidenced in the last few days
If any agreement with B&K regarding usage of server space was
established prior to RW's creation, that agreement remains with B&K and
not automatically become an agreement with RW or the 501. The same
to all the policies of B&K.
For all the parties, including the GenWeb group, who are having
problems with anything that has transpired in recents weeks, you must
determine the entity you need to address. Brian and Karen and the staff
they assign can speak for B&K. Brian, Karen, Bob, and other
and staff they assign can speak for RW. It is imperative you understand
which entity they speak for as it could be either and the information
receive will not be applicable to both.
All the problems, questions, concerns and comments will become
more of an issue and again an issue, when the 501 becomes active.
The issue of who owns (controls) what, is not a priority for
to disclose at this time as evidenced by his non-response to those
questions. He is generally content to tend the hardware which is his
of expertise. I respect that desire, but understand that business must
handled regardless of how displeasurable it may be.
As a side note, I have noticed his tendency to respond to movie
trivia questions.<G> Such as "Name the movie and the actor who was
after uttering the line "What we have here is a failure to communicate""
To be continued . . . .
Issues and Answers? continued:
AUP ISSUE Continued:
>From the listowner of Listowners-L
Vicki Lindsay <chance(a)eskimo.com> wrote:
> As you might expect, we've received a lot of comments and questions
> in response to RootsWeb's AUP. We want to make sure that everyone
> is clear on what the AUP says, so we'll respond to your suggestions
> in next week's RootsWeb Review for everyone to read. Thanks to
> everyone who has written!
>Listowners-L List Manager
AUP ISSUE CONTINUED
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 01:40:19 -0300
From: "Derek Nichols" <breeze(a)nbnet.nb.ca>
Subject: [L_O_A_F-L] Re: The AUP
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Dr. Brian Leverich, Robert Tillman, Team-Rootsweb-L, L_O_A_F-L
> Please be kind to dumb animals and don't lawyer me to death. We'll
> have a much more accurate and comprehensive response in the RWR if
> interest seems to justify it.
Well the RWR came out, without any further explanations, so does
this mean despite the tons of unanswered questions that there was
no interest in the matter? I hardly think that's true.
> There seems to be some concern that we might burn folks'
> information onto CD-ROM. I refer anyone who has concerns here to
> the reason RootsWeb was founded, which is archived in various
> places. Also to the various commitments we've made over the
> last several years. The concern is obviously misplaced.
But is the concern misplaced?
I have yet to get a response to my followup post which addressed
this issue from a couple of days ago. You've made the
commitments in the past that the posts' copyrights are the users
and they will be removed if requested. You have also made in the
past the commitment that archives of lists would be removed if
requested by the listowner. You have yet to confirm you would
honour these commitments, and actually posted the direct
opposite almost re: the copyright issue and there have been
questions re the archive issue as well.
So if you aren't honouring those previous commitments, why would
our concern be misplaced? And then why would we sit back and
expect in return that the commitments to the new AUP will be
honoured and not changed on the fly as well? If they can be done
once why can't they be changed again on us?
People keep bringing up trust... trust is fine but there has to be
something to trust. What am I supposed to trust if not previous
I see much concern that is not misplaced.
ISSUE 3: Profit or non-profit status:
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 23:14:41 -0700
From: Denise Mortorff <Stonyridge(a)thegrid.net>
Subject: [L_O_A_F-L] FOR PROFIT and Other Questions
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
I tried this post at the wrong location (help list) I guess to merit a
response to the details. I have seldom posted in a rootsweb forum other
than on a research list, so here it goes.... Denise Mortorff
In an announcement excerpted from ROOTSWEB REVIEW: Genealogical Data
Cooperative News, Vol. 2, No. 24, 16 June 1999, are some of the
following statements, as I understand it, representing Karen Isaacson
and Brian Leverich, co-owners of the RootsWeb Genealogical Data
Cooperative. Please correct me if this is in error. In this issue there
was printed a NEW Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
I have comments and questions about the following so I understand better
the status of ROOTSWEB and statements made in the post. I WOULD
APPRECIATE a response without editing my request or selectively removing
my questions in this post.:
First, I would like to be sure of the status of ROOTSWEB. Are you
"non-profit" or "profit"? I see your post references ROOTSWEB as a
"cooperative" and I need to better understand what is your status.
With respect to the post mentioned above it states "While there is a
clear statement that "those posts remain your property under copyright
law" I do not understand the application of some information in a
practical sense --
In Item (3) I do not understand why Rootsweb would want the license to
redistribute posts unless you are ONLY stating this to encompass the
manner in which you are currently sending postings electronically for
posting. Also, what type of commitments could Rootsweb have that would
result in specific circumstances to supersede the understandings in Item
3? For instance, does ROOTSWEB view themselves as having authority by
this posting to create a policy whereby it can sell research posted in
the form of a means like CD Roms to help fund their business? My concern
is that while there is an emphasis in this post, re:the status of
information, for ROOTSWEB to have a right to use information in
different ways, there seems to be no concern for the cost incurred by
list/cooperative members in acquiring the research as an integral part
of what the ownership involved. I view research I paid for and posted
as part and parcel of its status. In other words if my research, not
just my information, is used for the profit of a business, good purpose,
or not, I am not certain that treating it simply as info in the absence
of the other costs I incurred and then making a profit is appropriate or
acceptable on my part.
In Item (5) Why would there be a concern for transferring costs for
legal fees to list owners without the express understanding that the
list owner has the same right to transfer legal fees to Rootsweb if
Rootsweb makes a mistake?
In Item (9) What type of exchange of money are you referencing in this
In Item (10) what do you consider "fair use" re:copyrighted material?
What if my definition of fair isn't what you consider fair? Is there a
provision I missed where you have to get the EXPRESS PERMISSION of list
members/owners before using the postings in a way other than they were
intended to be used in a post and archived for the exchange of
information? I did not see a reciprocal protection.
Last, although not on the list below, I am wondering why there wasn't a
poll taken to see what list members preferences would be with respect to
the recent changes and particuarly to look at membership fees, as
opposed to donations, with say a governing non-profit board put in place
for what would seem a democratic approach both present and future.
ROOTSWEB, in my view, becomes a viable entity with the information
shared in its coffers. It is a distinctly two-sided effort. In addition
to the great effort of ROOTSWEB, there is a tremendous amount of time,
effort AND money that went into the research posted, and I am concerned
that without a democratic approach, there will be many people who will
not have a right to say what you do with their research and the money
invested in acquiring it. I did not post my information for profit of
any entity and hope I can learn more of your practical intent so I can
get a comfort level with posting more research.
I look forward to your response.
To be continued . . .
Followup to "Posts To CTFAIRFI" email yesterday:
L_O_A_F is listowners alternative forum. It is NOT a list for
disgruntled listowners. It was set up by Dr. Bill Fox because we
weren't getting questions answered on Listowners, and THAT listowner
banned several people who were asking relevant, important questions for
the future of genealogy research at Rootsweb and on the internet.
>From L_O_A_F Archives
ISSUE 1: Are donations in the "name" of genealogy to Rootsweb being
used strictly for genealogy?
> If indeed "Rootsweb" becomes 2 separate entities - the original RGDC
> and the new separate and commercial Rootsweb.com, Inc - I believe that
> legally the RDGC cannot solicit contributions for non-profit purposes and
> then funnel these contributions into the commercial business. This would be
> outright fraud.
True. But, without accusing, how can a listowner and "contributors" be
sure at the present time that there money is going directly to
"genealogy" when email lists for animals (ie: West Highland White
Terriers) have been showing up in the Rootsweb archives since approx.
Jan of '99?
I believe they must make it very clear when soliciting
> donations just where that money is going.
My point exactly. But that still doesn't prove that money for genealogy
is not being used for non-genealogy areas at "Rootsweb."
Snip personal story. . .let's stick with Rootsweb.
> If I submit my membership dues to our Economic Development Corp, I do it on
> the assumption and belief that this money is not going into the pockets of
> one of the board members. Can I prevent that from happening??
True, and neither can we. Therefore, without a guarantee to all those
list members that there "donations" are strictly for "genealogy" I still
can't in all confidence solicit donations or support Rootsweb.
Believe me, it's a fine line being walked under the current situation.
My dealings with any business or non-profit organization is based on
> their reputation within the community. If my members were to be so
> suspicious as to where their money will go, I will simply advise them to use
> their own judgment. I am not in the business of forcing members to donate.
Right now, I am not sure of "Rootsweb's" reputation. Over the course of
the past few weeks, there treatment of supporters, donators, and
listowners has left a lot to be desired. Add in the fact that they
don't care if you stay or go, IMO, not a great impression for continuing
or building a good reputation.
> It is quite clear that the vast majority of Rootsweb users are NOT willing
> to contribute one way or the other.
This is true, and maybe someone should poll them and ask them why?
Maybe they also have the same concerns regarding the situation.
And I am not a lawyer or a Rootsweb
> insider. I am not qualified to tell anyone where their money is going, nor
> do I feel obligated to answer these types of questions. I'm not God, I'm a
> list administrator and website owner :-)
That's my point. Rootsweb won't answer the questions, and therefore I
can't answer the questions with any confidence to those who ask.
> I have yet to have a member question me as to where their donation goes. I
> think it is rather obvious. The RGDC has provided the genealogy community
> with access to an overwhelming amount of data. The bottom line for me is
> this - if I had any suspicions about the intentions of Brian and Karen, I
> simply would not be a sponsor of Rootsweb. I will put my trust in people
> first, using common sense and reasonable caution, unless or until their
> actions prove me wrong.
Using common sense and reasonable caution is exactly what I am doing.
And, because nobody will say donations for genealogy are being used
strictly for genealogy, I am even more cautious then ever. I am not
going to be the "monkey in the middle" asking for donations for
"affordable genealogy research" if that isn't EXACTLY what it is being
And yet again . . .<G>!
ISSUE 2: The AUP and contradictions from staff at Rootsweb.
Brian's statement that answers regarding the new AUP would appear in
last weeks Rootsweb Review:
"Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 22:48:50 -0700
From: "Dr. Brian Leverich" <leverich(a)rootsweb.com>
To: L_O_A_F-D(a)rootsweb.com, TEAM-ROOTSWEB-L(a)rootsweb.com,
cc: "Dr. Brian Leverich" <leverich(a)rootsweb.com>
Subject: The AUP
All, I'm kinda buried trying to get an upgraded server to Marc
Nozell for the threaded mailing list archives and a ton of other
chores, so this is an extremely rough response to a the traffic
I've seen on the copied lists.
Please be kind to dumb animals and don't lawyer me to death. We'll
have a much more accurate and comprehensive response in the RWR if
interest seems to justify it.
First, there's *nothing* *new* in the AUP. These are the same
policies RootsWeb has been operating under for the last three and a
half years. I think everything in the AUP has been published at
some point on some list; we've just finally written it all down in
one place for everyone's reference.
Second, so far as I know that is the most user-friendly AUP on The
Net. Go read the GenForum or the OneList or the ListBot AUPs and
see what they say. (:
Third, there's been a lot of concern about RootsWeb retaining a
right to redistribute. We *have* to have that right; that's what
RootsWeb *does* in a legal sense. We redistribute material owned
by other people.
We deliberately do not specify *how* we'll redistribute, because if
we're too specific we may not be able to properly serve the
community. Let me give you an example: at some point, we may want
to be able to redistribute your Web pages as streaming audio over
The Net for the vision-impaired, but we couldn't do that if we were
too specific about how we are allowed to redistribute the material.
There seems to be some concern that we might burn folks'
information onto CD-ROM. I refer anyone who has concerns here to
the reason RootsWeb was founded, which is archived in various
places. Also to the various commitments we've made over the
last several years. The concern is obviously misplaced.
The "other agreements" on redistribution include how RootsWeb
interacts with USGenWeb, the USGenWeb Archives, GenConnect, and
various other organizations. Either explicitly or implicitly over
the last several years RootsWeb has made commitments to those
organizations that we intend to continue fully supporting.
Fourth, the "if you get RootsWeb sued for something you did, then
you're responsible for RootsWeb's legal costs" means just that. I
can't imagine why any adult would have a problem with that: if you
aren't willing to be responsible for your own actions, why would
you expect us (or anyone else) to allow you to put them at risk?
Fifth, it's been noted that there's no privacy statement. That's
missing for two reasons. First, RootsWeb has an extremely simple
privacy statement (which has been published in the RWR): "It will
be a cold day in Hell when RootsWeb sells any user's personal
information to a third party". Second, we expect to be completing
a TrustE or similar certification in the near future, and a
separate formal privacy statement will be part of that
I hope that helps. Please don't lawyer me on the details -- these
are the *same* policies we have always operated under, they've just
been written down for convenience. You can expect RootsWeb in the
future to continue to operate just like RootsWeb in the past.
Dr. Brian Leverich Co-moderator, soc.genealogy.methods/GENMTD-L
RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative http://www.rootsweb.com/
P.O. Box 6798, Frazier Park, CA 93222-6798 leverich(a)rootsweb.com"
AUP ISSUE CONTINUED:
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 11:04:15 -0500
From: Sandy <teylu(a)home.com>
Subject: [L_O_A_F-L] Re: CONFUSED OVER ARCHIVES
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
"Brian Leverich" wrote:
> BTW, this also explains why you'll seldom see staff engage in
> policy discussions.
Well, with all due respects, B,
Tim Pierce must not have realized this.
Because the very topic of "use agreeements" came up very recently on
Listowners-L, when some of the owners of RW lists were discussing why
they feel RW lists are better than those established on the new
FamilySearch website of the LDS.
Specifically at issue was the clearly visible use agreement on the LDS
site...with RW listowners stating their choice of using RW was
*specifically* related to RootsWeb's *not* asking for any similar type
of release regarding material placed on RootsWeb's servers. Tim's
response was disturbing to some listowners...but when I followed up by
asking who would write an AUP for our cooperative, the question was
never answered, the discussion was immediately deemed "off topic," and I
was removed from Listowners-L.
Regardless, Tim certainly made clear to the owners of RW lists that at
RootsWeb you "never have had formal usage policies in the past."
It certainly seems clear the basis for misunderstanding is valid -- and
the belief of some (unknown number) of RW listowners that this AUP is
"new" is a belief shared by RW staff as well.
When the new RootsWeb AUP is written in a manner that seems to grant
RootsWeb some of the very same "rights" to messages and data placed on
its servers as OTHER servers, including LDS and GenForum, have long
stated in their AUPs; and when people chose to use RW specifically
because those requirements were not in existence at RW, as understood
both by listowners and by RW staff, then I think it is perfectly
understandable questions are being raised, and concerns are being
Clearly Tim felt RootsWeb would forumlate an AUP "better than the
policies we've been seeing on other sites."
Perhaps the more helpful approach to the questions and concerns being
expressed is for you to explain exactly how RootsWeb's new AUP is
somehow "different" than the other webservers, since to date some people
have opted to use RootsWeb specifically due to the lack of such usage
Tim's message is provided, and includes his requotting of the message
from Carol C-H, to whom he was responding.
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: my LDS fee remark
> Resent-Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 09:21:39 -0700 (PDT)
> Resent-From: listowners-L(a)rootsweb.com
> Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 12:21:32 -0400
> From: Tim Pierce <twp(a)rootsweb.com>
> To: listowners-L(a)rootsweb.com
> References: <3750D8C1.7FB5967B(a)home.com> <199905301358.IAA24011(a)netdoor.com>
> Hi, Carol -
> On Sun, May 30, 1999 at 09:03:14AM -0500, Carol C-H wrote:
> > You may have reacted to the same thing I did on the LDS site - the part
> > about having to agree that they can do anything they want to with your
> > posts. RootsWeb has never asked that we sign anything at all to post to
> > lists or access info or in any way use the information.
> Just to clarify, we never have had formal usage policies in the past,
> but we soon will have to institute some kind of agreement. We've
> already grown too large not to have a real AUP of some kind. I'm
> pretty sure that we can come up with something better than the
> policies we've been seeing on other sites.
> Tim Pierce
> RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative
> system obfuscator and hack-of-all-trades
To be continued. . . .
I'm trying to understand all the news about new policies at Rootsweb and the
takeover of GeoCities by Yahoo and what it will all mean for our genealogy
work via the Internet.
One of the questions seems to be that of "ownership" of the data included in
the posts of the listmembers. Given the general level of questions and
frequent chitchat, not to mention the creative spelling that appears,
wouldn't the amount of time required to get rid of superfluous verbiage and
redundant quoting make it far too costly to sift out the salable material?
Allan E. Green
> elbrecht(a)mindspring.com (Jim Elbrecht)wrote:
> limited. [and for the record, I think our previous listowner had
> nothing but good intentions, both when she started the list, and when
> she left it]
I also want to make very clear that I KNOW Nancy's intentions are
honorable. I just happen to disagree. I have been watching the
L_O_A_F-L archives as well as Listowners-L and Team-Rootsweb-L since
mid-May. I understand people have some concerns, but I truly believe in
Rootsweb's honorable intentions - I feel this way because of my past
experiences with them, just as my past experiences with Nancy make me
trust her intentions.
I think the whole thing has been blown way out of proportion - we have
all seen how a thread on a list can get out of control & downright
nasty! I hope that all the ugliness will not spill out onto the lists.
It would be a terrible shame.
My humble opinion after reading all the hubub is that nothing has
changed about Rootsweb's status as a business. We could all argue for
months about all the finer legal points about not-for-profit business.
Rootsweb has never been nor have they represented themselves as a
"not-for-profit". That is a very specific kind of status. Just because
a business does not turn a profit, does not mean that it is
"not-for-profit" or "charitable". Rootsweb has never led anyone to
believe that they could take a tax break for contributions made. This
would be the first clue that it is not a 501C type organization. They
have stated intentions to pursue 501C status, and explained that it can
be rather complicated. This could be for a number of reasons.
It all comes down to something very simple, I think. Perhaps the
founders do not want to lose control of the organization that they have
worked so hard to build. That makes perfect sense to me. It is the
same reason that some of the listowners are so unhappy, because they
feel that they are losing control of what they have worked so hard to
build. I think that we can all form our own opinions of what may or may
not be Rootsweb's intentions, and decide for ourselves whether or not we
wish to contribute at this point in time. I hope that we can all just
wait and see what happens before we destroy the whole thing from the
inside out. I personally have finally made the donation I have meant
to make for so long. That's just my way of saying that I still believe
in Rootsweb. Please let's not let this get ugly. We have all made too
many friends here!
I have to confess I am getting old and am easily confused! I don't understand
what is really going on/has happened. However, the quote below implies that
you are not the 'former' list owner but are in fact still the 'current' list
owner! If there is no "before" or "after" then nothing has changed!
[Apart from simply summarizing other writing and documenting past
practice, the AUP makes *no* changes in how RootsWeb interacts with
its users. There is no "before" or "after".]
So now where does that leave us?
Personally, I am going to query my Dept. of Justice friends and find out what
the legal issues are here. Who owns what? Under what circumstances? etc. I am
not sure there is even an issue here, hopefully they will be able to tell me.
I have to confess the Rootsweb "for profit" change bothers me a little. Can
you summarize in 5 or 6 sentences what the issues are? Long e-mails lose me.
In a message dated 6/29/99 6:49:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< racecar3(a)bellsouth.net >>
I am sorry this whole affair has turned into this debacle! Glad I removed my
two lists when I did.
Keep the faith!
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