Family tree hi-jack

  concise 19:32 26 Jan 2008

My wife has spent many hours designing a web site on our family history, this includes a labouriously constructed family tree with several hundred names on it. Someone is using this tree on their own web-site without consent and without aknowledgement. Seems a bit hard. Is this allowable? Can one do anything about it in the way of making him remove it? All advice welcome.

  concise 23:39 26 Jan 2008

Thankyou for responding to my query. To answer your questions:-
Same tree. Not a known relative.
Copyright notice on site - yes.
Looking initially for it to be removed. If the person was sufficiently servile might accept an aknowledgement.
Our family name is almost unique there is no way this work is not original (and the name is not shared by the individual in question).
There are identifiers in the tree which indicate it has been copied across verbatim.
It is my guess that as he is boasting about the size of the tree he has assembled ours is not the only one he has attached to his own having established some vague peripheral connection.
Finally there is no intention of firing off 'heavy' threats, I think that would resolve nothing.

  Forum Editor 00:16 27 Jan 2008

is all your own work you own the copyright in it, and you can send a 'cease and desist' notice to the other person.

In essence this is an email, telling the other party that he/she is infringing your copyright, and asking that he/she ceases and desists from such use within 7 days.

If that produces no results you must decide whether to drop the matter, or to pursue it. If you decide to pursue it you will be entering into expensive waters - copyright litigation isn't something to be undertaken lightly - although if this tree is definitely your original creation you'll win. Your site file will be date-stamped, so you could prove your prior publication.

To be honest, I can't see much point in getting too intense about this - it isn't as if there's any intrinsic value in the tree. See if you can achieve removal by sending that cease and desist notice. If you would rather take a softer line to begin with you can always send a friendly email: "you probably didn't realise that I own the copyright, but......"

  concise 00:36 27 Jan 2008

Thankyou for clarifying the situation. I am inclined to let it lie after trying your 'cease and desist' suggestion. I will not close this thread for the moment, I am beginning to suspect but can't be sure that it is a thickly disguised commercial site. To get futher into it you need a password and some links certainly seem to be leading to a sterling transaction. I am going to think about it for a bit.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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