Ancestry's message boards say: "You grant us a perpetual, worldwide license to use, copy, reproduce, display and otherwise distribute the material and allow us compilation copyright of the material as it is part of the
databases which comprise the whole content of the Service. We may sublicense these rights to third parties."
Rootsweb's message boards say: "ROOTSWEB MAY ARCHIVE AND REDISTRIBUTE. So we can provide current and future users with access to your posts, by posting here you do give RootsWeb a permanent license to archive and redistribute those posts. This policy may be superseded in specific circumstances by other commitments made by RootsWeb."
ZDNet's terms of service say: "You grant to ZD the right to edit, copy, publish, distribute, translate and otherwise use in any medium any Content that you place on the Service without compensation to you."
Yahoo! terms of service say: "...you grant Yahoo the following world-wide, royalty free and non-exclusive license(s)...the perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed."
Genforum's clause: "While you will retain ownership of the copyright in the Materials posted by you, you agree that all Materials posted by you shall become part of a database on GenForum, and that we will own the compilation copyright in that database." Taken together with the fact that much of Genforum's database is sold for the exclusive view of those who either pay for a subscription or who purchase a CD, FTM's compilation rights allow FTM to use such data to enhance the value of their products and services.
That is perfectly fine as long as the contributer is giving his or her informed consent. It's those who are not informed or aware to whom I address my warning.
I support the RootsWeb approach myself. They promise never to sell the data I have freely contributed to them. GenCircles does the same.
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