Copyrighted book that you published
The book, ANDREW ELTON WILLIAMS--ANCESTORS, CONTEMPORARIES, DESCENDANTS, AND ALLIED FAMILIES is a copyrighted book! It was copyrighted in 2003. Yet, you have the entire book on this website!
I knew of the authors, Edwin L. Williams, Jr., very well. He is deceased. I also know his son very well and in conversation with him, he told me that Family Search DID NOT have permission to publish this book! He also told me that there were SO many others who published the book, that lawsuits were "not worth the trouble" to sue all of you! I also know the living author and she told me the same thing.
My name is in the book, since I am one of Andrew Elton Williams' descendants--he was my great-great grandfather--and this makes me SO ANGRY that you have provided one more source where unscrupulous genealogists can find MY name and family!
This is a very SAD situation to me!
Here's another serious issue. Serious genealogists, whose number one aspect of their research is accuracy, are staying away from your tree in "droves" and warning others to "stay away" from it! I know--I am one of them!
How do you expect to maintain any accuracy when ANYONE can make an addition or any change they want? Whatever is added or changed will stay there until someone else corrects it, and naive genealogists who don't REALLY know about the tree, will continue to copy incorrect data. Do you honestly believe that all the additions and changes will be accurate?
Disclaimer: I am a FamilySearch Community member.
Wow, just wow. All donated books are contributed/reproduced with copyright owner permission:
For further assistance or information regarding Church trademarks and copyrighted materials, you may contact the Church’s Intellectual Property Office at:
Phone: 1-801-240-3959 or 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2-3959
E-Mail: [email protected]
You may wish to pass this information to estate copyright re-issuers.
You agree to input data accurately to the best of your knowledge.
FamilySearch is a highly respectable and a professional organization - trying to oversee and produce a perfect system - but is maintained by fallible people - and certainly contributed to by fallible - if not at times - by clueless/malicious people. Most human organizations fail at something - at least once in a while - look around... FamilySearch freely admits faults and tries to address those concerns - if you have Ideas to perfect its operations they are welcomed (Though maybe not responded to as you might wish):4
Your opinion on the matter of what the copyright holder said is simple hearsay. It is for the copyright holder(s) to do something about it or for their duly authorised legal representative to do something about it. All they have to do is to submit a DMCA takedown notice to Familysearch. That's literally all they have to do (unless of course a counter-notice is filed and then they have to actually sue over the matter). Bear in mind that suing in the United States requires registration of copyright before any action is commenced.
As for "unscrupulous" genealogists? "Unscrupulous" in what way? Unscrupulous for merely using the book? Hardly. Using it without citing it as a source is unscrupulous as that's plagiarism, but that's not what you've said. Clearly the details of you and other living people in the book should not be reproduced in a public forum, so the question has to be asked: why were they put in the work in the first place? After all this is a published work and publication means available in a public forum. However merely using the work as a source is standard practice in genealogy. It is also perfectly permissible.
You should also be aware that the copyright over a work like that is vastly less in extent than you might think. The narrative text is certainly copyrightable and copyrighted. The listings of the family tree with names and dates of events? Not copyrightable and not copyrighted. They are arranged in an trivial fashion and are the product of mere sweat of the brow. Feist v Rural would almost certainly apply. That's not been litigated as a genealogy is not exactly the same as a telephone directory, but it's exactly the same lines of legal thought. You may not like to hear that, but there is an extremely good chance it is true.3
Maile L mod
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We take copyrights very seriously and absolutely strive to uphold the law where copyrights are concerned. We are checking to make sure this book was handled correctly.
mod note - code of conduct violations were edited. Please see the Community Code of Conduct for more details.1
I have spoken with our Legal/copyright team about this book and this is their response:
"Your concern regarding the online posting of Andrew Elton Williams : ancestors, contemporaries, descendants, and allied families is certainly understandable. Please know that FamilySearch International, respects the rights of copyright owners. Therefore, the decision to digitize this book was made in good faith based on the permission granted by Edwin L. Williams in 2004.
FamilySearch has long worked to develop policies and procedures that will better meet the private research needs of its patrons. Consequently, this well written and documented genealogy was selected for inclusion in the FamilySearch Digital Library project (https://www.familysearch.org/library/books), an Internet site that is part of FamilySearch's genealogical research system and is within the control of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Due to the generous grant of permission by Edwin L. Williams, this genealogical publication has benefitted and been enjoyed by genealogical researchers throughout the world."