Gransnet forums


Something that hadn’t occurred to me

(18 Posts)
Oopsadaisy1 Mon 04-Sep-23 15:10:42

I’m a member of a FB page from my home County, I’ve noticed a couple of photos that have been put onto the page lately that have names of the people and where photographs were taken, plus the dates, usually early 1900s
I thought it was nice that people have put photos of their Ancestors on FB for other people to look at, I have put my own on from my home village, selected photos of long dead ancestors.
However this last picture has been lifted from peoples Ancestry trees that are ‘Public’, I’ve asked the person who put the pics on if he has permission from the owner, so far no reply.
My tree is Private and is for my immediate family to come to my home and look at the photos, I know that they will always be on Ancestry even if my copies are lost, but is it wrong of me to be concerned? do people know that anyone can lift these photographs and publish them on social media?
I wonder if Ancestry actually allow it?
Maybe I’m over thinking it!

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 04-Sep-23 15:55:15

The copyright in the photos on the public tree belongs to the person who posted them on Ancestry. Ancestry just has a licence to distribute them. So permission to lift the photos and use them needs to be obtained from the owner of the family tree. I think your private tree is safe because nobody can view it without your permission.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 04-Sep-23 16:14:37

I know mine is safe, but I know that some distant members of my family have used my photos, I need to check with them that their trees are also Private, but it’s too late now I guess.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 04-Sep-23 17:01:28

A fairly distant relative contacted me. I gave them copies of a couple of photos of ancestors and they promptly posted them on a public tree on Amazon. I read the riot act to them and they took the photos down. Not surprisingly I didn’t hear from them again, nor did I want to.

Elegran Mon 04-Sep-23 17:12:02

Nemesis can strike! I gave a distant relative some facts which I had just found. He promptly published them on a family history site with the label "X's research" (X was him, not me) I was fairly annoyed, but did nothing for a few days, until I discovered that I had been a bit quick, and the people I had sent him were in fact nothing to do with either of us. So I contacted him to tell him so, and also the family history site with the information that the facts were actually wrong, and gave them chapter and verse for the correct ones - and I told them that the claimed "research" had been mine, but I had found an improvement. I had the satisfaction of seeing his version removed and replaced by mine.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 04-Sep-23 17:22:20

How satisfying!

Shrub Mon 04-Sep-23 17:28:21

I used to feel protective of the photos of my ancestors which I put up on Ancestry. But then I saw photos of other members with some ancestor common to me and was so pleased to see what they looked like. After all my ancestors aren’t just mine, they have other descendants as well, so I made mine public.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 04-Sep-23 17:37:07

I suppose I might feel particularly protective of them because I’m an only child, so was Mum, and her mother’s only sibling to survive infancy only had one child.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 05-Sep-23 07:03:03

Shrub maybe you’re right, they aren’t just our ancestors are they?
I might have a rethink about my Private tree.

Caravansera Tue 05-Sep-23 09:57:17

Content which has been contributed to public areas of Ancestry® sites by users remains the property of the submitter or the original creator.

However, generally speaking, in the UK copyright in images lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years from the end of the calendar year of their death although the length of the copyright period will depend on when the image was created. That means that images less than 70 years old are still in copyright, and older ones may well be, depending on when the creator died.

For old images or photos, you may never be entirely sure if something is in copyright, but knowing the age of the photo will be a good guide to make an educated guess whether the photo is likely to be protected by copyright.

If a photo was taken in the early 1900s, then it is entirely possibly that it is out of copyright.

I spent part of early lockdown, when I suspect many of us were thinking about own mortality, uploading some of these old photos to Ancestry. These are pictures I inherited mostly from my late husband’s parents. They had been sitting in a box for almost fifty years. Everyone is gone now. I am the end of the line with no-one to leave them to.

I uploaded several photos of a beautiful young woman. She was the the younger half-sister of my husband’s grandmother.

Sight of these photos on Ancestry prompted another member to contact me. She was thrilled that I could solve a mystery that her own mother had often talked about. Who was the little girl who she sometimes played with in the 1920s and what happened to her? She remembered the girl's name, that she was always beautifully dressed and arrived in fancy cars. She thought she may have been connected to her own family in some way but did not know how.

It’s a long story and I won’t recount it here but, through subsequent generations, it links this market-trader family from London to Queen Elizabeth II.

It isn’t anything scandalous, just an Upstairs Downstairs story of the way that ordinary and extraordinary people’s lives interconnect. I would never have know about the connection had I not uploaded the photos to my public tree.

Bea65 Tue 05-Sep-23 12:13:31

caravansera how fascinating for you- am also researching my ancestors.. am on Ancestry hoping to find my biological father- have found a 1st paternal cousin also searching for his 🤞

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 05-Sep-23 12:22:38

Hmm I’m being swayed away from ‘ it’s all mine, so go away’ to being ‘helpful’ to others looking for clues and photos of their ancestors who also happen to be mine…….

Do I want people to see the skeletons that are lurking in said trees? Especially as some of these include MrOops family, so not really mine to divulge.

Of course anyone who is looking for clues can always contact me via Ancestry and ask.

Flakesdayout Tue 05-Sep-23 12:57:37

I am on Ancestry and would love to see pictures of my ancestors. I have photos of family and I do not know who they are nor do have anyone to ask. I feel I do not mind if people want to use any pictures of past family if it can be helpful.

pen50 Tue 05-Sep-23 13:32:19

The images I put up are all public. No one in them is alive so there are no privacy issues. Through my research, several skeletons have tumbled out of closets, but the data is all public so anyone else could dig it up. At least from 1900 onwards all my relatives have been reasonably respectable. But those earlier ones...!!!

grandtanteJE65 Tue 05-Sep-23 14:28:36

Can you not post the pictures in a format that does not allow them to be copied?

This feature exists on the Internet, although most people don't bother to use it.

Stella14 Tue 05-Sep-23 17:26:54

If a photo is posted ‘public’ it’s naive to expect that someone won’t download it to use for their own searching. I fully anticipate that when I post something public, it may be copied etc. There is no copyright for private posters posting publically.

Chestnut Wed 06-Sep-23 11:03:53

From personal experience do keep all Ancestry trees private so no-one can access your photos or information without making contact with you first. That way you can make sure they are related. I make it quite clear I am happy to share my tree with anyone related.

The problem is there are countless Ancestry trees constructed by people who are not even related to you. These people will steal anything they can and dump it on their trees. Some of these trees have thousands of individuals. I had a very nasty experience.

I had an original sepia photograph of my great grandmother. This was the only such picture in existence and I treasured it. I scanned it and shared it with a relative about 25 years ago before Ancestry was a thing. Many years later she posted it on a public Ancestry tree without my permission.

That resulted in a very nasty and upsetting experience with a tree owner who was not even related to me. I don't want to go into details here. I contacted Ancestry but they did nothing, just said to block their messages. They are not interested.

So just be warned, once your photos are out there you have no control over what happens to them. I would never post anything in the public domain ever again. It still upsets me to think about this.

nanna8 Wed 06-Sep-23 11:11:25

Loads of my photos of family members have appeared on other people’s trees without a single acknowledgment. I no longer put photos on public trees because a lot of those people are not even distantly related to me. I have a very large tree online but not with ancestry- the one on there is my ‘working’ tree and not that accurate. I’m nasty but find it amusing that so many copy some of the rubbish on there! Especially some from the USA. Moral being- don’t ever ‘lift’ stuff from other people without thoroughly checking it !