Recently, Ancestry.com updated its terms and conditions to give itself the rights to use your photos for any reason in perpetuity (via Gizmodo). These terms go into effect on September 2, 2021.

Ancestry.com Photos

Ancestry.com is one of the largest genealogy websites, using its database of public and private family trees. Records it collects includes photos, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and others.

The paragraph in question states:

By submitting User Provided Content through any of the Services, you grant Ancestry a perpetual, sublicensable, worldwide, non-revocable, royalty-free license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to, create derivative works of, and otherwise use such User Provided Content to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. This includes the right for Ancestry to copy, display, and index your User Provided Content. Ancestry will own the indexes it creates.

The company published a blog post after user backlash, defending itself by saying that other genealogy platforms do the same thing, Deleting your content from Ancestry.com would remove its rights, but if other users copied or saved your content, the company still holds the rights to them.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

Now, where on earth might ever they have got that idea? Seems like…a social media platform…maybe? 

I’m stumped.