Data pirates go for printed books too!

In the Keep it offline blog, we note the commonly-held view that databases are safer if they’re never loaded up to the web. This must be true if you keep a single manuscript locked away forever in a high-security safe. But don’t be complacent if it’s available as a printed book.

In our own direct experience, some big genealogy outfits are more than happy to lift the entire contents of printed databases. We’re not sure whether they do it using wage-slaves copying manually, or by technical fixes like OCR. But never doubt that they’ll take the whole lot if they think it’s worth their while. Your statement of copyright and your own interest in the work will mean nothing to them.

There is no easy answer to this – other than to create a climate of intolerance towards that sort of practice. Step forward, Genealogy Quality Code!

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