The childish drama continues at FindaGrave!
Well, just when I thought things were getting back to normal, the shit hits the fan. Apparently Mr. Jim Tipton, owner of FindaGrave hadn’t seen my blog until just recently. After reinstating my account, he must have seen it and now he’s blocked my access again! At least this time he had the decency to keep my memorials intact.
He also sent me an email stating that he was upset that I had published his “private” email in my blog which he thinks is a copyright violation. THAT I had to laugh at since his website is overrun with copyright violations! They must have thousands and thousands of illegally obtained photographs and obituaries, none of which were used with permission and none of which are given proper source references. It is VERY common practice for FindAGrave cronies to sit at their computers daily entering every obituary from the newspapers. I even did some myself. It just became very frustrating as it became obvious that it was a contest with these people to add as many memorials as possible and get their total numbers up.
Anyway, I had some time ago created another account name there that I was going to use solely for memorials for my high school alumni. I went into that account and was able to find a way to access my other memorials and transfer them over to that other account. It took me the better part of a whole day to do it, and I still hadn’t finished it. Then today I log in and see that these childish and punitive administrators have transferred them all back!
So first they delete hundreds and hundreds of hours of input work, but give them back to me. Then they block my account so I can’t access it. I don’t think they realized I could go in backwards and access the memorials. Then when they see that I’ve transferred most of them, they destroy all that work and put them back in the blocked account!
Well, that was the final straw. I’m now filing copyright complaints with anyone who will listen. I’ve sent emails to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times detailing how their copyrighted materials have been stolen and stored at FindAGrave. I’ve also contacted the US Copyright Office and filed a complaint with the FBI’s Intellectual Property Theft Division. On Monday I intend to contact the US Attorney General and my Congress-people to see about legislation to stop this kind of copyright infringement.
I wondered if they could claim “Fair Use” for the use of the photos and obits, but in researching that, it doesn’t appear they can since they are a commercial enterprise. They sell “sponsorships” for the memorials (which gets rid of the advertising), merchandise, and have rampant advertising on their webpages.
I gave them plenty of chances to play fair, but these people clearly have no intentions of playing fair with anyone. Their complaints at http://find-a-grave.pissedconsumer.com/ seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. There are a couple of other websites lining up complaints as well.
Oh, I’ll also re-contact the Better Business Bureau and see about reopening that case.