Last year, around Christmas I wanted to dig deeper into my family history. I wanted to go beyond the 32 grandchildren/cousins I already knew. So I did what any person would do in this situation. I signed up to ancestry.com.
I filled in the details I knew and then a pop up appeared across my screen: Please subscribe to find out more information and to find more people in your family for just blah blah blah pounds a month…. Oh joy.
Perhaps under the creative commons licence this information would be free and available on the grounds that you can prove your identity and a family member can confirm your heritage (This way, being free still keeps you safe from identity theft- in case anyone was wondering).
If it was put under strict copyright control, then absolutely nobody would know their past. This is assuming, only the government can see your records. This would mean you could not print or record or mention your own personal heritage despite it belonging to you. How awful?
It’s bad enough we can only access the third generation of our family trees for free before being told that’s all we get (unless you are willing to pay. I paid for a month and realised that in order to get the most out of the fee, you need hours and hours everyday to get something…and you have to search the details yourself.)
I believe I have mentioned enough limitations above and the only advantage I can really think of would be the protection of who you are and who is allowed to know what about yourself up to a certain extent.
I guess you could call this a rant instead of a post but hopefully you can see my point of view.