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Last night, in the webinar on Facts, Photos & Fair Use: Copyright Law for Genealogists, I reported on a change in the Ancestry.com terms of service. Previously, the language read:

You are licensed to use the Content only for personal or professional family history research, and may download Content only as search results relevant to that research.

Effective March 24, 2012, the language was changed. As of that date, it read:

You may access the Website, use the graphics, information, data, editorial and other Content only for personal family history research.

This morning, I reached out for ancestry and this is just in as their official response:

In a recent update, the Ancestry.com Terms and Conditions excluded “or professional” as part of the terms of service. This change was in no way intended to exclude professional genealogists from using Ancestry.com in a business or professional setting. Our legal team has reviewed the statement and has reinstated the original text to include “or professional” into Ancestry.com’s Terms and Conditions. We apologize for any misunderstanding. The statement is now updated and reads as follows:

“You may access the Website, use the graphics, information, data, editorial and other Content only for personal or professional family history research, and download Content only as search results relevant to that research.” (Emphasis added)

Kudos to Ancestry.com for its immediate clarification (reserving the right to assess ten lashes with a wet noodle against whoever made the language change in the first place).

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