I have been avoiding this for quite some time now but I can’t let it go any longer. I have to name names. As a writer, copyright and plagiarism are important topics to me. I have spoken several times about this problem within the genealogical community. To get you up to speed you can read these blog posts.
Here is the background information for what I am going to talk about today:
Cyndi Howell’s of Cyndi’s List
What I didn’t tell you in that blog post were the specifics. I kept names out of it because you are “innocent until proven guilty” though at the time I was furious and felt that Cyndi had been done wrong. Because of the events of the last couple of days I am not going to protect the guilty anymore. In a nutshell, Cyndi Howell’s of Cyndi’s List sued Barry Ewell of MyGenShare in federal court for copyright infringement in December 2012. You can see the court filing HERE. Cyndi had tried to work it out with Barry without having to resort to legal action but that was not to be. Just a few days ago it was announced that the lawsuit had been dismissed. You can read the particulars on Dick Eastman’s Blog. Myself and many of the other genealogists that had been following this story thought that the matter had been resolved to the satisfaction of Cyndi Howells though at the time we noticed that Barry had not removed Cyndi’s content from his page. It was discussed and it was thought that maybe he had some sort of grace period to remove the stolen content. One positive note is that the case brought the problem of copyright violation and plagiarism to light and many more genealogists are being educated which is a good thing. Then Dear Myrtle posted this:
Evan after the lawsuit Barry Ewell is still up to his old tricks. To say I couldn’t believe what I was reading would be an understatement. Since the lawsuit apparently didn’t work, the genealogy bloggers have started getting all of this information out to their readers. Hopefully pressure from the consumer will make Barry understand. Barry’s website isn’t free like Cyndi’s List is. I am giving you the information for his website because I want you to visit it and nose around. I want you to know who Barry is and what he has been doing. I want you to know what website NOT to subscribe to and what services NOT to hire. You also need to get the word out to your genealogy friends.
- Description of what MyGenShare supposedly offers
- Here is Barry’s blog where he did mention the dismissal of the lawsuit
- Here is Barry’s bio
- Here is Barry’s Facebook Page
Before I wrote this blog I sent a private message to Barry Ewell. I really don’t expect to receive an answer but I felt that I needed to say a few things to him in person before I asked my readership to boycott his website. Barry Ewell is a good example of a bad genealogist.
UPDATE: After posting this article today I read an EXCELLENT post by Michael Hait, CG. He is another Barry Ewell victim. Michael did a slide show comparison between his copyrighted work and what is posted on Barry’s site. I think after seeing this you will understand why the people that have worked so hard to author materials to help other genealogists are upset.
Copyright, plagiarism, and citing your sources by Michael Hait, CG
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis