YORKSGEN-L Archives

Archiver > YORKSGEN > 2002-12 > 1041196987


From: "Arthur & Pauline Kennedy" <>
Subject: Re: [YKS] Should info be free or should we all pay LDS and others?
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 21:23:07 -0000
References: <1a1.e2c69eb.2b40a670@aol.com>


Stephen Brown wrote:

> Roy Stockdill, stated that lookups should be chargeable, do all of you
agree
> or are you happy that there are sites such as BMD or LDS, which help you
in
> your search for your ancestors, or should we all send cheques to Roy's old
> boys club, for insults?

Stephen -

You have misunderstood what Roy is saying. In a passage from a presumably
private e-mail he says that he is "against the lookup ethos generally" (did
you get his permission to publish this on the list?), but in his message to
the list he wrote, "If there is someone on the list who has the books, then
you may be lucky." It was in that spirit that I looked up an entry for you
in the index published by Brian Jones, but if you had asked for further
look-ups I would have suggested that you bought the books
yourself.

Family history societies and individuals put a great deal of time and effort
into their publications. They are entitled to charge for these, and it is
wrong to offer look-ups in such a way as to damage their sales. It is also
very short-sighted, since if people are not receiving the proper recompense
for their work they will stop doing it. Like others on the list, I have
hitherto been prepared to do occasional look-ups for others, and I see this
as a way of encouraging them to buy the relevant publication, but I will not
advertise look-ups.

In most cases, what you are paying for is not the original information, but
a "value-added" version of it, such as an index or a transcription, but
no-one is forcing you to buy this. Access to the information contained in
the original documents or filmed copies is generally free if you are able to
visit the relevant record office (though a few charge for entry), but most
of us realise that we can save ourselves a lot of time and energy by looking
at indexes and transcriptions first, and we are quite happy to pay others
for the work that they have put into these. It seems that you are not.

As has been said many times on this list, Roy can be a little abrupt at
times, but most of us lose patience when people seem not to pay attention to
what we are saying. He is a mine of valuable information, but he is also
worthy of the same respect as any other human being. If I had seen the tone
of what you wrote to him before I did the look-up for you, I would almost
certainly have deleted your request and not bothered.

Arthur Kennedy


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