Need opinions on FamilySearch

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Need opinions on FamilySearch

DS Blank
Devs,

I'm exploring going to RootsTech [1] this Feb which is organized by
FamilySearch [2], especially as they have a session titled "Python
Library and Gramps" on Saturday at 11am.

What is FamilySearch? FamilySearch has an API for moving genealogical
data in and out of a large database. FamilySearch people have been
advocating that instead of using GEDCOM (or some other file format)
people should use something like their API.

FamilySearch is, on their own, developing the API to their database in
a variety of programming languages. They have had Java and Ruby
working for a while, and now they are tackling Python [3]. They aren't
that far along yet, but they use a system called Enunciate [4] which
(I think they said that it) will allow them to generate the Python
code automatically.

In any event, as I was preparing for my trip, I realized that to use
FamilySearch, one has to agree to a "Conditions of Use":

https://new.familysearch.org/en/static/help/policy/conditions.htm?firstPage=yes

and the API License:

https://devnet.familysearch.org/certification/affiliate-programs/familysearch-legal-agreements/APILicense.pdf

The Conditions of Use includes: "You may view, download, and print
material from these sites only for your personal, noncommercial use"

This raised some red flags in my mind about ownership of the data. So
I sent some questions to FamilySearch:

"I'm trying to figure out how that would work. Let's say that I add or
edit information on FamilySearch. That information is now on your site
(as well as mine) and it is no longer mine? Or if I download my
grandfather's name into my data, then I can't list that on my
website?"

The response I received back was: "What is truly yours is yours before
and after you upload it to FamilySearch." Which seems reasonable. But
anything else must be kept... what? Private?

I imagine that FamilySearch (FS) will produce a Python API library by
Feb 2011 in time for a demo. Combined with a bit of wrapper code, a
series of Gramps addons could then be created that would perform
various integrated functions through Gramps:

- upload your database to FS
- synch your database with FS
- search for matches on FS
- easily retrieve entries from FS on-line, and put into your database

My questions for Gramps devs:

1) Does anyone have objections to Gramps working with FamilySearch?
2) Are there any concerns with developing third-party addons or core
plugins to perform such functions?
3) Or are these concerns just user concerns, and Gramps doesn't care
one way or another?

I'd be interested in hearing from people, especially if you have some
additional information about the FamilySearch organization, process,
or plans.

-Doug

[1] - http://rootstech.familysearch.org/
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilySearch
[3] - https://github.com/familysearch-devnet/python-fs-stack
[4] - http://enunciate.codehaus.org/

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Re: Need opinions on FamilySearch

Benny Malengier


2010/12/2 Doug Blank <[hidden email]>
Devs,

I'm exploring going to RootsTech [1] this Feb which is organized by
FamilySearch [2], especially as they have a session titled "Python
Library and Gramps" on Saturday at 11am.

What is FamilySearch? FamilySearch has an API for moving genealogical
data in and out of a large database. FamilySearch people have been
advocating that instead of using GEDCOM (or some other file format)
people should use something like their API.

FamilySearch is, on their own, developing the API to their database in
a variety of programming languages. They have had Java and Ruby
working for a while, and now they are tackling Python [3]. They aren't
that far along yet, but they use a system called Enunciate [4] which
(I think they said that it) will allow them to generate the Python
code automatically.

In any event, as I was preparing for my trip, I realized that to use
FamilySearch, one has to agree to a "Conditions of Use":

https://new.familysearch.org/en/static/help/policy/conditions.htm?firstPage=yes

and the API License:

https://devnet.familysearch.org/certification/affiliate-programs/familysearch-legal-agreements/APILicense.pdf

The Conditions of Use includes: "You may view, download, and print
material from these sites only for your personal, noncommercial use"

This raised some red flags in my mind about ownership of the data. So
I sent some questions to FamilySearch:

"I'm trying to figure out how that would work. Let's say that I add or
edit information on FamilySearch. That information is now on your site
(as well as mine) and it is no longer mine? Or if I download my
grandfather's name into my data, then I can't list that on my
website?"

The response I received back was: "What is truly yours is yours before
and after you upload it to FamilySearch." Which seems reasonable. But
anything else must be kept... what? Private?

I imagine that FamilySearch (FS) will produce a Python API library by
Feb 2011 in time for a demo. Combined with a bit of wrapper code, a
series of Gramps addons could then be created that would perform
various integrated functions through Gramps:

- upload your database to FS
- synch your database with FS
- search for matches on FS
- easily retrieve entries from FS on-line, and put into your database

My questions for Gramps devs:

1) Does anyone have objections to Gramps working with FamilySearch?
2) Are there any concerns with developing third-party addons or core
plugins to perform such functions?
3) Or are these concerns just user concerns, and Gramps doesn't care
one way or another?

Ok, a complicated matter.
FS does it bests to allow it to work with open source and other programs. However, they clearly do not want their content (census info, ...) be scraped and further distributed.
This seems to be no different from what we already have today.
However, they would like to use the work of the people who upload things to create a world-tree, to which they also own property. So uploading things means you give them a license to use your work.

So, it seems we can do the following:

1/ have a third party plugin that uploads to FS, however, being OSS, clearly indicate people they give the right to FS to use their work

2/ allow users to interact with FS to obtain extra information about relatives. However, this information learned, remains property of FS, so you cannot redistribute without leaving the license of the material present. I think you should discuss when you are on the conference how far this goes. We can agree that images and text transcripts have a license as owned by FS, but if we download who is a father or mother via the API, we should argue no license is needed on that. In other words, we must keep it so that distributing your family tree without licenced media and transcripts, remains under your full property. If we cannot do that, then any interaction with FS must be the responsibility of the user, with Gramps not involved.

3/ we have to be careful in how we use their code, as it is open but not OSS. If we build it in core Gramps, then we need to write our own code. A third party plugin is something a user must download. It is no problem to locally change Gramps without redistributing, so all is ok then in my opinion. Gramps itself must be completely GPLv2 + more loose licences that are compatible (eg public domain).

Complicated, however, understandable that they want to keep their own hard work. If they want somthing from Gramps users however (mostly updated family relationship), they should give something back to, which in my opinion must be the actual family links as described in eg GEDCOM.

Note that a users who is a member can use FS as a source, and retype information in Gramps. The data available are after all facts that cannot be copyrighted.

Benny


I'd be interested in hearing from people, especially if you have some
additional information about the FamilySearch organization, process,
or plans.

-Doug

[1] - http://rootstech.familysearch.org/
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilySearch
[3] - https://github.com/familysearch-devnet/python-fs-stack
[4] - http://enunciate.codehaus.org/

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Re: Need opinions on FamilySearch

DS Blank
On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 5:53 AM, Benny Malengier
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> 2010/12/2 Doug Blank <[hidden email]>
>>
>> Devs,
>>
>> I'm exploring going to RootsTech [1] this Feb which is organized by
>> FamilySearch [2], especially as they have a session titled "Python
>> Library and Gramps" on Saturday at 11am.
>>
>> What is FamilySearch? FamilySearch has an API for moving genealogical
>> data in and out of a large database. FamilySearch people have been
>> advocating that instead of using GEDCOM (or some other file format)
>> people should use something like their API.
>>
>> FamilySearch is, on their own, developing the API to their database in
>> a variety of programming languages. They have had Java and Ruby
>> working for a while, and now they are tackling Python [3]. They aren't
>> that far along yet, but they use a system called Enunciate [4] which
>> (I think they said that it) will allow them to generate the Python
>> code automatically.
>>
>> In any event, as I was preparing for my trip, I realized that to use
>> FamilySearch, one has to agree to a "Conditions of Use":
>>
>>
>> https://new.familysearch.org/en/static/help/policy/conditions.htm?firstPage=yes
>>
>> and the API License:
>>
>>
>> https://devnet.familysearch.org/certification/affiliate-programs/familysearch-legal-agreements/APILicense.pdf
>>
>> The Conditions of Use includes: "You may view, download, and print
>> material from these sites only for your personal, noncommercial use"
>>
>> This raised some red flags in my mind about ownership of the data. So
>> I sent some questions to FamilySearch:
>>
>> "I'm trying to figure out how that would work. Let's say that I add or
>> edit information on FamilySearch. That information is now on your site
>> (as well as mine) and it is no longer mine? Or if I download my
>> grandfather's name into my data, then I can't list that on my
>> website?"
>>
>> The response I received back was: "What is truly yours is yours before
>> and after you upload it to FamilySearch." Which seems reasonable. But
>> anything else must be kept... what? Private?
>>
>> I imagine that FamilySearch (FS) will produce a Python API library by
>> Feb 2011 in time for a demo. Combined with a bit of wrapper code, a
>> series of Gramps addons could then be created that would perform
>> various integrated functions through Gramps:
>>
>> - upload your database to FS
>> - synch your database with FS
>> - search for matches on FS
>> - easily retrieve entries from FS on-line, and put into your database
>>
>> My questions for Gramps devs:
>>
>> 1) Does anyone have objections to Gramps working with FamilySearch?
>> 2) Are there any concerns with developing third-party addons or core
>> plugins to perform such functions?
>> 3) Or are these concerns just user concerns, and Gramps doesn't care
>> one way or another?
>
> Ok, a complicated matter.
> FS does it bests to allow it to work with open source and other programs.
> However, they clearly do not want their content (census info, ...) be
> scraped and further distributed.
> This seems to be no different from what we already have today.

That's a good point, and I hadn't thought of it like that. I suspect
that all of the on-line genealogy sites probably have similar
licenses. Of course, FS has the API to make the moving of information
seamless and totally integrated with software, so it can be hard to
tell where "my" data stops and "their" data begins.

> However, they would like to use the work of the people who upload things to
> create a world-tree, to which they also own property. So uploading things
> means you give them a license to use your work.
>
> So, it seems we can do the following:
>
> 1/ have a third party plugin that uploads to FS, however, being OSS, clearly
> indicate people they give the right to FS to use their work

Yes. We will need a optional "accept this license" dialog on
downloading an addon.

> 2/ allow users to interact with FS to obtain extra information about
> relatives. However, this information learned, remains property of FS, so you
> cannot redistribute without leaving the license of the material present. I
> think you should discuss when you are on the conference how far this goes.
> We can agree that images and text transcripts have a license as owned by FS,
> but if we download who is a father or mother via the API, we should argue no
> license is needed on that. In other words, we must keep it so that
> distributing your family tree without licenced media and transcripts,
> remains under your full property. If we cannot do that, then any interaction
> with FS must be the responsibility of the user, with Gramps not involved.

Going to the conference just to discuss these ideas sounds like a good
idea. There is also the idea of "fair use" (at least in the US) and
some of this sounds like it falls into that category, such as a single
image of a census. On the other hand, downloading all 100k names from
a census doesn't sound like fair use.

> 3/ we have to be careful in how we use their code, as it is open but not
> OSS. If we build it in core Gramps, then we need to write our own code. A
> third party plugin is something a user must download. It is no problem to
> locally change Gramps without redistributing, so all is ok then in my
> opinion. Gramps itself must be completely GPLv2 + more loose licences that
> are compatible (eg public domain).

Good point. I think the third-party addons (with an "accept this
license" dialog) is a fine place to put stuff like this. Anything that
we write ourselves to integrate is, of course, ours.

> Complicated, however, understandable that they want to keep their own hard
> work. If they want somthing from Gramps users however (mostly updated family
> relationship), they should give something back to, which in my opinion must
> be the actual family links as described in eg GEDCOM.
>
> Note that a users who is a member can use FS as a source, and retype
> information in Gramps. The data available are after all facts that cannot be
> copyrighted.

Right. It is the collection that can be copyrighted.

Thanks for the comments,

-Doug

> Benny
>
>>
>> I'd be interested in hearing from people, especially if you have some
>> additional information about the FamilySearch organization, process,
>> or plans.
>>
>> -Doug
>>
>> [1] - http://rootstech.familysearch.org/
>> [2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilySearch
>> [3] - https://github.com/familysearch-devnet/python-fs-stack
>> [4] - http://enunciate.codehaus.org/
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Increase Visibility of Your 3D Game App & Earn a Chance To Win $500!
>> Tap into the largest installed PC base & get more eyes on your game by
>> optimizing for Intel(R) Graphics Technology. Get started today with the
>> Intel(R) Software Partner Program. Five $500 cash prizes are up for grabs.
>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/intelisp-dev2dev
>> _______________________________________________
>> Gramps-devel mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/gramps-devel
>
>

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