Although I have written to you directly, I will also post my question here for the benefit of others.
Are "publishers" (as you call us) of RootsWeb-hosted sites allowed to "opt out" of this new search feature? I ask because of the 'Acceptable Use Policy' for such sites stating "By submitting Submitted Content to RootsWeb.com, you grant Ancestry, the corporate host of the Service, a limited license to the Submitted Content to use, host, and distribute that Submitted Content and allow hosting and distribution on co-branded Services of that Submitted Content."
Ancestry.com uses this statement to deny copyright infringement claims DESPITE the fact that Ancestry's tree users are violating both the Terms & Conditions ("You should submit only content which belongs to you and will not violate the property or other rights of other people or organizations.") and the Content Submission Agreement ("Be aware that content, including photographs, even if submitted to a site of which you are a member, belongs to the creator or submitter and you should not reproduce it without permission of the owner").
Is it possible to allow a site to be searched/indexed on Web Search but NOT allow it to be "saved" to user trees? It would be far more preferable, to publishers such as myself, to change this option to "Create a Web link" to the web-site containing the info. In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason for Ancestry.com users to copy from the original site when they could just as easily utilize the Web Link feature and, therefore, not infringe copyrights. However, the users I have corresponded with regarding the matter have all stated they want the information/item (such as photos) ON their tree. Ancestry not only does not discourage this, it actually ENcourages copyright violations from one tree to another with the "Save this to my tree" button. The first user may indeed have permission, but subsequent users simply add it to their tree without any interaction with either the owner of the material or the first Ancestry tree user.
Quite frankly, (in my opinion) this new feature is going to lead to more copyright infringement, not less.