Ancestry is committed to ensuring our customers understand the policies that govern the use of our products and services. On Aug. 3, we updated our Terms and Conditions. We heard back from you that we needed to be more clear about how we manage user provided content.
We appreciate your feedback and have added new, clarifying language to the license section (2.2.3) - highlighted below - that we hope will help.
...by submitting User Provided Content through any of the Services, you grant Ancestry a perpetual, sublicensable, worldwide, non-revocable, royalty-free license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to, create derivative works of, and otherwise use such User Provided Content to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. This includes the right for Ancestry to copy, display, and index your User Provided Content. Ancestry will own the indexes it creates. Notwithstanding the non-revocable and perpetual nature of this license, it terminates when your User Provided Content is deleted from our systems. Be aware that to the extent you elected to make your User Provided Content “public” and other users copied or saved it to the Services, this license continues until the content has been deleted both by you and the other users.*
When a user chooses to delete their tree or other content they have contributed, it is removed. However, this clarification to the Terms and Conditions enables Ancestry to allow other users to keep a copy of the previously shared user provided content in their own family trees, even after the original contributor has made their tree private or deleted their content. The change made today further clarifies this point.
Part of the Ancestry experience has always been connecting our users and enabling them to share discoveries about their family history with each other. Each user is able to choose the privacy and sharing settings for their family tree. We honor those choices. If a user chooses to share photos, documents, and stories from their tree with the community, we also honor the experience other users have should that tree be made private or user provided content be deleted in the future.
This change to the Ancestry Terms and Conditions is consistent with the manner in which other genealogy research platforms handle user provided content. It was never intended to enable Ancestry to do anything with our users’ content other than facilitate a vibrant family history community that brings the value of personal discoveries to all.
*Non-English versions of Ancestry’s Terms & Conditions will be updated over the next few days.