San Antonio, Texas
Not resolved

Find A Grave owner Jim Tipton is a thief he creates a website for members to add burial information thus creating so called "memorials" he uses these memorials for ad space and charges members to sponsor these memorials. He makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the deaths of others loved ones and provides no service to the survivors.

He and his administration have a set of so called "faq's" that only apply to a few. Find A Grave members constantly steals obituaries, steals photos and information from newspapers, websites and funeral homes. Information provided by the family to the various media with permission for the information to be used only in those media forms NOT Find A Grave.

Find A Grave is notorious for violating copyrights and allowing its members to violate copyrights. Members are out thousands of dollars from their free work so that Jim Tipton can make a profit.

Product or Service Mentioned: Find A Grave Website.

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I agree that it is a shame that ad space is put on the memorials of individuals. It seems very disrespectful. :(

However, I would suggest further investigation of copyright laws. According to my lawyer, they apply to obituaries only in certain circumstances. The newspaper can claim copyrights, but families and individuals cannot unless they write a biography for the paper.


All obituaries published in a newspaper or online fall under copyright laws. The fact of the matter is family provided the information whether via a bio or obituary and they are the owners of the information NOT the newspaer or the funeral home or website.

Stealing information provided by family is still stealing and a violation of copyrighted information.

According to my local newspaper editor no one has the right to copy information from a newspaper with written permission from the author. If they do they risk a lawsuit.

@copyright laws

That is WITHOUT! written permission.

@to:copyright laws

Of course and that is what a majority of users do. Add obit and photos from obits WITHOUT PERMISSION!

@to:copyright laws

Aren't obituaries commercial use, IE, in a newspaper, and thus.. open domain?


You are mistaken about copyright laws for obituaries there is only copyright infringement if there is creativity not if there is just facts. Two words can change an obit and the copyright laws do not apply I spoke to my attorney about it so I just change the manner in which the obit was written and Viola....I'm encouraging others to do the same......there is no ligitimate reason to not preserve history in this manner.