Original Rootsweb Co. Tyrone Community Site
Why are there two County Tyrone Community Websites, with almost identical Content?

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Why are there two County Tyrone Community Websites, with almost identical Content?

Written by

This Community Website's Founder

Welcome to All our Contributors, Supporters and Visitors!

Please forgive this lengthy Notice, yet much has happened since July 25-27 2017, and some people do want to know what took place..

With the conclusion of lawyer's business, Tammy & I are able to finally explain to you, exactly what has transpired and to hopefully clear up the confusion that many have had regarding "2" CoTyrone- Ireland web-sites, that are virtually identical.

We, here, are the Original *cotyroneireland*, that also became known as *CTI*, which was founded and coordinated by me in 2001. This site began with the efforts, generosity and dedication of the members and subscribers of CotyroneIreland@rootsweb.That is how and where we all began to work together.

The web-site was to go hand-in-hand with that Rootsweb mailing list. As the list contained valuable genealogical material, the site was to be a compliment, to bring information to the wider world of the web. Since it's inception, volunteers have been recruited for the site, entirely from the mailing list. We work with the mailing list, we are not owned by it, nor are we owned by Rootsweb/Ancestry.

Anyone who wishes, may Browse or Search the previous Rootsweb mailing list archives to see how we were established, for what purpose, and how we obtained our volunteers. We are a "community, non-profit, volunteer web-site" and have been for the 17 years of my involvement. Follow links on this page:

I have worked beside each and every person who has volunteered to web-host & design, from Linda Bailey, Jim Rouse, Bob Smyley, Virginia, Alex Hughes, Tammy Mitchell Mowat, who joined us in mid 2006 and lastly Jim McKane. And I have met many beautiful people.

Mr. McKane was introduced to the community of CoTyroneIreland as the 2nd in command, and agreed to work under the direction of Tammy, who had far more experience with web-design. In fact, Tammy, authored and designed the HTML templates, so that anyone could simply 'copy & paste' into these templates, and create an HTML page. This design work is her copy-right and Mr. McKane is, to this date, still using her designs on the site he now owns and earns an income from.

In May of 2010, Jim offered and after much discussion between administrators, was given permission to pay for the domain name 'CotyroneIreland'. We are a non-profit, volunteer site and someone had to 'donate' the money to do this and have their name on it. I believe the cost was $20.00 a year. The new site would then be hosted on Tammy's server, offered by her for our use, for Free. This move was to better the website functionality, as the rootsweb servers are limited in the type of scripting they allowed. As web-sites have to be registered to someone; I was that someone from 2001 to late 2010. Jim McKane became that someone when we moved to Tammy's server.

. . . a recent example of Rootsweb functionality being shut down by Ancestry, then picked back up by our webmaster is:
- The closure of the guest-books on Rootsweb. which Tammy has been able to re-produce, here: https://cotyrone.com/guestbook/gbook.php
- The shut down of the rootsweb mail list archives. You can now search and browse the rootsweb archives from the links at: https://cotyrone.com/subscribe.html
The introduction of our new mail list, created by Tammy.... Which now includes all of Ulster Ireland...
REMEMBER to join our new mail list by sending an email to: ulsterancestry-join@cotyrone.com

Mr. McKane purchased the domain name, as a volunteer contrubuting to the project. That is all he bought. Throughout the years, many of us have spent our own funds on the needs of the creation and existence, and maintenance of the site. Tammy has spent money on computer editors, and the like, for the inner workings of the web-site, and I have spent money on out of print books, subscriptions, films, etc. to provide data for transcriptions.

We moved the content to the new domain name, while the intent would remain the same, that the content provided by our many members / contributors, would always be displayed for free on our non-profit, community site. (In hind-sight, we should not have moved, nor should we have allowed, Mr. McKane to donate $20. a year, towards the domain name. He should not have been given complete and total access to our commuity's files).

Over the years, I have sought, and gained, permission to re-publish to our site, information and data based on the fact that "we are a non-profit, community site of volunteers". The Public bodies I approached include the National Library's & Archives of UK, Australia, New Zealand, New South Wales, & Ireland. The LDS, and many parishes, along with the Church of Ireland.
Permission was granted to me. Their data too, has now been reproduced on Mr. McKane, personal website without their permission.

Until July 22-26, 2017, Tammy, Jim & I, had all worked together as a team, always getting along, and often doing favors for each other outside the community of Co. Tyrone. We had been very grateful to have Mr. McKane as a volunteer.

After our very first disagreement/argument in July 2017, over the source of a transcription I had done for the site, James McKane very quickly and deceitfully locked us out of the site, replicated and removed the website contents from our server, that is owned by Tammy. He then pointed the DNS for the cotyroneireland domain name to a server under his control, and uploaded the stolen website contents to that server.
Essentially, Tammy discovered that we had been locked out of our website within a day of him doing this.

The complete and total reproduction of our entire web-site content, was moved along with the domain name which was owned by Mr. McKane (as per our agreement of the donation & registration of the site in his name.)
He called it: CoTyroneIreland and also refers to it as CTI, which is what our site has been called and referred to as, since it's creation in 2001. Not only our site contents were stolen, but what we referred to ourselves as as well, for 17 years, was replicated and copied as well.

When he locked Tammy out of the web-site, he proceeded with legalities and attempted to bring about a lawsuit and served her with a cease and desist order for copy-right violation. This was in late August, early September.

Over the years, and we do not know exactly when, Jim McKane had changed our copyright notice so that it no longer reflected the original intent of our free site.

Needless to say also, over time, Mr. McKane had installed various google ads on the site, which had been paying him a generous income. There are ads on every one of his pages, at his 'new' site, that put quite a bit of money in his pocket.

Yes, Rootsweb/Ancestry places ads on their site, yet WE, do not make a profit. No money goes into our pocket.

As per the cease and desist order, Tammy revamped 2,000 pages of data, on three occasions. Tammy can explain further the necessity of this, should anyone wish to connect with her. This resulted in our move back to our original home on the Free-pages provided by Rootsweb.

I had been under the impression that Jim McKane had accepted the generosity of Tammy, who offered in a letter through her/our Lawyer, Rob Kittredge on October 3, 2017. This letter said that Mr. McKane could continue publishing the genealogy materials on his own separate website, at his domain name, under the expressed conditions that all of Tammy's copy-right material of templates and design of the site, be removed, and that Jim make all areas of his site visually distinguishable from our 17 year old web-site. Along with signing an agreement that no future legal actions would be taken, by either party.

Mr. McKane along with his supporter, then attempted to push that we remove data from our web-site. As per our copyright notice of Oct. 2016, it was found, that we do not have to, nor will we accommodate, that request.

The Lawyer had sited 3 cases in Canadian law and goes on to say
"regarding the standard of originality in copyright law. In short, merely copying an existing document will not, generally speaking, give rise to new copyright. There is no copyright in a mere list of facts. In the present case, the lists and documents which were copied are so old as to be out of copyright themselves in any case, so the only possible copyright that could apply would be one that arose from the copying itself, and the case law establishes clearly that there is no copyright in a mere copy. Moreover the license agreement that was in place on the website grants a permanent right to reproduce any items submitted to the website.

I note that while there may not be copyright in any of the copied documents submitted and licensed to the website, there is copyright in the HTML and other computer code that your client copied and is currently publishing at http://cotyroneireland/dotcom My client is the owner of that copyright."

The end result is that Mr. McKane can carry on with his financial earning site, with distinct changes having to be made to it, to make it visually different from ours, and he has refused to sign anything.

Tammy and I have always wanted to keep this simple. After Jim moved the site contents on July 25th 2017, Tammy told him he could continue with our community research, gathered over the past 17 years, and we'd grow separate from that date. Rather generous, we think.

Unfortunately, Tammy has had to endure threats & name-calling during this, horrific experience, which no employee, let alone a volunteer, should ever have to take. Our community is truly blessed to have such a dedicated, committed, and truly magnificent woman, named Tammy!

It is also unfortunate that Mr. McKane is trying to condemn our community with the unfavorable attention he is paying us, in his attempts to 'create sides'.

We are thrilled to get back to the fun that we have, with our passion for Co. Tyrone genealogy, and to put this nightmare behind us.
We Love Tyrone!

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