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For week ended May 23, 1999 Posted 4 Jun 1999
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Mormon Site Is Online Family Tree

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mormon Site Is Online Family Tree
Associated Press 23May99 C9
By Kristen Moulton: Associated Press Writer

see list of further articles after the summary:

SALT LAKE CITY - In advance of today's formal launch of the LDS Church's on-line genealogy site, the Associated Press indicates that the site will be hugely popular. The site, located at began testing on April 1st, and improvements have been made along the way. It contains information on 400 million poeple dating back to 1500 and the Church will add records on many more people as it computerizes records and expands the website to hold the records of 600 million of the 2 billion people that it has in its records.

Traffic to the site has surprised planners from the start. The first day of testing for the site, it received more than 2 million visits. "The high was 11 million hits in one day," said Elder D. Todd Christofferson, executive director of the Family History Department. "It's sort of evened out to about 5 million [hits per day] over the last week or so. We were certainly surprised. We had anticipated perhaps 1 million hits a day, but nothing like this." Traffic has since stabilized at 7 million hits per day, making it one of the top 80 most heavily trafficked websites, according to Alex Dunn, president of LavaStorm, a Boston software developer that developed software for the site. "The church has done for genealogy what Amazon has done for books on the Internet. It's revolutionized it," says Dunn. IBM has added enough capacity to to the site to handle 25 million hits a day.

The site will likely get bigger still. IBM executive Lee Caldwell predicts that the site will become one of the "top three or four sites on the Internet in terms of the number of people hitting it on an ongoing basis." However, while the site could make a fortune, according to Caldwell, the Church doesn't[ accept advertising and the data is free.

However, one possible black cloud faces the site, and Representative Chris Cannon (R- Utah) is trying to dispell the cloud. Current U.S. copyright law doesn't protect databases, such as those the LDS Church has included in the Family Search site, as completely as the Church would like. Theorectically, someone could download the data in the site and repackage and sell it. Cannon has negotiated with Rep. Howard Coble, chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intelectual property, to change a copyright bill currently under consideration so that it includes the protections that the LDS Church and other database owners want. The bill also contains provisions allowing the Church to collect data from individual users without having to go through onerous effort to get permission from every submitter.

See also:

Genealogy site is a hit - 7 million times a day Deseret News 22May99 C9 By Steve Fidel: Deseret News staff writer


Roots Online: LDS Web Site Has 400 Million Names Salt Lake Tribune 23May99 C9 By Bob Mims: Salt Lake Tribune


Cannon Seeking to Prohibit Pirating Of Information From LDS Web Site Salt Lake Tribune 23May99 L6 Associated Press


Altered bill 'protects' online roots Deseret News 22May99 L1 By Lee Davidson: Deseret News Washington correspondent

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information