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Terms & conditions

We hate jargon as much as you do, so our Terms & Conditions are written in plain English. The findmypast website is owned and run by DC Thomson Family History. You can find out more about us here.

Accepting the Terms:

In order to use the services you must first agree to the terms and conditions. You may not use the services if you do not accept the terms and conditions. You accept the terms and conditions by actually using the services.

These Terms & Conditions explain our conditions for you using the website. By using this website and/or buying something from us you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree with our Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, you must not use the website.

These Terms & Conditions explain our conditions for you using the findmypast website, (including any other related services such as our blogs and iPhone app).

You must agree to the Terms & Conditions if you use the website, or buy something from us. If you do not agree with our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, you must not use the website.

Our Privacy Policy forms part of the Terms & Conditions, so please read that too. These Terms & Conditions, the Privacy Policy and any other document we refer to in these Terms make up the whole agreement between us.

What you can use the service for: You can use the website for your own personal use, e.g., to research your own family history. We are also happy for you to help out other people with their family history by telling them about records available on the website and how and where they can be found.

Professional and corporate use: If you're a self-employed professional genealogist, you can use the site to carry out research for others, using either PayAsYouGo credits or a subscription. If you work for an organisation or company that carries out research using our records, contact us to find out more about corporate access to the service.

Getting access to the records: You can search the historical records on the website for free, but to view most records or use some features of the website you will need to buy either PayAsYouGo credits or a subscription, or use a voucher. You can also take a Free Trial. You have to register with us and be signed in to buy credits or a subscription, use a voucher, or to take out a Free Trial. You can buy vouchers from our voucher stockists. A contract between us begins when we send you a confirmation email, after receiving your order and accepting your payment or voucher code.

Registration: You have to register with us and be signed in to use some features of the website, such as our free family tree software. If you are under 18, don't register unless you have permission from your legal guardian (usually a parent) to do so. Keep your sign in details private at all times, do not share them with anybody, and let us know if you think somebody else has access to them. Do not use the 'remember me' feature to keep yourself signed in unless you are using your own personal computer. You must keep your personal information accurate and up to date, especially your email address.

Personal data and payment security: Please read our Privacy Policy to find out how we protect your personal data and credit card information.

Subscriptions: Different subscriptions give you access to different sets of records - this is explained on the payment page, as is the cost and length of the various subscription packages.

Changing subscription packages/loyalty discounts: If you are a 12 month subscriber, we give you a loyalty discount when you renew. The loyalty discount only applies to the 12 month subscriptions and not the monthly subscriptions. The loyalty discount applies to upgrades after 30 days of your subscription starting and 30 days after it ends. During this period you can upgrade your subscription and the loyalty discount will be applied - we will send you an email to remind you and let you know that your loyalty discount has been applied.

Continuous membership: When you take out a subscription, it is on a continuous membership basis, meaning that your subscription will automatically renew unless you cancel it. This means that, if you have a 1–month subscription, your contract will be renewed automatically every 30 days, and (unless you cancel your membership for any reason) a payment will be taken prior to each renewal date for the next 30–day contract period. Where we use the term, 'month', this refers a 30–day subscription. We provide continuous membership to protect your loyalty discount and to make sure we don't cut off your access to findmypast. You can easily turn off continuous membership at any time from the 'my account' area – we don't make you call us or do anything else horrible. If you do not cancel the continuous membership within five days of the expiry date, we will automatically renew your subscription and will take the next payment two to three days before your current subscription ends. We will send you an email before we take payment. You must opt out of the continuous membership before the expiry date if you do not want your subscription to automatically renew, and we cannot provide refunds for a continuous membership subscription which has been renewed in this way. If you do cancel and your subscription expires, you'll no longer get your loyalty discount.

PayAsYouGo credits: You can buy PayAsYouGo credits from us - these get used up when you view records and can be used to view any record on the website. Credits are only valid for a fixed time limit and will expire if you don't use them in time - [this is made clear on the payment page](/payment-step0.action) when you buy them. When you have unused credits that expire, if you buy more credits within 2 years, we will add your expired credits (up to a maximum of 280) onto the new credits that you buy so that you don't lose them. Some records cost more credits to view than others.

Vouchers: If you have any kind of problem with a voucher, please contact the company who sold it to you first (as they are the person you paid the money to). In some cases this will be us, but normally it will be one of our voucher stockists. Only vouchers bought from one of our authorised stockists (rather than a bloke down the pub) are accepted.

Free Trial: You can [sign up for a Free Trial](/free-trial.action) which lets you view a selection of the records for a fixed period so you can try before you buy: this requires a credit card. We only allow one Free Trial per household and will stop you taking a Free Trial if we think you've already had one, sorry! No payment is taken from your card until your Free Trial comes to an end: you can cancel your Free Trial at any time from the 'my account' area on the website, again with no hassle. When you get to the end of your Free Trial, if you have not cancelled by the day before the expiry date, you will automatically become a subscriber to the package your Free Trial was based on, and we will then take your first subscription payment.

Fair usage: We have a fair usage limit for subscribers (and people taking a Free Trial) but we deliberately set it high (you can view 5000 records each calendar month if you're a subscriber, or 600 during a Free Trial). If you get close to the limit, (which is unlikely), we'll send you an email to warn you. If you do manage to reach the limit, subscribers will need to wait for the next calendar month to start (when your monthly limit is automatically reset) and those on a Free Trial will need to buy a subscription to view more records.

Cancellation and your right to a refund: If you buy a subscription or PayAsYouGo credits, you can contact us and cancel within seven days of receipt of our confirmation email and we will happily give you a full refund _as long as you have not viewed any records_. Sorry that we're strict about this, but you can use a Free Trial to see what the service is like before you decide to buy.

Intellectual property rights (including copyright) in the records and services we provide: The records and features on this website only exist because somebody, somewhere has spent a lot of time, money and effort to make them available online. So these people or organisations keep the intellectual property rights in the records (the copyright/database rights owner is displayed on most records) and website features. You can't use the records to create your own work (for example a database of records, an article, blog post or book), copy or reproduce the records (either in whole or in part), or publish them unless you have our permission (and/or that of the owner of the copyright/database rights in the work) in writing. The website and services provided on it belong to findmypast, and again, you must not copy or use them without our permission. Please get in touch if you want to publish or otherwise professionally use the records or features of the website, we are usually quite accommodating. You can read more about copyright in this government guide.

Respecting your intellectual property rights (including copyright): If you believe that you own the copyright in any of the content on the website and we have not recognised you as the copyright owner, please get in touch and we will investigate quickly. While we are investigating, we may temporarily remove the records in question. If we agree that you are the copyright owner, we will work with you to find a solution that you agree with, or we will take the record in question off the website permanently.

Content created by users: On some parts of the website, you can publish things (including your family tree), make comments or participate on forums. If you do, you must not: * publish something that you do not own the copyright in (or have permission to publish it from the copyright owner); * include anything we consider offensive, inappropriate or defamatory (this is at our discretion); * break the law, for example, by saying something that you could be sued for; or * share the personal information of living people without their permission. You're responsible for managing content you create, including using privacy settings we make available.

How we use content created by users: You keep the copyright in any content that you create or publish on the website; however, by publishing it you give us permission to use it for letting others view it on the website, marketing, product improvement and other commercial purposes. If we use any of your personal information (for example your name) in connection with it, we will ask your permission first.

Content you create is available on the internet: We also make your content available to other users of findmypast, to users of websites that are either part of our company group or with whom we have a partnership, and by internet search engines. This is the way of the internet: if you don't want this to happen, do not publish the content. Our family tree has privacy controls that you can use to prevent other people seeing this content if you wish. Your registration and payment information and private conversations between members are obviously ALWAYS kept private: read our Privacy Policy for more information on this. We are not liable for any loss you suffer if content you create is abused by somebody else.

Monitoring content created by users: We do not monitor content published by our users and take no responsibility for things that you publish, so think before you post! If you see something on the site that you think is offensive, illegal or which isn't in line with these Terms & Conditions, please let us know. We don't guarantee that we will always remove it, but we will certainly look into it. We reserve the right to remove content that you create, at our discretion.

Changes to the website or records: We reserve the right to make changes to the website, including the records and services we offer, without notice; however, we would not be in business very long if we suddenly took things away that you've paid for without offering you a decent replacement. If you're a subscriber, you'll be glad to know that you will generally get a lot of new records added to your subscription at no extra cost during the period of your subscription. Sometimes, if we launch a major new collection, we might make a separate charge for it, but this is rare. We may also change prices, make special offers to groups or individuals, or change the number of credits charged to view a record from time to time.

Offering a decent service: We always try to make sure the website is fast, accurate and performs well: however, we can't promise that it will always work as expected. If the website does break, we won't be liable for any losses you might suffer.

Accuracy of records and other information provided: We also don't make any promises about the accuracy or completeness of the records or any other information on the website. We just give you access to it. We are not responsible for any content on anyone else's website, even if we link to it.

Things beyond our control: Sometimes things happen that disrupt your service, which we have no reasonable control over. Examples are fires, floods, strikes and workmen putting shovels through our internet connection cable. Obviously, as we can't control or plan for these things, we can't be liable for any losses that they cause you.

Customer support and complaints: We really believe in Customer Support and always aim to fix problems where we can: quickly, and in a friendly way. If you have a question, suggestion or complaint, please contact our Customer Support team first and we'll do our best to sort it out.

VAT: VAT at the current UK rate is included in the price. We only offer VAT receipts to non-EU customers on personal purchases over £100 with a £25 administration fee. Corporate and Library users always get a VAT receipt.

Corporate and Library users: These Terms & Conditions also apply if you are using a Corporate account or you're a library using the Community Edition of the website. Special Terms & Conditions also apply for Corporate and Library accounts which are provided when you buy these services from us. If any provisions in these online Terms & Conditions and the special Corporate or Library account Terms conflict, the latter will take precedence.

When we might stop you using the website: Thankfully, we rarely have to stop people using the website. If you do anything which you are not allowed to do under these Terms & Conditions, regularly go over the fair usage limit, or we cannot take a payment for a subscription when it is due, we reserve the right to stop you using the website. If you use a subscription for professional purposes unless you're a self-employed genealogist, we also reserve the right to stop your access. In all these cases you will have no right to a refund.

First legal bits - 1\. Liability: The only warranties or promises we give are set out in this document. We can't accept liability for any indirect or consequential losses, loss of data or any use of content you suffer from using the website, although we never limit liability for personal injury or death caused by our negligence or fraud. For any other loss you suffer that is caused by us, we limit the liability we have to you to the total money you spent on the website in the 12 calendar months before you make a claim against us. Your statutory rights are not affected.

More legal bits - 2\. Assignment: These Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy are personal to you, and you are not allowed to transfer your rights under this agreement to anyone else.

Last legal bits - 3\. Severance: The law is constantly changing, so if any part of these Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy no longer applies or is no longer legally enforceable, then that part will be severed from the rest of the agreement: the rest will continue to apply.

The law: These Terms & Conditions are made under English law, and any arguments about them (heaven forbid) will only be heard in English courts.

Changes to this agreement: Any changes we make to our rights under this agreement will be made in writing.

Contact us: We hope that's clear (and fair). If it isn't or you have another question that isn't covered, please contact us.

Last updated: 23 August 2012