Modern Software Experience

2011-05-03

eBay genealogy software

DVDMediaSoft home page

DVDMediaSoft

DVDMediaSoft is an England-based webstore operated by Schott Hitchman. The header has a DVDMediaSoft logo and the tag line ..quality, affordable software. The webstore features a blog, but it is empty. The site footer suggests to Get Your Own Store at Auctiva.com. The DVDMediaSoft site is an Auctiva-based webstore. Auctiva bills itself as Your Complete Solution for Selling on eBay. I came across DVDMediaSoft on eBay, where it is selling Genealogy Research Software.

eBay: Genealogy Research Software

Genealogy Research Software

DVDMediaSoft Genealogy Research Software

DVDMediaSoft is an eBay store. The front page of the website looks like an index to product pages, but when you click on any product, the site does not present its own product page, but sends you to the product listing on ebay instead.

The listing features a box shot of the software. That box shot removes any doubt you may have had about the product name. Although Genealogy Research Software sounds like a category or a description, it is the name of the product. The sturdy looking box suggests that this is a professionally produced mass=market product. There is a barcode on the side and a reassuring Compatible with Windows 7 logo on front.

Compatible with Windows 7

The Compatible with Windows 7 logo is big news. I did not know of any genealogy software that has a Compatible with Windows 7 logo. I apparently discovered the world's first Microsoft-certified genealogy software on eBay.

Back in 2008 I discussed Wholly Genes's claim that The Master Genealogist 7 is native to Windows Vista,pointing out that TMG is not certified for Windows. Even today, more than two years later, TMG has neither the Certified for Windows Vista nor the Works with Windows Vista logo.

Ancestry.com could easily afford to spend some resources on getting their Family Tree Maker product certified. Perhaps they have done so, but their product does not feature the logo yet, and although it has been written in Microsoft's own .NET technology, I very much doubt that it would pass the required tests.

FamilySearch is another big player, but they are infamous for trailing technologically. They do not offer any current Windows desktop software, and the software they used offer was not written by them in the first place, but by Incline Software. Incline Software's current product, Ancestral Quest 12, is not Microsoft-certified.

DVDMediaSoft Genealogy Research Software

Millennia's Legacy Family Tree truly is legacy software; it does not even run on Vista 64-bit and getting the bundled Legacy Charting Deluxe to run requires manual manipulation of the Windows registry.

RootsMagic, the 2009 and 2010 winner of the GeneAward for Best Genealogy Product might pass the Compatible with Windows 7 tests. RootsMagic vice president Michael Booth even blogged about RootsMagic being compatible with Windows 7 back in 2009, yet even today, RootsMagic does not feature the Compatible with Windows 7 logo yet.

Louis Kessler has written about getting a Compatible with Windows 7 logo for Behold, and seems planning to do so once Behold version 1.0 has been released.

It now seems that DVD Media Software, a small company based in England, has beaten all other genealogy software vendors to Windows 7 certification. Their Genealogy Research Software comes in a box that proudly display the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.
Oddly though, neither the product nor the company is listed in Microsoft's solution directory.

features

The eBay listing is the product page. It introduces the product thus:

Every person has their own story but they are also part of a collective family history.
This collection of tools gives you the ability to record the many details of an individual’s life as well as the complex relationships between various people, places and events.
All of your research is kept organized, searchable and as precise as you need it to be.

and then goes on to describe some of its major features:

  • Easy to use. A well designed user interface makes entering data easy. Browser like controls allow you to navigate your family tree with ease.
  • 11 different views for navigating your family
  • Generate brief or detailed reports for the ancestors or descendants of an individual
  • Create graphical Ancestor and Descendent charts in several formats
  • Export to Web Pages -Select the entire database, family lines or selected individuals to a collection of web pages ready for upload to the World Wide Web

in the box

The page clearly lists what you will receive when you decide to buy DVDMediaSoft Genealogy Research Software:

What you will receive

  • Professionally printed disc
  • Cardboard storage case
  • Full software PLUS user manual
  • Easy to use installation menu - simply insert disc and follow on screen instructions
  • Adobe Reader software included on the CD
  • FREE software updates for life!

Do read carefully; it states you get a user manual, it does not state you get a printed user manual.

screenshots

The product listing includes several screenshots

Genealogy Research Software screenshots

The listing shows thumbnails, but you can click on each to see a larger image.

GRAMPS

I did not immediately recognise the text, but the screenshots looked too familiar, and soon remembered where I had seen these before. These screenshots are taken directly from the GRAMPS features page.

GRAMPS: Features: screenshots

DVDMediaSoft Genealogy Research Software is GRAMPS under another name.

DVDMediaSoft is not only selling GRAMPS as Genealogy Research Software, they even copied and pasted text from the GRAMPS Wiki to promote their product. They did change GRAMPS to This collection of tools, but they did not bother to make their own screenshots. They simply copied the images from the GRAMPS Wiki. Well, there is a small, but significant difference. The original images have the text Family Tree 1 - GRAMPS - in the centre of the title bar, while the the images shown by DVDMediaSoft only have the text Family Tree 1 on the left side of the title bar; GRAMPS, the name of the application, is missing.

box

The listing promises a professional printed disc, it does not promise a professional printed box. The box shot shown here is as it appears on the eBay page. Have a good look at that image, and you'll notice the text Box for illustration only just below the box itself, in small and barely noticeable grey letters. The plain English translation of that sentence is: you won't get this box, because this box does not exist at all.

The Terms & Conditions confirm that interpretation: You will receive the CD professionally designed & printed in a cardboard mailing envelope. Box is not included and is for illustrative purposes..
Speaking of illustrations, that green swirly image shown on the box and the eBay page is the royalty-free image Meditate by miamiamia.

legal

DVDMediaSoft is selling GRAMPS, which is distributed as free open-source software (FOSS), under another name. Is it hard not to wonder whether this is legal. I am not lawyer, and will only remark on two fairly obvious issues.

GRAMPS is distributed under the GNU General Public License 2 (GPL 2) or later. This license does not prohibit selling the software, but it does state that any such a sale must be in accordance with the license. One of the conditions of the license is that the seller include the source code and all modifications, or make these available for no more than a cost-covering fee. If the CD-ROM includes the source, that condition has been met.

eBay: Genealogy Research Software: STOP Do not copy

The content of the GRAMPS Wiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 (FDL 2). Both copying and modifying the text are legal, but only when done in accordance with the license. One of the conditions of the license is that the license be included.

The eBay listing does not include the license, does not link it, and does not mention it. Quite the opposite: when you select some text and right-click, a messagebox pops up, with the message STOP!... please do not copy my listing.. It actually shows that do not copy messagebox on top of content copied & pasted from the GRAMPS Wiki.
That behaviour seems in direct conflict with the FDL license, yet the Terms & Conditions section claims that This item does not infringe any copyright, trade mark, or other rights or any of eBay's listing policies or spam policies.. It even states that No individual has the right to reproduce any titles, descriptions or product content without explicit consent., as if it is all original content.

misleading?

How misleading is this listing? If you bother to read all of it, you will come across the sentence Some or all of the software on the CD may be available for download without charge from internet websites. in the section Terms & Conditions.

DVDMediaSoft may not be shipping the box, but they are using to promote the product. The Genealogy Research Software is GRAMPS, and GRAMPS is not Microsoft-certified. The use of the Microsoft's Compatible with Windows 7 seems illegal to me, and I doubt that Microsoft's lawyers will be impressed by the defence that the box shot is for illustration purposes only.

DVDMediaSoft is suggesting that the software is Microsoft-certified, while the GRAMPS project has never made such a claim. That is misleading, and Microsoft is not likely to be amused by unauthorised use of their logo. After all, the idea of their logo program is that software only carries that logo after they've verified that it meets their criteria, so that the logo informs the consumer that Microsoft did verify it.

conclusion

I do not recommend spending any money on DVDMediaSoft's Genealogy Research Software . The CD is likely to contain an old version of GRAMPS, you have to pay for it, and you have to wait for the CD to arrive. If the Genealogy Research Software description appeals to you, then surf to the GRAMPS site, to immediately download the very latest version of GRAMPS - for free.

updates

2011-05-03: instant update

It seems someone complained about the Genealogy Research Software listings. The Genealogy Research Software listing have been removed from eBay.

Genealogy Research Software screenshots

updates

2012-05-17: DVDMediaSoft no more

The dvdmediasoft.co.uk domain is no longer active. The broken link has been removed.

links

Genealogy Research Software

other genealogy software

logos & licenses