Friedman, H George
I don't understand this worry over "stolen" family trees. Let me put that statement into context.
I will die, sooner or later. Did I do all this genealogical research only to have it die with me? NO! I want it to be available to other researchers, just as I have had other people's research results available to me. Otherwise, what is the point of my doing the research in the first place?
Of course, someone using my material ought to give me credit for it, just as I give credit to others whose materials I use (with their permission, out of courtesy if nothing else). But I would not want my research results locked away from being shared with others!
There certainly must be safeguards. I do not post my information to any site that allows others to modify it! And I am careful about privacy for the living. But if someone copies my work into their tree, and then incorrectly modifies it there...well, I don't see that that takes any skin off of me.
If you have 20 generations of ancestors, and do not publish it in some way, what good it it? Sure, you know it, but after you die, it is lost.
I was trained as a scientist, a chemist, and had a career as a university professor. So I speak from a tradition of publishing one's research. Genealogy is certainly not the same as chemistry, but I think the point is the same: Knowledge not shared is not knowledge at all.
Regards to all,
H. George Friedman, Jr.
Emeritus Professor of Computer Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign