Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Copyright, Contracts, Commitments, and Human Decency: Resolution





The issues detailed in my previous blog can successfully, happily, and agreeably be put behind me. My issue with the National Genealogical Society (NGS) has been resolved thanks to the helpful intervention of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). The president of APG, a dear friend and an advocate for professional genealogists, knew that if NGS’s president heard the entirety of my story he would seek a reasonable solution. She volunteered her time and her car to drive several hours out of her way so that all three of us could meet in Granger, Indiana, after the conclusion of the 2019 NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri.  The meeting was fruitful and productive, and we learned that we all want the same thing: for NGS speakers to have their individual needs accommodated whenever possible and for speakers to know and feel they are truly appreciated by NGS and the genealogical community. On a broader level, we all value the contributions of genealogists everywhere, and we all strive to be inclusive and welcoming to professionals and hobbyists alike. My passion for researching and lecturing is matched by the passion that both NGS and APG have to further promote education, advocacy, collaboration, and ethical standards in the field of genealogy. I hope through the resolution of this issue that all of us can achieve a greater good for genealogists, speakers, and societies alike.

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
Ben Spratling, JD, President NGS
Billie Fogarty, M.Ed., President APG

9 comments:

  1. Wonderful! I am appreciative of fairness

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  2. As a reader, this is too vague of a response from NGS to your specific issues. How was did they resolve thus for the future? I can see the copyright issue as a mixup or sloppy administration on NGS part, but the response to cut you (or anyone) from a speaking engagement with no notice is unprofessional. Especially if I was spending time and money to go to a conference and a speaker I wanted to hear was cancelled. Again it could be sloppy administration on NGS part, but I wanted to hear their response to prevent this from occurring again. Disappointing.

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  3. Rest assured that one of the talking points involved in resolving this issue was what can be done to prevent similar problems in the future. There are plans in place to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the present conference planning procedure. I am committed to doing what I can to make the NGS Conference experience positive for administrators, speakers, AND attendees.

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  4. This reads exactly like a press release based on legal settlement language. As someone who has worked in the legal field for 20+ years, I get it, and I assume that all parties are limited in how much more he/she can say about the situation. At any rate, I am happy that it has come to an amicable resolution for all involved. The more important question is this - now that you are blogging again, can we expect this to continue? You have been missed! :-)

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    1. It’s really not about limited information or legal ramifications. I just wanted to focus on the positive outcome of three professionals working together and the power of communication to resolve conflict. There was zero animosity or negativity in our meeting. Errors certainly occurred, apologies were tendered, and our meeting ended well. I really do hope my experiences can help make things better for speakers in the future. That feeling is shared by NGS.

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    2. I am very pleased that you were able to resolve the issues to your satisfaction. I don't need the details, I am happy to know that you are content; and trust that if there are future issues you will feel you have the forum for addressing them. You are a well respected genealogist and researcher and I want you to be able to concentrate on your work, and make a living doing it! Congrats!

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  5. So glad you were able to meet and have a good resolution to the problem.

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  6. Well then, let's get on with the family story now. I am hooked and waiting for the conclusion of this family drama, but of course, it will not stop me from leaving for Europe to further my own family research at the end of June, so hurry please.

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  7. Scratch that previous note, apparently I jumped in at a half way point and completely missed the story from the lead. Arghhhh!

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