Terms of use (aka ‘Terms and Conditions’)


Please read these Terms of use as soon as possible after entering this site for the first time. If you continue to browse and use this website, you shall be deemed to have agreed to comply with and be bound by these Terms which, together with our Privacy policy, govern Stirnet’s relationship with you in relation to this website. If you do not agree to these Terms, you should refrain from using this site. Agreement with these terms & conditions is required before you may register with the site.

Contact & other details for Stirnet Limited may be seen at Contact us. More information about Stirnet may be found at Stirnet Limited FAQ.

Information is provided below in 2 main ways, through ‘tabs’ and ‘collapsibles’. Presentation of information through one way rather than another has been made somewhat arbitrarily and shall not be viewed as giving precedence to some information over other information.



‘Terms of use’ should be interpreted in the ‘normal way’ for Internet sites of this type and covers the Terms & Conditions for using this site including, inter alia, the processes & consequences of (including the obligations resulting from) Registration & Subscription.

A ‘Registered User’ is a person who has registered or been allocated a Username, Password and e-mail address with Stirnet and thereby has opened or been allocated a User Account with Stirnet. Registration of a Username requires agreement to these Terms & Conditions.

‘Members’ are Registered Users who have paid for or been granted a Membership Subscription Period which is still current. It is possible that different categories of Membership will be established in due course. Members become Guests on the expiry of their subscription.

‘Guests’ are Registered Users who do not have a current Membership.

Your agreement with these Terms of Use signifies your acceptance of (inter alia) our Privacy Policy (see below) and your agreement to our recording & keeping (in our computer system(s) and/or manual records) those details about yourself that you have inputted into our system for the purposes of registering with us (i.e. First Name, Last Name and E-mail address) along with details about your subscriptions (dates, system identification numbers, Username and subscription types) and about your country of residence (as notified to us by PayPal, this being required for analytical purposes and in case we become subject to VAT). For more information on matters relevant to Data Protection, see Privacy and Cookies.
This site provides a facility named The Stirnet Portal which offers certain connections between this site and other sites. That facility identifies some ‘Terms & Conditions of the Offer’. Those Terms & Conditions supplement and do not replace these Terms of Use.
We offer people who lead others to subscribe to this this site an opportunity to benefit from that referral under a Referral Policy. The Terms & Conditions set for that policy supplement and do not replace these Terms of Use.
This site does not at present contain a Forum. However, should it do so in the future, use of such a Forum will be covered by these Terms of use.
We reserve the right to change these Terms at any time, without notice, by amending this page. We will draw attention to any such change through a News item. You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we have made, as they are binding on you.
Stirnet Limited is registered in England and operates in England. These Terms of use, and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with them or their subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims), are governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales, and are subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.






The following comments provide information abour Copyright that you may find useful. They do NOT form part of our Terms of Use but we reserve the right to refer to our provision of this information should anyone claim ignorance of the application of Copyright Law.

These comments focus on issues we think are relevant to this site and do not aspire to give more than a partial view of selected aspects of the scope of Copyright and other Intellectual Property rights. Our comments are provided in good faith after some limited research but we are not ‘experts’ on the subject of Copyright so the following must not be relied on for legal purpose, particulary if it is considered for application under the law of any country outside of the United Kingdom. We ask anyone who knows that we have reported something here in error, or have given a misleading impression on anything, to contact us and advise us accordingly so that we may correct this page and not propagate any misunderstandings.
We respect the Copyrights of others. If anyone believes that we may have breached any of their copyrights then they should get in touch with us right away. We have tried to be careful to ensure that all of the data and other material we display EITHER is not subject to copyright protection OR is outside of its copyright period (ie. for data – was sourced from databases that were either themselves prepared a long time ago or, if relatively recent, are merely copying extracts from earlier databases; for text – was sourced from books that were published a long time ago) OR is being provided with permission from the copyright owner. We apologise in advance should we have failed to comply with that intention in any way.
We expect & require others to respect our copyrights and also those of the people who have retained copyrights over material contained in any part of this site. We reserve our own copyrights and have identified in part what we expect from others in the Intellectual property rights section above.
The main purpose of the laws of Copyright (and other Intellectual Property Rights) is to ensure that people who are creative in some way do not lose out from benefiting from their creativity by having other people steal their ideas. This is done so that creative people are encouraged BOTH to continue to be creative AND to share their ideas with others. Without such laws, we would all lose out as many people would keep their good ideas to themselves. This basic concept has gradually found acceptance around the world so that even those governments which used to value the short-term benefits that come from ‘pirating’ other people’s ideas have come to appreciate that, over the long term, they would lose out from such short-sightedness. Member countries of the World Trade Organisation are obliged to pass laws to enforce respect for intellectual property rights. In rough terms, these rights enable copyright owners to stop other people from using their work and to obtain damages (financial compensation) if anyone does. If breach of copyright is done on a commercial scale it may constitute theft and so be treated as a criminal/public offence rather than just a civil/personal offence.

The scope of Copyright is very wide. For example: it covers the creativity used in taking a photograph so that, even though the photographer may not own the subject of the photo, he does have copyrights over the actual picture itself. A work may give rise to different copyrights to different people (eg. a film may be scripted by one person, directed by another, acted by another, recorded by another, and edited by another – in practice, the rights that each has is normally subjected to contractual agreement before work starts as otherwise arguments may arise !). ‘Creativity’ is not just restricted to ‘arty stuff’ but covers anything that has required elements of skill, labour or judgement. The key requirement is that THE WORK MUST BE ORIGINAL. Copying someone else’s work does not produce any rights over that copied work. Repeating work done earlier does not enable you to pretend that the new version is ‘original’. However, if you present old work in a new way then there may be elements of originality that may be copyrighted or otherwise protected from being copied by others.

Copyright does not apply to ideas for they are dealt with by Patent Law. Copyright applies only to work that has been produced in some viewable or measurable way. It does not apply to basic matters of fact. However, it does apply to works that involve the collation or display of such facts. Hence, although basic genealogical data is outside of the scope of copyright, an original compilation of a genealogical database does produce a right of ownership that is protected by law.

Copyrights do not last forever. The laws of individual countries may vary slightly but the copyright protection period they normally provide for works of literature, drama, music and art is 70 years after the death of the creator or, if published (deliberately made available to the general public), 70 years after publication. ‘Database rights’ are a form of copyright that apply to computerised (electronically generated) databases. These provide copyright-style protection in respect of the extraction and re-utilisation of the contents of a database. They apply for 15 years from the making of the database but, if published during this time, then the term is 15 years from publication. Most genealogical databases on the Internet are electronically generated – but not Stirnet’s which was typed in line by line, page by page, and so should obtain copyright protection for 70 years.

For more information:

– on relevant UK law: see www.copyrightservice.co.uk and www.ipo.gov.uk

– on relevant USA law: www.loc.gov/copyright

– comments by the World Trade Organisation: www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/trips_e.htm

If you have any general queries about the subject of Copyright, or related Intellectual Property rights, DO NOT contact us but seek information yourself from the above-mentioned web sites, your lawyer, or another qualified source. Only contact us if you have a specific query about your use of material from our site.