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Stealing customers from FTDNA through deception

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  • Stealing customers from FTDNA through deception

    Someone pointed out that if you Google the name 'Genographic', you get a sponsored hyperlink titled

    DNA Genographic Project

    which actually goes to Relative Genetics. I consider this obvious copyright infringement, since (as far as I know) 'Genographic' is a brand name, not a common English word.

    Sometimes the sponsored hyperlink occurs at the top of the search results, other times on the right side.

  • #2
    Originally posted by lgmayka
    Someone pointed out that if you Google the name 'Genographic', you get a sponsored hyperlink titled

    DNA Genographic Project

    which actually goes to Relative Genetics. I consider this obvious copyright infringement, since (as far as I know) 'Genographic' is a brand name, not a common English word.

    Sometimes the sponsored hyperlink occurs at the top of the search results, other times on the right side.
    Yes, and a lot of people have bought tests through them and found they could not join surname and geographic projects at FTDNA when they thought they were going through National Geographic. I blocked their google ads from appearing on my site for just that reason. It is simply deception on their part.

    Comment


    • #3
      Try typing in "Family Tree DNA" or familytreedna at Yahoo's search engine and see what comes up at the top, through Sponsor Results. Isn't that some sort of trademark violation?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by paitenceofjob
        Try typing in "Family Tree DNA" or familytreedna at Yahoo's search engine and see what comes up at the top, through Sponsor Results. Isn't that some sort of trademark violation?
        After the "sponsored links" comes FTDNA.

        I typed "gateway computers" and the sposored links were Wallmart and Staples. I typed "dell computers" and the sponsored link was Dell.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Itzhak Epstein
          After the "sponsored links" comes FTDNA.

          I typed "gateway computers" and the sponsored links were Walmart and Staples. I typed "dell computers" and the sponsored link was Dell.
          When I typed "gateway computers" in Yahoo's search engine today, the first sponsor link was Gateway's official website. Staples and Circuit City ran second and third. When clicking on those links, it took you to their respective pages that actually sell Gateway computers. When, on the other hand (pardon the pun ), you type "FTDNA" in the search engine you get dnaancestryproject.com (Genebase) and relativegenetics.com (Relative Genetics). Both of these sponsor's advisements clearly and boldly state "Family Tree DNA". It appears these two websites are trying to use the Family Tree DNA reputation and name to reel in customers. Unless they had Family Tree DNA's permission to use its name in this way, would this not be a copyright infringement?

          Comment


          • #6
            Is Family Tree DNA aware of this? Someone I encouraged to get his DNA tested at FTDNA so he could compare his results with my husband's wound up testing with GeneBase but thought he was testing with FTDNA. Now he can't get into the haplogroup project at FTDNA and I feel somewhat responsible.
            Judy

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Judy
              Is Family Tree DNA aware of this? Someone I encouraged to get his DNA tested at FTDNA so he could compare his results with my husband's wound up testing with GeneBase but thought he was testing with FTDNA. Now he can't get into the haplogroup project at FTDNA and I feel somewhat responsible.
              Judy
              It will help some if they both upload to Ysearch.
              Floyd Oakes
              Y-I1a
              mt-K1a
              Ysearch:NTX73

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Judy
                Is Family Tree DNA aware of this? Someone I encouraged to get his DNA tested at FTDNA so he could compare his results with my husband's wound up testing with GeneBase but thought he was testing with FTDNA. Now he can't get into the haplogroup project at FTDNA and I feel somewhat responsible.
                Judy
                Judy,

                Considering that that issue was posted to the board with no indication that FTDNA has been notified by email, I wouldn't assume they have been. Since you are one of the people affected by this, my suggestion would be to send an email to FTDNA to ensure they are aware of the situation and let them know exactly what occured in your case. I don't know what kind of action they can take, but I'm sure they would at least like to know that they are losing business due to another company's deceptive practices.

                Elise

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Judy
                  Someone I encouraged to get his DNA tested at FTDNA so he could compare his results with my husband's wound up testing with GeneBase but thought he was testing with FTDNA.
                  Judy
                  I had a similar experience. A suspected 4th cousin. I sent him an email with a link to FTDNA but he somehow ended up testing with genebase instead. I assumed all along it was his choice, but your post has me wondering.

                  As a result we have problems with him joining my surname project, problems with comparing markers that first require conversion and problems because they don't test the same set of markers as FTNDA.

                  His results are loaded into YSearch, but there are still issues. He purchased a 22 marker test from Genebase. Only 18 of these are tested in FTNDA's first two panels. So anyone on YSearch for would first have to know to set the search parameters down to 18.

                  Rob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by efgen
                    Judy,

                    Considering that that issue was posted to the board with no indication that FTDNA has been notified by email, I wouldn't assume they have been. Since you are one of the people affected by this, my suggestion would be to send an email to FTDNA to ensure they are aware of the situation and let them know exactly what occured in your case. I don't know what kind of action they can take, but I'm sure they would at least like to know that they are losing business due to another company's deceptive practices.

                    Elise
                    Good suggestion, Elise. I just e-mailed FTDNA about it.
                    Judy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This morning I tried typing "FTDNA" in Yahoo's search engine and those two companies' sponsor links did not appear. They do still appear with their bold title of Family Tree DNA when you type "Family Tree DNA" or "familytreedna". It appears Relative Genetics's sponsor link has a suffix to allow them to see how successful this advertising scheme is: http://www.relativegenetics.com/rela...amily-tree-dna

                      For people with a browser like mine, the blue box around the sponsor links is so pale as to almost blend in with the white surrounding area for the rest of the links. I can see where someone not familiar with the various genetic genealogy companies might easily be confused or deceived.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fmoakes
                        It will help some if they both upload to Ysearch.
                        Floyd Oakes
                        Y-I1a
                        mt-K1a
                        Ysearch:NTX73
                        Floyd, I compared the marker results from GeneBase with others from his (GeneBase predicted) haplogroup on Y-search, and there were some atypical markers. I am not confident they are correct, yet it is possible that he is a "rare bird." I contacted GeneBase and after some time I finally heard back from them. They said their test results cannot be compared to results from other companies. That made me suspect; the reputable testing companies have public data bases where customers can upload their data to compare with people who tested with other companies. In the last couple of days, I have seen posts from the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) that some administrators of large surname projects are finding that GeneBase test results on certain markers do not agree with results from other companies and GeneBase is not willing to publicize the conversions necessary to compare results with other companies. This is creating a problem for administrators with large groups who are trying to calculate modal values.

                        The gentleman who I invited to join my project but tested with GeneBase by mistake is going to re-test with FTDNA because he wants to be able to join geographical and haplogroup projects at FTDNA. It will be interesting to see if the FTDNA results are different from the GeneBase results.
                        Judy
                        Last edited by Judy; 9 December 2006, 12:14 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by efgen
                          Judy,

                          Considering that that issue was posted to the board with no indication that FTDNA has been notified by email, I wouldn't assume they have been. Since you are one of the people affected by this, my suggestion would be to send an email to FTDNA to ensure they are aware of the situation and let them know exactly what occured in your case. I don't know what kind of action they can take, but I'm sure they would at least like to know that they are losing business due to another company's deceptive practices.

                          Elise
                          Elise, I got a response from Leah Wark. FTDNA is aware of the situation and prefers customers handle it with GeneBase on their own. It would open a can of worms if FTDNA gets involved.
                          Judy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Judy
                            Floyd, I compared the marker results from GeneBase with others from his (GeneBase predicted) haplogroup on Y-search, and there were some atypical markers. I am not confident they are correct, yet it is possible that he is a "rare bird." I contacted GeneBase and after some time I finally heard back from them. They said their test results cannot be compared to results from other companies. That made me suspect; the reputable testing companies have public data bases where customers can upload their data to compare with people who tested with other companies. In the last couple of days, I have seen posts from the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) that some administrators of large surname projects are finding that GeneBase test results on certain markers do not agree with results from other companies and GeneBase is not willing to publicize the conversions necessary to compare results with other companies. This is creating a problem for administrators with large groups who are trying to calculate modal values.

                            The gentleman who I invited to join my project but tested with GeneBase by mistake is going to re-test with FTDNA because he wants to be able to join geographical and haplogroup projects at FTDNA. It will be interesting to see if the FTDNA results are different from the GeneBase results.
                            Judy
                            Judy,
                            I belive I recall discussion of problems with GeneBase data on the Rootsweb GENEALOGY-DNA-L Archives http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/index/GENEALOGY-DNA/
                            I will try to find those posts. If successful, I'll pass the info on to this forum.
                            Floyd Oakes
                            Y-I1a
                            mt-K1a
                            Ysearch: NTX73

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fmoakes
                              Judy,
                              I belive I recall discussion of problems with GeneBase data on the Rootsweb GENEALOGY-DNA-L Archives http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/index/GENEALOGY-DNA/
                              I will try to find those posts. If successful, I'll pass the info on to this forum.
                              Floyd Oakes
                              Y-I1a
                              mt-K1a
                              Ysearch: NTX73
                              Thanks Floyd. I vaguely remember seeing some discussion of GeneBase on rootsweb some time ago too.
                              Judy

                              Comment

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