Brent Low, CEO of Media One Utah, has vowed to force Legacy.com to remove the paywall it has erected on its obituary site, and "if they don't, we'll find another vendor." As my earlier post noted, Legacy.com -- which gets 7 million hits per month -- not only charges for access after an initial 30-day period. It also claims comprehensive rights and privileges with respect to the obituaries themselves "in perpetuity."
The outrageously presumptuous Legacy.com terms of service, highlighted in my February 22 post, were never made known to those who wrote and paid for the 14 million obituaries that are within Legacy's vaults. Mr. Low agrees that Legacy's business model is "legally indefensible" (my wording) and "ridiculous" (his). He says he has already ordered Legacy to keep obituaries that run in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News freely available for a full year. "If we can't eventually convince them to remove the paywall entirely, we'll take our business somewhere else," he promises. I don't want Utahns to be the only ones who have "eternal life" online, so I will continue to agitate against Legacy's policies. A Newsweek editor told me I've "really put a burr under the saddle" of Media One and Legacy, but when this much money is involved, it takes more than a burr. A capsaicin suppository might get the old horses galloping in the right direction.