Scotland Online is an Internet company that offers a number of different services. Of interest to genealogists, Scotland Online runs the Scotlandspeople.gov.uk web site. That site provides access to vital records and other information under license from the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), the National Archives of Scotland, and the official heraldic authority, the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Scotland Online is a division of Brightsolid, which earlier this year purchased a competitor: Findmypast.com. Both websites make money by charging people to search census and other data so that customers can compile their family tree. Charges on Findmypast.com range from £6.95 for 60 search credits to £89.95 for a 12-month subscription.
Now the sites may face a new competitor: the Scottish government
Currently, Brightsolid is the only company that makes money from GROS data. However, a Scottish government spokesman said the data the company uses from GROS was about to be advertised to others for only a nominal administrative sum. He said, "We will advertise access to the material in the coming months."
You can read more at the Sunday Herald web site at http://www.sundayherald.com/business/businessnews/display.var.2381258.0.licence_sale_may_mean_money_doesnt_grow_on_family_trees.php.