legacy.com is one of these services. They collect guest comments for a period of time, after which they request that family or friends pay to have access to the book. Conveniently (for them), they're linked off of some online news obituaries such as our very own mlive.com. I don't know whether they pay these news sites, though I suspect they do.
The guestbook remains online for some period of time (a month?). Once this period has passed, Friends and family can pay $2.95 for access for a day. This fee is called an archive activation fee, suggesting that it must be expensive to host gigabytes of text and photos.
Or you can keep the guest book online indefinitely for only $79.99.
These services become especially attractive to families once people have left comments on the service; how could you let positive comments about your loved one disappear?
"You may not, for example, incorporate the information, content, or other material in any database, compilation, archive or cache. You may not modify, copy, distribute, re-publish, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, reuse, resell, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any information, content, material, software, products or services obtained from this Site, except as specifically noted above."These sources also provide links for you to buy flowers or gift baskets for your loved one. No question they're generating revenue through affiliate payments, by inspection of the links: http://flowersallover.com/cgi-bin/exoticitem-db.cgi/FAO-343?source=legacygift2&ovchn=OTHER&ovcpn=giftshop&ovcrn=flowers&ovtac=AD. I've changed "legacygift" to "legacygift2" in the link so we don't earn the site any more money than it deserves.
At least we know that legacy.com's site is guaranteed to host our guestbook indefinitely, even after legacy.com is gone:
"Subject to its suspension, cancellation, and termination rights and rights to remove Material, Legacy.com, Inc. represents that each Guest Book and Moving Tribute sponsored as "permanent" will remain on this Site for the duration of Legacy.com, Inc.’s existence, and that each Guest Book sponsored as "one year" will remain on this Site for one year from the date of sponsorship ..."Well, okay. For a year. Oh, wait, maybe not even that: