United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


Pledge “rights”

"I will create a standing order of 5 pounds per month to support an organisation that will campaign for digital rights in the UK but only if 1,000 other people will do the same."

— Danny O'Brien

Deadline to sign up by: 25th December 2005
1,038 people signed up (38 over target)

Country: United Kingdom

Things to do with this pledge

  • Create a local version of this pledge
  • Creator only: Send message to signers
RSS feed of comments on this pledge

Comments on this pledge

  • A standing order for a fiver a month is okay, but if you get this off the ground it would be *very helpful* to provide other payment options (including PayPal) and other subscription options (such as a life membership for, oh, ten years' up-front, and corporate membership, and ...)
    Charles Stross, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • There is no question that I am very much in favour of this action, but as I am now on almost every credit blacklist in the world, please find another way to pay.. Paypal etc...

    I like the idea of lifetime membership too ;)
    Phil Geraghty, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Paypal, e-gold, fivers put on a long piece of string going from your house to the office: just pledge if you'll fork up the amount somehow, and we'll find a way of prising it out that's convenient to you.
    Danny O'Brien, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I couple of people have mentioned it, but perhaps it would be better to call this organisation "digital Freedoms".

    People might understand it better.
  • I think it would definately be good for this group to have an identity of its own, rather than just being a subsiduary of the american group, not that they don't do great work, but i think we need to find our own way rather than just following blindly down the same route as EFF
    Martin, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • The new org wouldn't be connected to the EFF, and wouldn't follow the same model as that organisation. For a little more about how it would start out,I've written up the beginnings of a description here: http://www.oblomovka.com/entries/2005/07...
  • I'm interested but I'd want to know more about the legal formation, are the aims sufficient for a charitable organisation or would it be a Company limited by guarantee?

    Those kinds of questions. It would be more than useful to have a tame lawyer as well.
  • I wouldn't mind donating but I think five pounds a month is a bit too much for me, I'd rather just make a one off donation of maybe 20 pounds.
    Drew, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Hey Danny.

    I'm not trying to throw a spanner in the works here (or provide too much stop energy, I'm glad someone's taken a step rather than navel gazing)...but people have been burnt before with request for money online. So could you give some ideas to those 'not in the loop' of:

    Who would this money be employing? What would their mandate be? Who the other organisations are (edri, ukcdr, fipr, etc) and how this proposal differs from them? How are the people this money is going to going to be held accountable for where it's going and what things we the public are are going to get out of it (i.e. 'deliverables' in terms of diary of tasks undertaken [blog *cough* blog].)

    (and yes, I've read the link above. It doesn't really cover those points sufficently)

    Thanks again for your efforts.

    Mark.
  • Hey Mark:

    To the nearest approximation, God knows the exact form. The budget was worked out on the back of an envelope; we typed this pledge in on a Treo 15 minutes after the panel. So I can't really answer you. I'd just point out that if it turns out that a more concrete spec of the organisation turns out to not fit in with what you want, that'll be obvious before we ask pledgers to fork over the cash.

    If you're not happy with the structure then, I'd suggest sending your donation to one of the other UK groups in this area instead would count as a moral equivalent of living up to your pledge :)
  • This sounds like a great initiative (as long as EFF is the role-model - they are doing great work) BUT why limit to an UK 'version' of EFF. It should be an European version.
    I live in Denmark but am supporting EFF to balance the development of digital rights and open source in the US. The Internet is a global affair and in Europe the greatest battles in the future will be in the european parliament.
    Morten, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Morten -

    Try http://www.digitalrights.dk/ or http://www.edri.org/ , both doing great work in Denmark and Europe.
  • 'Supporting Digital rights' is a bit vague: 4 or 5 bullet points creating a mission statement (for want of a less nauseating expression), would be better.
    Tony Pott, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I agree with others that "freedom" is better than "rights", which has too many DRM connotations.
  • Thanks for everyone's comments. As Danny says, we are right at the beginning of this process and the exact form of this organisation has yet to be decided. We are certainly interested in hearing people's thoughts and points of view, so if anyone wishes to email, then please feel free to contact me on suw.charman[at]gmail.com and I'll feed that through to the rest of the group.
  • To answer Mark's UKCDR question, Martin Keegan posted to the free-sklyarov-uk mailing list saying that the UKCDR would turn over their assets to the new organization seeing as they don't have the funding to be as effective as they would like to be. See also that Martin is signed up to this pledge.
    Phil Hibbs, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Maybe it might be a good idea to get a meeting together in london, maybe a room at a university or something to actually decide exactly where everyone wants to go with this idea. Could have an initial meeting to decide things like the name of the group, the initial ideas and campaigns we could get involved in. I suspect a lot of the initial energy would go into anti-ID card campaigns and opposing the errosion of our libertys though 'emergency' terror laws, or we could concentrate on other issues entirely. Waiting for christmas would be too late, probably would be best to do something like this while it's fresh in the mind and people are still excited about the prospect of setting up this group.

    I think people are making too much out of the money side of things, in hindsight the pledge could just have been to join the group and come to meetings, after all people are more important than cash, but not gunna critisise danny and others too much as they're doing their best :)
    Martin, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Martin,

    The important thing about this is that it IS after money so that it is not just a talking shop but rather, (possibly) a talking shop, that can get its point of view across and ensure that the media is aware of that point of view.

    Heck considering that we are mainly talking about ID cards at the moment lets take it as an example. Surely an organisation that is able to point a Journalist in the direction of a media savvy decent expert on databases and another media savvy expert on biometrics (either of whom can easily destroy the governments case) is worth £5 a month of your money.
    Ben Thompson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Let's not get focussed on ID cards: the opposition to them is already well handled by the Lib Dems, half the labour party, Liberty and god knows who else. Even the bloody Tories.
    Lets be sure to focus on issues that AREN'T currently well dealt with, where our input can make a difference, rather than on those issues on which we feel most strongly at the moment when these are already being ably handled by existing organisations with more than £5k p.m. to play with.
    Tony Pott, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • A great idea. I'm happy to support this. Seconded for Digital Freedoms over Digital Rights (sounds all USian. ; ) But I hope you put my money to good use - i.e. plough it into the most public and dramatic methods of making people understand what we're about, rather than blow it on working at the "powers that be." You'll never really beat the big money behind these schemes at their own game, but you can open up a new front where our money goes further and that "they" will have trouble fighting on.

    One of the biggest publicity angles you'll get out of this, is the simple fact that it exists: A thousand common people from all areas of life pledging their money to defend the laws and rights they believe in? THAT's news if you play it right.

    And don't forget to involve all of us (your supporters) in whatever you do. I'd guess that there is a wide range of skills and resources scattered amongst hundreds of people that you can draw on.

    Good luck with this.
    Tal. Nuin, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Interested, though I don't run to as much as a fiver a month, but even after reading your blog entry, I still don't know what digital rights are; or "these issues" on which journalists are ignorant. (I could name a few.)
    Barbara, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Woo! Can we have T-shirts?
    Douglas Brown, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • My understanding of the idea of this pledge was to fund a couple of people who can ring up journalists and present the counterpoint to the media company PR and be a single point of contact for journalists who want someone to comment on the latest record company spin.

    I have to say, though, I'd love to do more than send money. So if there is some way to be more directly involved, let me know...
    Mark Levitt, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Mark -

    It will, hopefully will be a little more than that: but it'll certainly be that as well.

    d.
  • Danny,

    I hope I didn't come across as negative about it. I think getting the media more on our side is really important.

    And if it can do even more than that, great.
    Mark Levitt, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Danny,

    While I think it is vital for there to be knowledgeable, articulate people getting the digital freedoms message across to the media/politicians/public, it does seem like a bit of a waste of cash to be paying for an office etc.

    Why not use the money the pledges generate to pay for two 'digital liberties' experts to be on the staff of an organisation which already has the bricks and mortar, such as Liberty, Statewatch or to work alongside FIPR? These organisations don't have their current 'missions' set in stone, AFAIK, so I'm sure they'd be interested [I'm not a member of any of them, BTW, so no vested interest].

    That way you could get your two campaigning people at £25k each plus have £10k for publicity materials and a contribution to the running costs of Liberty/Statewatch/whoever? It's hard enough raising money in the UK for campaigning on civil liberties/freedoms issues without spending on rent and brand creation when you don't necessarily need to.

    Just a thought,

    Andrew
    Andrew, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Definetly should be called "Digital Freedoms" rather than "Digital Rights".

    "Digital Rights" would too easily be muddled up with "Digital Rights Management", which in itself should be called "Digital Restrictions Management"...
    D Walker, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • "an organisation that will campaign for digital rights in the UK"

    This all sounds quite lovely, but a word or two of explanation might not go amiss. This is the vaguest manifesto I've ever read.
  • Danny,
    Two points: It appears that most of the pledgers on this list are male or have male sounding names. Possibly because the pledgers aren't forwarding to females as they think they won't be interested. This is sad.

    When this gets off the ground, we know a really talented young person called Ada who needs a job and would do well in this work.
    Goldie Grahame, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • PS Thinking about this, I realise that most women I know can't afford £5 a month - how about a smaller pledge for those that would like to participate but can't afford a fiver?
    Goldie Grahame, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Once we have the founding 1000, it would be great to allow those unable to afford £60 a year to pay what they can afford. Or indeed help in kind.

    Similarly, those of us who feel better able to pay yearly or further upfront would be able to help offset the difference.
  • Alex -

    Of course: what's important right now is to ensure that there is sufficient foundation to go forward.

    d.
  • How about a GIF button that people can put on their blogs, websites etc to link to this pledge?
    Frank O'Dwyer, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I've been waiting a long time for something like this. Governments pursue their agendas, corporations lobby mightily for theirs, but who speaks for our interests, for the needs and dreams of the digital citizen?
  • Danny,

    As you can see from the number of comments, this has generated quite a bit of discussion. Can I beg of you to give this whole thing a home of it's own on the web where you can give us more details - like the answers to my previous questions - as and when you work them out? I get the feeling (well I hope anyway) that this stuff is being worked out 'behind the scenes' but since I don't know who's blogs to read or the 'cabal' to talk to I can't tell what, if anything, is going on.

    Thanks again for your commitment.

    Mark.
  • Mark,

    You're quite right, work is going on behind the scenes. Initially we'll announce stuff on Danny's blog (http://www.oblomovka.com/), my blog (http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/), and the NTK mailing list (http://www.ntk.net/).

    Also, Danny blogged a bit more about this just yesterday (http://tinyurl.com/8tkfq).

    Suw
  • Well, at last an answer to my question, in the Guardian article [www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1537039,00.html]

    Explaining what you want our fivers for really ought to be a priority, not an accidental afterthought - understanding the jargon isn't the same thing as being aware of the issues. I'll spread the word, now that I know what the word is.
    Barbara, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • This pledge sounds a bit dodgy to me. 1000 X £60 = £60,000 a year tax free. Not a bad little earner for someone.

    I just can't believe so many people are in such a rush to give their money away.
    Anon, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Suw, thank you for your response.

    People posting about things to their blogs is all good and well, but I'd rather not have to wade through posts about your iChat misbehaving to find out about the latest; Many personal blogs and random mailing lists not dedicated to the issue just really aren't a subsitute for proper clear communication - something that whatever this will turn into *has* to be good at. I know I'm being a pain, but this really is the crux of the matter - being able to communicate the issues to people *outide* of the inner circle. If I'm going to start convincing people to stump up the cash then I don't think a little clear communication in one place that I can point them at is too much to ask.
  • Hi Barbara. I'll try and get the PledgeBankers to put a link to a broader summaries when we have it.

    Mark -- I'll give you a quid off if you give us a week or so to set up a site. A *quid*, my friend! And if you give the quid back, we'll use perl.

    Honestly? Right now, there's nothing much to say. I've had one conference call, sent out some mail, and sat and stared at the ceiling thinking. If we had a site at this point, it would be more Livejournal than anything.

    If you're cautious, wait. They'll be plenty of time to tell people how brilliant it will be, or how utterly misguided the project is, in the coming weeks. The last thing you should be is disillusioned in *less than seven days*.
  • Some links:

    My report of the OpenTech session that kicked it all off: http://tinyurl.com/becys
    Audio and video of the OpenTech session: http://tinyurl.com/akbl4
    My initial blog post: http://tinyurl.com/75v6h
    Danny's initial blog post: http://tinyurl.com/8242z
    Danny's Guardian article: http://tinyurl.com/8gnh2
    Danny's second post: http://tinyurl.com/8tkfq
  • This is obviously an act of faith at this stage, based on Danny, Stand and some of Cory's work, but I would agree that we need some detail behind the pledge fairly soon to avoid misunderstanding.

    Civil liberties are one thing, blanket defence of bloggers just-because-they-blog is something else, and then there are political questions about liberty and libertarian ideas - that's where the British aspect of an EFF-type org might diverge from the US model.

    Good luck Danny!
    Lee Bryant, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Whilst I agree that, yes, things do need to be made clearer.. I just feel I have to remind people of one minor detail they seem to be forgetting when they are bitching about the lack of a proper manifesto or agenda...

    It's only been a bloody week!

    Sheesh, I haven't even got my OpenTech stuff out of my backpack yet, and you guys are expecting Danny, Suw etc to have created a website, drawn up a full scaled business proposal, have justified every single penny of every single donation!

    Just bear in mind they were busy peeps *before* the EFF talk happened, they *do* have other commitments and... it's only been a week!! (well, 9 days.)

    Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest, I'm as impatient as the next guy but we've already come a long way in 9 days. Just keep in mind that people have to do 'real life' stuff too :)

    Keep up the good work guys ;) We're all rooting for this to be a fundamental step in the right direction and I expect once we do have a proper website etc up, the donations will start rolling!

    To that end, a lot of us will do what we can to help, just say the word!
    Drachan, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Calm down, calm down .... it's only a commercial!

    I wasn't "bitching" at all. There's no rush - I was just saying that this will be needed at some point soon. I am not impatient and there is no rush.

    I shall restrict further comments to cheerleading or shouting the name "Brian!" "Brian!" over and over again ;-)
    Lee Bryant, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • surely you mean "Danny! Danny!" ;-)

    As for why you should sign up now before we know the full details.

    Reason 1 because we need something.
    Reason 2 I trust Danny and co enough to know that what they want is probably what we need.
    Reason 3 if after 6 / 12 months its not doing what you think it should be doing or doing stuff you don't agree with you can always stop the standing order.
    Ben Thompson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Lee, I wasn't pointing a finger at you, apologies if it came across that way.

    There just seems to be a tremendous amount of impatience when, realistically, pledges are not a legally binding contract and if people don't like the direction things are going in, they don't *have* to pay! Personally I'd rather be paying and have a somewhat active say in how things go than to just say 'No, I refuse to give you money because you're being vague, and then have no voice when the forum is open to suggestions as to how things should turn out.

    Realistically, though, this should all work out pretty fine. :)
    Drachan, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • No! If I agree to pledge then I agree to give the money.

    I can't think of anything worse than agreeing to give my financial backing to something and then backing out later with other people over some ideological issue. Because once I've signed up If we back out at a later date we'd be leaving Danny and his helpful bunch in the lurch, unable to pay staff they've promised money to who have real world commitments like being able to make their rent or supporting their family.

    I'm never going to earn my quid if I keep chatting like this.
  • Aye - my committment is a committment - it is not conditional on the nature of the work to be undertaken. It is an act of faith based on confidence in Danny's work, (most of) the EFF's track record etc.

    Go Danny!
    Lee Bryant, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Right, I'm really going to shut up now, and give people a chance to get the things done that need to happen. I'll make my own meta commitment to the cause, and try and convince other people to work on it:

    http://www.pledgebank.com/metarights

    (Danny, you can keep the quid. I'll send you a couple more if you want and you can use it to buy a pint for your hard work)
  • That metarights pledge is so the right thing to do. (And now am tempted to do the metametarights pledge, in which I require you to clarify what form the charter should take).

    In the meantime, Lee, I should say that you'll probably be disappointed in some capacity. I'm advocating for a very broad camp as far as issues we'll work for. I think you may have to grit your teeth when some of your less favourite issues turn up, and imagine that your money goes down a special pipe to directly fund the stuff you like.

    OTOH, the model of working to support other organisations (and help set them up if they don't exist) should at least mean you can weight your donations and time in a more fine-grained way.

    Did that make sense? I feel like I'm making this stuff up, one narrow-formatted post at a time.
  • Shh, Danny, don't give the game away. ;-)
  • I rarely ungrit my teeth these days, so that's no sacrifice...

    I don't think supporters should look for a perfect ten in terms of their own values - that's not the way useful organisations or coalitions work these days. Also, unless technology and accounting procedures permit, which I doubt, it is not necessary to insist on channeling our lil' contributions to only certain activities. On the other hand, as you say, maybe people can assist specific projects with/by other orgs in their own areas.

    I's patient, man. You carry on making it up. I like it.

    PS: Ben: I really did mean Brian! Brian! - it was a Python reference (Monty, not the scripting language).
  • I'd love to support this, but I'm on the dole and £5 is two pints and a bag of peanuts.

    Perhaps you should ask for volunteers who'll donate TIME instead of money. If the campaign goes anywhere it will have a bottomless thirst for man-hours.

    Judging by NTK, etc, you guys all know lots about electronicking but not very much about writing readable English for an average audience, so you could use a little help with getting your ideas across.

    ATB

    Nimrod
    Nimrod Fartelchease, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • PS The printable flers and posters are appalling, too.

    Nimrod
    Nimrod Fartelchease, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Yes, there'll be plenty of opportunities for people to donate their time and effort instead of their money, but we're not quite at that stage yet.
  • Frank O'Dwyer,

    Wouldn't a PNG be more appropriate than a GIF? Patents and all that stuff.

    Anyway, to get the ball rolling I've designed a basic button template that you can fill in with your own wordage.

    http://mahatmacoat.fateback.com/digital_...

    Creative Commons licenced, of course :-P

    But seriously, we really do need a UK EFF equivalent. Being financially challenged I can't afford a fiver per month but will happily support this as and when I can afford to. To that end, some kind of alternative donation mechanism in the future would be much appreciated.
    Mr Skint, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Hey Mr Skint, spreading the word is probably the most important thing you can do right now...and I am likely to give more than £60pa, if that helps you relax...
    Mr Flush, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • The sooner this gets going the better. check out

    http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848...

    The government is trialling RFID tags in number plates!!
    D Walker, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • If anyone is interested in data retention, I've just blogged about it:

    http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/blog/_arc...

    This will be one of the issues that we will address once we get going.
  • I am eager to give my money away to support this. Signups seem to have all but dropped off in the next few days.

    Looks like more publicity is needed?
    D. Walker, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Hey Danny - hope this gets off the ground. I've been having a stab at potential names. Rejected 'Society for the Defence of Online Freedoms' because that would be SoDOF. My best serious-sounding effort so far (that also gives a decent acronym) is
    the Digital and Electronic Freedom Trust (DEFT). It also looks like the guy who currently owns (the inactive) www.deft.org.uk hasn't renewed the domain.

    Anyone have any other suggestions?
    Jim Mortleman, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • DEFT is good, or DEFT-UK as a fall-back. I'd also suggest "CommonRights" - it echoes Copyright, and Common Rights are a relevent part of UK history - they're exactly what had to be abridged in order to have the enclosure of the commons (see http://www.bodminmoor.co.uk/commons.html).
  • Is any work going into getting this off the ground anymore?

    This is not meant as a criticism but if there is no one putting any effort in then it's not going to get going

    Since the initial slashdotting the sign ups have dropped off to almost nothing and Danny's blog doesn't seem to have been updated since July.

    Are there any current developments which I'm missing?
    Drew, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • how about,
    "Digital Rights for the Electronic Generation Society" - DREGS
    or it could be just an abbreviation, like EFF, rather than an acronym,
    like
    "Society for the Protection of Digital Freedoms" - SPDF
    [Which sounds similar to the very British RSPCA etc]

    Really hope this gets off the ground.

    Good luck!
    Martin Graney, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • There are, but it's all very background: We've been working on getting external funding, interim board members, interviewing people, pulling chins over potential budgets. Boring rather than mysterious, though I should probably let people know that subtle difference between "silently very busy" and "dead".

    Classically this is the fight with an org like this: you can either be busy, or visible. We're trying to built it so that it can be both, but the requires a certain amount of early invisible graftwork. I think we're almost at the point where things are stable enough to start at least publicly documenting what's going on. And after that, things get a lot easier.
  • Thanks for the reply Danny, it's good to know stuff is going on behind the scenes.

    One thing you might consider is that I'm sure there is no shortage of people willing to help out.

    I would imagine that, of the 761 people who have signed up to support this financially, there will be many who have useful skills and free time that they are willing to contribute.

    If there's anything I could do as well as the five pounds then I would certainly do my best to help out.
    Drew, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Drew, please feel free to drop me a line at suw.charman[at]gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering. I have already had some people offer their services and am collating that information for when we're ready. At the moment, as Danny said, we are beavering away at the boring organisational stuff that needs to be done before we can launch. As soon as we have something that people can volunteer for, though, we'll let you all know.
  • Thanks, Drew. What we're trying to do right now is set up the dull infrastructure so volunteering will work.

    No promises on deadlines, but the plan is to have something minimal up in September so that people can find out more, have the equipment in place so we can accept standing orders and other forms of payment, and start building up a media directory. Then we'll make one more small flurry, including a request to the 760+ current pledgers to speak to their friends about reaching the 1000.

    We haven't been doing much publicity recently, because our big fear early on was that 1000 would be hit before we really had anywhere for the organisation to go. We're almost at the point now where I feel like we have something to offer and say.
  • Although it's a bit premature to be actively looking for publicity for this venture just yet, if it turns up we don't turn it away. Hence the interview I did with BBC Radio 5 Live recently about digital rights, data retention and the public domain:

    http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/blog/_arc...
  • So, I got my ten people for my meta pledge...but there's but a week left before the 1st of September deadline that was set.

    Are we any nearer to having a page on the web (that isn't part of someone elses blog) yet?
  • Mark, yes we are getting closer. We have a Board, are sorting out the name, and will soon be in a position to launch a dedicated blog. We'll post here as and when.
  • I see that in NTK this week (http://www.ntk.net/2005/09/02/), the name of this organisation has been announced as "The Open Rights Group", and the domain has been registered. I know it's really hard to come up with a name that makes sense, has an available domain name and isn't too similar to anything else (it's a shame the Campaign for Digital Rights has been taken for instance), but I can't help but think "open rights" is vague and confusing.

    "Digital rights" means something, even to people who haven't really thought about the concept before - when you tell them you're campaigning for digital rights they have some idea of what you might be on about. Imagine you're a member of the press or just the person in the street, what would open rights mean to you? The group may well have interest in promoting openness in various ways, but open rights seems like a combination of words with a meaning only obvious to the insiders. Googling for "open rights", it doesn't look like this combination is used in the way intended by anyone at the moment. Is the only choice to create an organisation with a name that will need explaining every time you introduce it to someone?

    I don't mean to come across as too critical, maybe I'm missing something?
  • I agree with Alex. "Open Rights" is a pretty meaningless term outside of a the context of a very specific conversation that we've been having here.
  • Alex Bradbury is completely right: "open rights" is worse than vague and confusing, it's positively misleading.

    The proverbial man on the street is pretty hazy about rights in the first place (as witness the ease with which the Tory press whipped up public skepticism about the Human Rights Act). And the term "open" is the worst form of spin-doctored weasel word: you can use it in conjunction with any noun you like to mean just about anything ("open prisons" anyone?).

    You can call the organization "the open rights group" if you want, but frankly it sounds more like some sort of industry standards body than a campaigning organization. Compromising on the name means compromising on the direction -- it's no coincidence that the National Council for Civil Liberties lost its way at the same time it changed it's name to "Liberty" (in some kind of whacky font).

    "National Campaign for Digital Liberties" sort-of works (there should be a "civil" in there, but that would make it way too cumbersome). Or -- hell, this is evil -- Liberty, now the domain of careerist Blairites, dropped a perfectly good name: why not call ourselves the "National Council for Civil Liberties"?

    (And no, I'm only half-kidding.)
  • Yes, we have a name, and a domain and (soon) a blog.

    Naming is always a nightmare, though, being as it is simultaneously the most and least important decision to make. It's like naming a band - you can spend a daft amount of time going through names and still not find something that everybody is happy with. We wanted a name that was fairly flexible (not too issue-oriented) and something which we can grow into, and I think Open Rights Group is just that.

    Whilst we've been doing battle with the name, we've also been working to put in place the infrastructure we need to get this going, and that's where we're going to focus our efforts now.
  • Charlie, you splitter, you:

    If I'm right, you worry less about the name (which I'm happy to concede isn't quite the punch-in-authority's face as the National Council for Civil Liberties must have been - at least back in the days when news-paper-men could read four words out loud without cutting to the weather), and more about the direction, which you fear has gone all milk-sop and "open" instead of gutsy and "free".

    I think that reputation is fixed in actions, not in the name: I guess we'll have to see now. Oh, but so slowly we progress from bikeshed-painting to action!
  • The Open Rights Group blog is up! I'm hosting it myself atm, on a subdomain of one of my sites, but it'll do for now.

    http://www.openrightsgroup.org/
  • I have mixed thoughts about where this is headed, so I thought I'd air my concerns here.

    Undeniably, someone has to take charge and get this kind of thing up and running, and I'm glad that there are people taking to it with enthusiasm.

    But I'm disappointed that the ~1000 pledgers weren't consulted before the usual suspects were appointed. (I'm sure, if they had been, that nobody's involvement would have been contested, but it would look less like a super-secret special club).

    I hope when it comes to collecting and spending our money, there is much more transparency and at least some opportunity for our representatives to be nominated by members/contributors rather than just appointed behind the scenes.

    Encouraged by actions, disappointed by details...
  • Re: Tom's post, I'm also a little disappointed and have blogged about it: http://www.fractalus.com/steve/blog/stev...
  • Someone has to start the organisation with an idea; and then take that idea and build it to where it can build itself.

    When the group has members, when it does things, when it accepts your money, there will be ways for members to express their wishes over who runs the organisation and how it is run. However, the organisation isn't there yet.

    The people with the vision, those who are doing the work of creating the organisation, need the power to make the decisions that need to be made to get the group started.

    Producing something that will last takes time; cut them a little slack while they do it.
  • Sam - you're right, of course. I'm certainly pragmatic enough to realise that people have to take the bull by the horns. But look, over there <--, there's nearly 1000 people who would love to be involved.

    Suw's talk of "co-conspirators" and "surreptitious chats" is wrong-headed in my view. I should have been more specific, but in this world wording is everything and that's what got my goat.
  • Tom --

    Gar. I was going to give some eloquent defence of the process so far, but instead, let me just completely capitulate.

    The process up until now has been based on the requests of people at the very start of this comment pile, who wanted to concretely know in more detail what they were signing up for. Because I thought "well, what do *you* think it should be?" wasn't the answer they were looking for, I've been trying to bootstrap enough to answer that question.

    It's probably not as transparent a process as it should be, because there's been no time (or more honestly I haven't made time to make it transparent at this point, and maybe I should have done).

    And I'm not sure we've emphasised enough that this is all interim stuff, and designed to be flexible enough to change (and that there was no expectation that you'd run ORG itself like this). Basically, the needs were a) to pick a balance of people so that it wouldn't all self-combust, b) get a manifesto out, c) choose a name so that calling it $RIGHTS_ORG to people wouldn't get so embarasssing, and d) get a constitution so that ORG would have some legal status and accountability to the membership.

    For ORG itself, the note I have scribbled on an envelope from the original OpenTech talk was "transparency with autonomy". I don't think an organisation like this should be *managed* by the membership, but I do think that the membership have the right to see what's going on at a fairly high level of detail, and thereafter vote with their fivers.

    Through ignorance, I haven't been sure of a way of doing all this early stuff while double-checking every act with 1000 people. And I don't like the idea of *impressions* of consultation, when they're not really there. But of course, that means that you end up giving the wrong impression.

    So, in conclusion: Gar. I'm running away for the weekend, but the Sinister Evil Kabal will spend more time thinking about this, and move being more transparent in front of all th e other priorities. I'm not sure how much active direct consultation on every decision is feasible, frankly, given that everyone wants to act quickly, and everyone is doing this in the time-slices available between looking for money to eat. But it would definitely do to start cruelly taking advantage of the huge distributed store of knowledge we have to my left, instead of just blundering around in the secret underground hollowed-out mountain.
  • I think on certain issues such as the constitution of the group it is essential that you consult with everyone who has signed up. on that its not good enough to say vote with your fivers because if you get it wrong then this group goes down the tube, which will be a major blow to digital rights in the uk, and none of us want that
    martin, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Whilst the Cabal may have got on with things (thankyou!) I seem to recall the OpenTech meeting suggesting that the direction the group takes is organised by a wider membership than just the journos and major bloggers. A more grass-roots route to rights' publicity. Didn't I?
  • I get the feeling that maybe people are assuming we're further down the road than we really are. I have a post half-written, which I am too tired to finish now, that will provide more detail about what we've actually achieved and what remains to be done. I will post it hopefully tomorrow.

    But please don't assume that it's all some sort of done deal and that there's no room for grassroots volunteers or for members to contribute. The truth is, we just haven't got to that stage yet.

    Before we can say 'what do you guys think of xyz?' we have to have something to show you. Before we can start grassroots campaigns we need to have stuff in place to organise said campaigns. And before we can do any of that we need to have created the Open Rights Group legally.

    It may seem like we're dragging our heels, and I'm sorry if you're frustrated by the time these things take, but firstly we want to get it right so we are consulting with experts and being thorough in our research, and secondly we all have full-time jobs.

    If we want ORG to be a success, if we want it to last and to make a real difference, then we have to lay the foundations properly. Please be patient whilst we do.
  • Thanks for the post Suw. Can you clarify what you mean by allowing the 'members to contribute'? Many of us assumed this would mean elections for who ran the thing and so on. This would be the fundamental 'open' difference between any of the previous digital rights organisations in the UK.
  • Thanks Suw, but whilst I - and I am sure most others - accept the principle that the meeting agreed someone needed to get this initiated the statements "whilst we do" raise concerns that it has already left the domain of those who founded the movement. "consulting with experts" suggests that those who are taking the decisions for the moment are not looking at the list to the left here (except, possibly, where they recognise the name) for the skills and capabilities already signed up, instead appearing to behave as a self-appointed cabal which will decide at some later date who will be given permission to get involved.

    It is not enough to say that the UK is to have an "Open" Rights Group without that Openness being seen to be done, and whilst the present signatories may be willing to accept a certain level of 'being led by the few' to start with, with the visible presence of the group now hitting the media it is important that it isn't just the 'usual suspects' being involved but the wider movement being used for more than just their pocletbooks.
  • We're all keen to get the members to do as much as possible. 1000 people all pulling together grassroots campaigns would be astonishingly fantastic. However, 1000 people discussing the Articles of Association, for example, probably doesn't work so well because it's a 20 page legal document that you can't even find copies of online (it's based on legislation from 1985, and nothing earlier than 1988 is online) which needs to be amended from various other government-supplied tables and such. For that, we need expert legal advice - so if anyone here is a lawyer with experience setting up a non-profit, please email me. (suw dot charman at gmail dot com)

    Regarding elections, starting an organisation with elections first simply isn't going to work because you need to know what positions you need to elect people for. You need to have a membership to do the electing, and for that you need a company limited by guarantee with a board and advisory council etc. for people to be members of and elected to. And someone needs to set that all up, but if no one can do anything until they are elected then nothing will get done. It's a bit of a catch-22 situation - you need a group to set things up before you can elect a group to set things up.

    This is why I have a hard time understanding this 'self-appointed' meme that is going round at the moment. What's the difference between 'self-appointed' and 'volunteer'? The reason I'm doing so much is because I volunteered to, plain and simple. My involvement in this whole thing goes back before OpenTech, when I was in San Francisco and had lunch with Danny and we started talking then about setting something like the EFF up in the UK. Having spent so much time thinking and talking about it, does anyone really expect me to then wash my hands of it after OpenTech and say 'well, I'm not going to help.'? I have the skills and experience to do certain things and those things I am doing.

    There is no 'cabal'. There's just a group of people trying to get something up and running which will outlast us. There is no 'cult of Danny' or 'Suw foundation' - we just happen to be the two people who've been speaking about this most in public because we are deeply enthusiastic about it.

    And to be honest, the people that have volunteered their time - people like James Cronin and Louise Ferguson and Stef Magdalinski and Cory Doctorow - have heaps of expertise, knowledge, contacts and experience and I feel delighted and honoured that they would choose to support us by giving us the benefit of all that they've learnt over the years. Without doubt we will be able to get this effectively and properly set up more easily with them helping than without them.

    I've also had a few people from here emailing me who have volunteered their help, which is wonderful, but so far the skills on offer aren't the ones we need in the short term. I don't know most of the people on the list, so I have to rely on them contacting me and explaining to me how they could help. I have publicly given my email address out and said that I would be delighted to talk to anyone who has skills to contribute, but, for example, IP law expertise is not required at the moment, but a pro bono business lawyer is. As it happens, we do have contacts that are being pursued at the moment to cover that angle, but again, if anyone wants to volunteer that skill, please email me.

    Many people who've signed this pledge did so because they trust Danny to do what's right. Nothing changes the fact that Danny, myself and all the others want to do things properly. So whilst we sort out the nitty gritty, can I please again ask for a bit of patience.
  • Suw,

    I know there's no cabal. But it does seem like there is a group of people that knows what's going on, and then there's the rest of us who don't even know what the next step being taken is.

    I understand that you're running around sorting out the "Nitty Gritty" (and I'm grateful, I really am,) but most of us don't know what the "Nitty Gritty" is. For example, you mention details of the Articles of Association above. To be honest, this is the first time I've heard anything about this. I didn't even know people had been working on it. Maybe you mentioned it somewhere other than on this site or on the open rights blog, but I can't recall you telling us, the people who are pledging their support, directly.

    I don't think there's a cabal. I just think it's one of those situations where there's a group of people working very hard but everyone else not knowing what's going on and getting increasingly frustrated. May I just ask you to write a few words just to say what's going on and what happens next so we all don't feel like we're being kept in the dark (which I know is the exact opposite of your intent.)

    Let me once again also thank you - and all those other people helping - for all your hard work on this project.
  • Steve Coast,
    Can you stop trolling please?
    Your name isn't on the pledge list to the left, and in your last blog post you said 'Offers for me or others to help isn't the point. I don't really have the time.'

    No time to help, but plenty of time to hinder?
  • Yesterday morning (before the last few posts here), Suw and James Cronin and me had a planned meeting to look at legal stuff; to bring up to date the list of things that have been done - stuff like 'go to Guildhall Library in the City on Saturday and photocopy the entire Tables A and C and Amendments of the Companies (Tables A to F) Regulations 1985'; and 'investigate venues that will hold x number of people and will not charge money'; and to rehash a list of things that will need to be done (much longer).

    As part of that, Suw and me drafted list-style blog post that should be going up today or tomorrow I think (just checking to see if we've missed stuff, which we probably have).

    Essentially, there won't be a forum until someone sets up a forum; there won't be an organisation until someone sets up an organisation; it's all pretty Catch 22, as Suw says. Setting up a provisional blog on Suw's domain is a first step to address this. But until we have a formal organisation that has its own legal persona (which means trawling through the legal stuff), that has its own domain and hosting, its own governance, and its own channels of communication etc., we're still in the Catch 22.

    It has to be said that there was some 'talk' in the back end of July and in August, following OpenTech, but nothing much was done...so don't imagine there's some fait accompli going on here. There's not much 'fait' and there's certainly no 'accompli'.

    The context. First, there's waiting for the pledge to mature (maybe this will happen in the next couple of weeks, going on current figures). Second there's an expectation from many quarters (not least some of the UK mainstream media) that this 'new org' (which doesn't yet exist) should be responding to what's happening right now, or it's a waste of space. Third, there's a wish to learn from the mistakes or missteps that other organisations may have made. And fourth, there's an appreciation, from many years of experience of many people, that until you commit individuals in person, face-to-face, to do something real and tangible, and to deliver on it, generally nothing happens.

    So what we have is a *very interim group* of people, including myself, trying to plan, to put some things solid into place that will ensure we set up an organisation that protects its members from legal liability, that is accountable to members through a range of channels, that is not a 'guru organisation', that has a sound financial footing that will hopefully mean it won't die short-term (as most do)...

    Mostly this doesn't require 'issues' expertise. It's a question of getting the governance right. So when we're talking about 'experts' (see Alison Wheeler's post above), it's not issues experts we need, it's legal experts, it's corporate governance experts, it's fundraising experts, it's every kind of expert except the issues variety. We'd love people with this kind of expertise to step forward.

    While that's going on, some people are putting in time to try to deal with media queries, requiring an immediate response during the working day. We've basically thrown this at Suw, as she has much media experience, can deal with this 24/7, can write a press release (and an article) better than most, doesn't get phased when someone puts a microphone in front of her face to speak live on radio or TV (and having listened to myself on BBC live radio, tittering nervously, I appreciate the value of this quality), and can be guaranteed not to say something potentially slanderous or write something potentially libelous (or that would impact on relationships, operations etc.).

    Check out Suw's next post on the blog, that sumarises the 'big list', and please bear in mind that there's no 'accompli'. We too are people with jobs and lives and stuff...
    Louise Ferguson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Kevin,
    I'm not trolling. I'm trying to prod people to create the member led org many of us thought it would be. I don't mean to hinder, note other people posting similar things here and elsewhere.
  • I think there's definitely a place in the British rights landscape from a heavily-distributed, democratically elected grassroots-led organisation which consults closely with its membership on a very regular basis.

    But this isn't it. This is a way of supporting someone to answer press calls and redirect them to them other rights organisations, run small campaigns, and assist volunteer networks start up and connect to others.

    That's what you're paying a fiver for, and I'd hate to delude you that it would go on anything else.


    Running a membership-driven group is a lot of work, requires a lot of time and volunteer effort to co-operate closely with the membership, and has a really different scope and direction (often a continuously changing scope and direction). I haven't the foggiest idea nor any experience on how to start, run or maintain it. I bet there are people out there who do.

    If you're going to do that, *God* you would so be on the list of people ORG would be redirecting publicity towards. I'd pay a fiver to join an organisation like if I could afford it, and I would consider it cheap at twice the price.

    But it's not this fiver, and it's not this pledge.
  • Mark, I think this is just the normal dichotomy of doing vs. telling. The blog was set up to help address that, but at the same time, I've been so busy trying to keep up with the doing that the telling has slipped a bit. I hope the latest post will help on that score.

    http://org.suw.org.uk/2005/09/the_mother...
  • Suw said "because it's a 20 page legal document that you can't even find copies of online (it's based on legislation from 1985, and nothing earlier than 1988 is online)" alongside "it's a question of getting the governance right. So when we're talking about 'experts', it's not issues experts we need, it's legal experts, it's corporate governance experts, it's fundraising experts, it's every kind of expert except the issues variety.".

    But this is my point! I, for one, have set up a company from scratch before (and in my case re-typed the whole damn AofA and MofA in, tables and extras and all and more than one company) and I am sure others have too. People signing this pledge do, of course, take an active interest in the *issues* but also have a wide spread of other experience and skills rather than an issue-led tunnel vision about it all.

    If you don't say something like "does anyone have a copy of the default Memorandum of Association from table A in an editable format" or "does anyone have xxx experience" then we can't be mind-readers. You can't either, of course, but I'm sure quite a few of us on that list alongside have experience of running non-profits but without knowing that is what you were looking for ...
  • Lots of slippage between me reading the list, and posting my last message, so sorry if I answered points that were seven messages back.

    Alison - thanks. I really hope we'll work out ways that everyone can help.
  • So here's the appeal based on yesterday's meeting:

    Statutory Instruments 1985

    Does anyone have "Companies Regulations (Tables A to F ) 1985", section Table A, as amended by sectio Table C, as amended by the section Companies Regulations 1985 Amendments? (published in the same volume of Stautory Instruments)...in *digital format* (that is, in boilerplate format, and without any amendments that might have been made by organisations that are using).

    This will save *significant* time.
    Louise Ferguson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • This is interesting, but falls under the heading of "Yet Another Media-Oriented Self-Promoting Quango".

    What I'd like to see (and pay for) is a lobbying organisation. I can (and do) WriteToThem, but I can't go to other MPs, explain to them how I feel, etc... Thats where (I thought) you come in. I pay you to represent my views to the people who make laws in this country, not the Media!

    So, two points that I'd like answered by Suw or Danny (I apologise if these are already answered on Suw's blog, but I couldn't find mention of it):
    1) If your first two goals are media-oriented, how far down your "mother of all to-do lists" is lobbying?
    2) Will you retain a lawyer and try to challenge existing laws, or are you hoping for a Lessig-like character to just pop out of the woodwork?
    Matt, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • On the lobbying front, I think we've already been approached by at least one significant government unit. Just the beginning.

    And on the 'are you hoping for a Lessig-like charater to pop out of the woodwork' question, I decided back in 2000 (when I had to trawl the UK and US law schools for an amicus brief for a WIPO case, which later moved to the Virginia courts) that (a) there were no Lessig-like characters in the UK and (b)the UK academic environment was unable to produce any Lessig-like figures. In fact, in 2000, the UK couldn't even produce a Michael Geist (Canada) figure, or even near. A phone trawl of UK law departments supposedly specialising in new media law ('so what is WIPO?') was horribly dispiriting. Which almost made me give up.

    However, at the time, the US lawyers were so busy with MS etc major cases that even they didn't have time (and farmed things out to students in the relevant law schools).

    Which made me think...
    Louise Ferguson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Lobbying is on the list of things to do, along with a lot of other things. As for when? I can't put a date on it.

    As for a lawyer, with the budget of £5000 a month, we won't have enough for a retainer. I'd love to do impact litigation and to defend key cases, but unless we find a far more significant source of funding (and yes, we are looking), then it's not going to happen soon.

    Let's get the scale of this organisation into perspective. When we start off, there'll be enough money for 1 - 1.5 staff, if that. We have to use that staff in the most cost-effective way possible, which means dealing with the media (who can reach a lot of people) and organising volunteers to campaign (which doesn't cost lots of money).

    There will be issues that people think we should deal with but which we won't have the budget or manpower to deal with. There will be laws passed which we don't like. There will hurdles for us to clamber over. We know this, and we'll do our best, and I'm sure there are lots of people who will help in that effort.

    We will not, however, be able to do what the EFF does right now and have a bunch of lawyers working for us because we are going to be an order of magnitude smaller. I realise there are lots of people here who are passionate about digital rights, and who may be disappointed that we're not going to do what they think we should be doing. And that's a shame. I wish we had the budget to be starting something bigger, and I wish we could cover every issue, and I wish we could promise to have a lawyer hired by next Thursday, but we don't and we can't.

    If we're not going to do what you want us to do - and you will know exactly what that is long before you actually give us any of your money - then the answer is simple. Don't donate.

    You know that saying, from every acorn an oak will grow? Well, we're pre-acorn stage now. If you want an oak, give us your support, but more than that, give us the time to grow.

    If you want an elm, please feel free to go plant one yourself.
  • On Steve Coast's various posts here:

    Yesterday morning, I emailed Steve a detailed list of what's happening (as per Suw Charman's post to her blog, on org.suw.org.uk) and got back from him what he described as a "generic response" (his words) because he "doesn't have the time" to respond to me (his words). He mentions the 'Peoples (sic) Front of Judea'.

    Steve has also said he does not want to respond to Suw (for the same reasons, apparently).

    Weel I think we've all seen Life of Brian many times and we all know what the lessons are there...
    Louise Ferguson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Louise,

    ad-hominem.

    All the best
  • Steve: Pot, kettle.

    Can people try to keep comments here at least constructive? I understand there are things people aren't happy with but, surely, it's utterly pointless just to gripe unless you're gonna do so whilst pointing out specifically what you think is wrong and work with the people who are actually taking up their time doing it to make those things right.

    As Kevin Marks implied, not having the time to help is fair enough; having the time to hinder, however, is worse than unhelpful. It takes up people's time that could more usefully be spent actually doing stuff without actually having any useful contribution.
  • Firstly, I don't see any public ad-hominem argument on either side of this debate, nor any trolling. What goes on by private mail was, of course, one of my gripes from Thursday, and I think that those taking part in private discussions should try to keep them that way or not have them at all.

    Secondly, whilst I still have my reservations about where this is going, they mainly lie in a difference of opinion about when things should have started moving in relation to when the pledge will be met. I would have been slower, but so what? Danny has addressed those concerns of mine, and reading back over the initial comments to this pledge it's easy to see why people needed to get things moving before the pledge was met.

    Thirdly, Steve has (in this case rightly, I think) raised the issue of ORG being a member-led organisation or not. For most people, this means elections of some kind. I think I side with the current volunteers in that I don't see how an organisation can be formed with strong foundations and simultaneously be elected from the start - someone has to take the initiative. That said, in the coming days/weeks some indication of how long those involved expect things to take, and how/where they expect others to get involved will be extremely welcome. (Granted, putting a time-table on volunteer projects is extremely difficult).

    Here's hoping that the foundations are being laid for ORG to be the UK EFF-style organisation we were all talking about, and that its current (modest but focused) aims are met as soon and as effectively possible. I certainly don't want to see all this effort go to waste, even if it takes a while for everyone to get the organisation they want.
  • What do you mean by all this digital rights stuff? Are you sure it doesn't boil down to you just wanting to be able to download music for free?
    Tony, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Dear Tony,

    It doesn't boil down to downloading music for free.

    In the context of music downloads, it could boil down to the ability to download and play any music at all.

    Not all music requires payment. Be it a download from the BBC, a demo track from an upcoming band wanting to raise their profile, or you wanting to listen to your colleague's kid's school concert.

    It's about protecting those right as much as, and balanced with, the others protecting their right to charge you to download the latest Britney Spears album.
    Sam Smith, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Digital rights isn't just about what you can buy, use or download its also about the rights that you have to your own intellectual property and its use electronically.

    For instance, if you're a band that has a recording contract dated before any electronic distribution then it is likely that the owner of that distribution contract will claim that it covers electronic distribution without any change.

    If you're a blogger and you get misquoted and libelled by someone in another legal jurisdiction then right now you have to sue in that jurisdiction which isn't going to happen.

    Digital Rights is going to require agreed International Laws that countries adopt if its to mean anything at all. Digital Rights in the United Kingdom will mean nothing if they're traduced in another country.
  • For those who wish to help out, I could do with a hand with some research. Details on the blog:

    http://org.suw.org.uk/2005/09/mapping_th...

    Cheers.
  • Are you sure we need a new organisation?

    Why not just support the existing

    FIPR -
    Foundation for Information Policy Research

    see:
    http://www.fipr.org/
    Ron, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • ORGnews Issue 1, containing:

    o Boring Administrivia
    o URGENT DATA RETENTION ACTION NEEDED BY THURSDAY 2005-09-22
    o Free Culture UK - Grassroots Action for The Public Domain
    o Open GeoData Campaign Gets a Monkey

    Now online at:
    http://org.suw.org.uk/2005/09/orgnews_is...
  • Ron - FIPR are doing some great work (eg on medical records privacy) but as far as I can see they are focussed on doing the actual policy research (as the name suggests). I don't see them in the media very much.
  • I've read all the comments with interest - but can I speak up for what may well be a significant minority of people who have signed up - who are basically happy with the way things are being done, appreciate all the work involved, and would just like to know where to send the bally cheque...

    Nick May, Fukuoka, Japan
    nick may, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • It's a bit of a drawn out process, but we do hope to have a bank account soon and then shall be only too delighted to receive cheques, bally or otherwise. ;-)
  • Their website is now up at
    http://www.openrightsgroup.org/
    Sam, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • URGENT

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/15/...

    Is action going to be taken by this pledge against this. If so proposals before 21st. There is no eff in the uk to represent the onlines communities concearns
    Neil Townsend, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I have contacted the All Party Internet Group, APIG, who are running the DRM inquiry and we are looking into what we can do. Keep an eye on the blog.
  • Hello Mr O'Brian, I really do not understand what your pledge stands for.

    "I will create a standing order of 5 pounds per month to support an organisation that will campaign for digital rights in the UK but only if 1,000 other people will too."

    — Danny O'Brien


    Do you mean that you'll support an organisation which pushes for digital rights to big business and other unelected NGO groups under the flag of DRM, DMCA plus the type of thing Mr Clarke (UK HO)is silently pushing for; or do you represent an idea to control the wishlist such groupings have been requesting, in some cases gaining.

    Please could you clarify.
    Benjamin, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Benjamin, ORG will campaign for individual civil liberties in the digital domain, and against the legislative power grabs by both government, business cartels and so on.
    Have a read of the http://openrightsgroup.org site for the current issues, and go along to the event on Tuesday to speak out.
  • someone is currently planning to sue me for a comment made about them on my community blog website. I need help. can anyone recommend a source? thanks, opaz
    opaz, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • www.emint.org is the association of community professionals so start there.
    Ben Thompson, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • thanks ben
    opaz, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • There is plenty of action internationally, and no need to reinvent the wheel on a lot of this. Consolidation and strategic direction for the UK would be two cost-effective short-term goals. Create or join local and international networks with the pledge goals would also be relatively cheap and form a good basis for a series of direct actions. 3 strands - partnerships, monitoring, pro-active mobilisation?
    Ben McGarry, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • 1002! Huzzah! Congrats to everyone involved.
    Adam, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Ben - see www.openrightsgroup.org for a bit more information about what we're doing. We're not trying to replicate what anyone else is doing, so you won't find us suddenly starting a 'no to id cards' campaign, unless it was to be in conjunction with and at the behest of No2ID. We do, however, help other organisations get press coverage, and so far have done so for Privacy International, EDRi, and Digital Rights Ireland. And we haven't even started properly yet!

    Thank you to everyone who has pledged. Today is our first ever ORG event, which I look forward to seeing some of you at. And very, very soon we will be sending you details about how to become a Founding 1000 ORG Member.
  • On the various "splitters" comments, I'm from UKCDR, and I support ORG and this pledge. To explain why, I wrote a long blog post: http://flatline.org.uk/archives/000022.h...
  • Cheers and congratulations from those of us organising what will become the UK Wikimedia organisation! Now tell me where to send my money ...
  • Congratulations, well done, and good luck with today's event.

    It's very nice indeed to see this getting off the ground.
    SW, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Just saw Charles' comment about paying 10 years in advance and thought it sounded expensive. Calculated it... less than the cost of a desktop PC for ten whole years of donations!

    For hiring a 2-person full-time team, this really is very good value.
  • Yes, congratulations to everyone for making ORG a reality.

    Have the standing order details been sent out yet? If not, fine, but I wouldn't want to think ORG was waiting for money and its account number had fallen into my ISP's spam filter.
    Markus Laker, 8 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • We are just finishing up a site for you to join and pay your subs online. We'll email everyone and leave a note here & on the ORG blog when it is ready. Should be very soon though.
  • Announcing version 1 of the supporter signup system and database!

    Whether you pledged to support this project or whether you didn't. We’ve now shaken our internal systems into a state where they might not be pretty, but they should work, and you can now follow through on your promise and support the project financially via paypal, standing order or cheque.

    https://secure.openrightsgroup.org/suppo...

    Thank you all very much for helping us get this far. We now have much much more to do.

    Any questions, queries, bug reports or comments to supporters@openrightsgroup.org please.

    J.
    x
  • We also have the ORG wiki:

    http://www.openrightsgroup.org/orgwiki/

    And the ORG discussion list:

    http://list.openrightsgroup.org/mailman/...

    (Note, the discussion list pages have gone a bit strange and show an error when you sign up at the moment. Don't worry - the sign up will have been successful and you'll be able to post to and receive posts from the list, it's just the display of the admin pages that's currently got a problem. Our web hosts are looking into it though.)
  • Note: Mailman now fixed. :D
  • The second Open Rights Group networking evening will be held 6-9pm, Tues 7 Feb 06, at 01Zero-One Hopkins Street (corner of Peter Street), Soho, London. Cory Doctorow will be speaking on the European Broadcast Flag, and there will be drinks and nibbles. The event is free, and you can read more about it and sign up on the wiki:

    http://www.openrightsgroup.org/orgwiki/i...
  • Digital Rights?
    We must rush to get them !
  • The next ORG Copyfighters Drunken Brunch and Talking Shop will be on 16 July, at the Mason's Arms, Marble Arch. Full details on the blog:

    http://www.openrightsgroup.org/2006/07/1...
This pledge is closed for new comments.

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Danny O'Brien, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

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