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Omidyar.Net -- Come on by and Talk!
Alex Steffen, 6 May 05

Omidyar.Net is a community of change agents, people from all walks of life, working in a variety of fields, discussing how they can act to improve the planet. It's worth knowing about, in general.

But it's also worth knowing about because we've started some discussions there, indeed a whole Worldchanging Group, and we'd love for you to come join us there for conversation.

You'll have to sign in, but it's free and relatively painless and it's currently the best way to share ideas, give feedback and hang out virtually with other worldchangers.

Hope to see you there!

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Comments

What do you think about those terms of use and the privacy policy? Doesn't seem very private. Sure, they won't give your data to third parties, but they will give it to marketing and advertising agencies working with or on behalf of Omidyar. I'm just not sure what to think about this. Looks intriguing and potentially worthwhile, but I just don't know about giving them much information. Also see the clause about essentially doing anything they want with material posted (they don't outright claim copyright over your material, but they don't exactly acknowledge your own copyright. Kind of like AOL's privacy debacle last year). Suggestions? Other interpretations?


Posted by: Stephen A. Fuqua on 6 May 05

I can see your point about omidyar.net not seeming very private: one of the guiding principles of the site is that all information posted there is available for any other member to see (no private hidden groups).

To offer another interpretation of the clauses in question: The data sharing clause doesn't seem to be too different than any other privacy policy, and the clause about doing anything omidyar.net wants with the data seems to be standard disclaimer to be able to move data to new servers/drives as performance enhancements are needed.

Interesting (discouraging?) that we're so deeply entrenched in an era when we assume someone's claiming copyright over our words even when no such assertion is made. (You own your own words on omidyar.net)

Anything you might share to help shed light on why you're assuming malicious intent? (aside from the whole AOL debacle)


Posted by: Thomas Kriese on 6 May 05

Well, I don't really assume malicious intent, but I was surprised at how broad the privacy policy was. I haven't decided if I'm concerned enough to not accept or just go with it and keep in mind the limited nature of privacy.


Posted by: Stephen A. Fuqua on 7 May 05

When I was a part of the WorldChanging team, I didn't join Omidyar.net because I had problems with a few things -

First, 'change agents' shouldn't be in bubbles, IMHO, and that's what the Omidyar.net privacy clause and general lack of openness creates.

Second, I didn't like the idea of anything written there being copyrighted by Omidyar.net. It can easily be copyrighted by the person, which is intrinsic in copyright law. What I say in McDonalds is not the property of McDonalds. The same applies anywhere else I write. For example, by law, this post is copyrighted by me, and by present copyright law cannot be used without my express permission. Of course, the fact that I have made it publicly available here makes it available for others to quote, and for WorldChanging.com to use in the context if it was given in.

My issues with Omidyar.net weren't seen the same by other members of the team. Whether it's better or worse, I cannot say. I just stick to my principles and try to practice what I preach.

For most people, I expect that Omidyar.net might be good. But for people who are concerned about privacy issues, or ownership issues, maybe the policy deserves some scrutiny. Read it and make up your own mind.


Posted by: Taran on 14 May 05



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