confusion at EBT (25/12/2007)

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confusion at EBT (25/12/2007)

Postby Nerzhul » Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:02 am

Dear Community,

We hope you had a peaceful Christmas this year and are enjoying your holidays :-)

Unfortunately for EuroBillTracker Santa Claus brought a nasty surprise - the old domain (www.eurobilltracker.com) is no longer usable for our project. It turned out that one of the old webmasters is now using it to run "his own" project and earn money with the site.

This is totally against the spirit of our project (which has never been about money - except yours of course ;-) ). EBT has been made successful and BIG by the work of thousands of volunteers contributing endless hours of free work into this project - developing new features, translating, handling press contacts, organize meetings, helping with the support, coordinates, hit moderation .... and not the least by entering lots of notes!

We think that all this shouldn't be used commercially by anybody.

We think EBT is owned by the community, not a single person.

We think EBT is about fun, not about making money.

We've had long discussions in the past hours and reached a conclusion - we will transfer the EuroBillTracker project to our new domain and keep it running there. So please update your bookmarks and exclusively use

www.eurobilltracker.eu

from now on!

Simply exchange .com for .eu

All links will continue to work. We have a fully functional site at .eu including all data until 2007-12-24 around 5am. So if you registered any notes at .com since then you should enter this data again at .eu.

When you visit www.eurobilltracker.eu for the first time you'll probably have to log in again. Just type in your old account data and continue using EBT as if nothing has ever happened ;-)

Unfortunately we don't own the .com-domain AND it points to an almost functioning version of EBT in the hands of a greedy businessman ... so we need your help:

- Please spread the word about this drastic change - the community needs to know about this transfer!
- Update any links to the new .eu site. This includes forum posts, domains owned by you, signatures etc.
- Stop entering notes at .com - after all, how safe do you consider your data in the hands of somebody who wants to make money off you?
- Write an email to the old support address (contact@eurobilltracker.com) to cancel your account and delete your data. The bad news is that most likely nothing will happen since everybody who's been keeping EBT alive is now busy working at eurobilltracker.eu
- You could of course state your opinion on the old site, e.g. by changing your username, preferrably showing the new URL to inform new users about this move. E.g. I changed my username to Nerzhul_www.eurobilltracker.eu

If you have any questions or need a more detailed explanation of the current situation don't hesitate to write to contact@eurobilltracker.eu or visit our forum at http://forum.eurobilltracker.eu/

Again, new features, hit moderation, coordinates, support, newsitems, translations, forum moderation and so on will now only be available at eurobilltracker.eu

The entire team of volunteers who've been working behind the scenes in the past 6 years to make EBT possible transferred over to the new old .eu project.

We plan to keep you updated in the next few days. Thanks for your understanding and support.

On behalf of the EBT community,

the EBT webmasters avij (Anssi Johansson) and Nerzhul (Marko Schilde)
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Postby Nerzhul » Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:11 pm

I would like to give you a short update on the current situation.

The transition to .eu is in full progress. More and more users switch over and become active on the new old site.

Third party programs such as NIG or the EBT-Tool have been adjusted to the new domain.

We're currently sending out a newsletter to inform our users about the new situation.

People are using their private contacts to inform other EBTers about the recent changes, e.g. sending a short message to the cell phones of those who are on vacation.

Behind the scenes (and in this forum) all (language specific) subcommunities are hotly discussing the events of the past days. Luckily so far we've mostly received positive feedback which helps us to stay focused on our goals to keep a free and independant EBT project going.

Both avij and I had very little sleep in the past days and are deeply concerned about the recent events.

So, what's next? Aside from that we're still trying to find a peaceful solution behind the scenes here's what you can do:

- For gods sake, stop manipulating .com with fake hits and notes. At the moment this is not helping at all. Instead, focus your energy to make .eu a success.
- Inform the web. Change as many links as possible. Do a Google search for EBT and see what links are still pointing to .com. Write short articles in other communities. Advertise our new project. Inform the masses. And remember, always stay fair. Don't insult .com, praise .eu ;-)
- Ask for the deletion of your account and note data at .com. Giro is obligated by law to remove YOUR data on request.
- Stay active. Become involved. We need your help.

More info later.
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Postby avij » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:36 pm

It has been proposed that we'd create a non-profit organization for Eurobilltracker. Here are some of my thoughts about the issue.

This association would make all the important decisions regarding the future of EBT. EBT users would be able to join this association, and those members of the association would make the decisions democratically. The board of directors (who would implement the decisions made by the association) would be chosen by the members of the association. The bookkeeping of the association would be audited and the budget would be decided by the members of the association. Philippe should have a central role in this association to make the unification of the sites a possibility.

The association would be the owner of the eurobilltracker.* domain names. I'd be ready to donate the eurobilltracker.eu domain name to the non-profit association, and I'd expect Philippe to do the same for eurobilltracker.com.

The association would also own the copyrights to the PHP code that runs EBT. I would gladly donate the code I've written to the association, and Nerzhul has promised to do the same.

The association would also have the rights to use the translations provided by the translators. Of course we'd need to contact the translators and ask their permission for this, but as Babel already stores the information on who has contributed to the translations, contacting the translators shouldn't be a problem.

Some of you have expressed concerns that I'd be run over by a bus and my funding to the project would thus stop. The bus drivers in Finland are usually considered a bit more calm than their colleagues in other countries, so this shouldn't be a big concern. However, it would indeed be nice if the association could at least partially cover the costs of running the EBT web server. I absolutely refuse to get paid for my work here at EBT, but it'd be a nice gesture if, for example, the association could pay the monthly hosting (=rackspace+power+bandwidth) charges of 69e/month for my server. The 200e/month figure I mentioned in an earlier message consists of the aforementioned hosting charges and the occassional hardware purchases for EBT's web server and the forum server.

How the association would get money would be decided by the association itself. The association could, for example, run ads on EBT, collect membership payments from members (of the association, not from regular users of EBT), arrange a fundraising ala Wikipedia, sell merchandise with EBT.eu logo on them.. you name it.

If you have thoughts about this non-profit association, feel free to share them with us in this topic.

[edit: clarified several parts of the suggestion]
Last edited by avij on Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby avij » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:39 am

Perhaps I should clarify my posting about the non-profit association a bit.

Our absolute goal hasn't changed -- we really really need one single EuroBillTracker. There may be various ways to reach that goal, founding this non-profit association was just one suggestion.

According to the comments we've received so far, the majority seems to think a non-profit association would be an excellent idea, so I'm hoping that we're on the right track.

I initially said that Philippe could join the association if he wanted. That statement would need some clarifying as well -- if this non-profit association is chosen as the base for the unified EBT, Philippe would need to join the association, most probably with a central role.

Some of you may have been confused about my choice of using .eu. It was indeed unnecessary -- the decision which TLD we'd use can be made later on, I just thought .eu sounded like a better domain for us, Europeans. If you guys prefer .com, that'd be okay.

Thanks for your time, and keep calm. We're in this together.
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Postby avij » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:59 am

As can be seen from this post by Phaseolus, we've now indeed reached an agreement to merge eurobilltracker.com and eurobilltracker.eu. We'll release further details later on, but until then I'd like to ask people to finally stop entering fake notes on eurobilltracker.com, and also to restore their profile to their original state (if possible, I'm not sure when the possible blocks on .com will be lifted). There's no need to cause any harm to .com, it'll only hurt all of us.

Thank you for your support during these negotiations.

EDIT: You should also read the messages posted to the Gennevilliers Agreement topic.
Money makes the world go round. We track how the money goes round the world.
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