Organisers Prompt 1: Privacy and copyright for participants in GCGo

This is an assignment for the Organisers of Gamechangers Go, completion of which is expected to be within the same timeframe as the participants of the course. This is an entirely new course that is being developed, so there are issues that need to be resolved satisfactorily.

Brief background on the author of Organiser's Prompt 1

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton is a Software and Hardware Libre Engineer, as well as an advocate of the same. He has recently successfully raised $USD 175,000 on a crowd-funding campaign, based around the provision of a privacy-respecting eco-conscious modular computing platform which seeks "Respects Your Freedom" Certification from the Free Software Foundation (this description being far from incomplete in its encapsulation of the project's complete scope).

Part of the campaign involved several live Radio interviews including Ernest Hancock's "Liberty Radio", as well as "Free Talk Live" and many others. He has over 20 years of experience in working in the public eye (albeit in obscure areas of technology) so that other people don't have to (either be in the public eye or deal with ultra-obscure technology development).

His reason for being on this course is because the scope of the undertaking that he seeks to be brought to fruition is simply enormous, and is completely overwhelming for one person to handle alone, let alone being inappropriate to be driven exclusively by one person. He therefore seeks like-minded people willing to operate with integrity and wisdom in fulfilling their purpose, and therefore sees this course as an opportunity to gain clarity on exactly that.

The goals that he has set include:

  • Transforming the computing appliance industry into one that is more ethical and responsible, right across the board. That includes Manufacturers, Retailers, End-users themselves and recyclers.
  • Moving as swiftly as possible to tackling transportation design in the same manner. This includes designing and manufacturing an engine that is easy to maintain and is at least 40% more fuel efficient than current 2-stroke and 4-stroke designs, as well as seeing the principles behind both LocalMotors, Team Wikispeed and DivergentMicroFactories brought together to create ultra-efficient (200mpg+) 4-person vehicles on a global scale.
  • Understanding the electron with a view to expanding that to practical real-world energy saving benefits, such as developing flexible room-temperature superconductors, as well as providing a solid theoretical framework and explanation for "Free" energy devices such as the "Akula" device. This to be done entirely in the public eye, without expectation of profit or involvement of Organised Crime Syndicates (aka "Governments" and "Corporations"), in a truly ethical and responsible scientific fashion (implication being that current science has, through its focus on seeking funding as a means and method of selecting that which they research, has totally lost the plot).
  • Finding a home and a community for his family that is self-sufficient (off-grid) yet still within a thriving area.

Preamble

  • For an ordinary educational course (such as the alt.mba) it would be natural for the organisers to dictate the tools that are to be used by the participants, on the basis that the collaboration is private and for the exclusive benefit of the participants.
  • The participants would expect to have received a clear definition of the terms and conditions under which their participation is to take place, along with a clear outline of their privacy rights, copyrights and other rights. This would reasonably be expected to take place before they sign up for the course, so that they are prompted (in case they were not aware of those rights in the first instance) to make an informed decision as to whether the course respects their ethics, principles and needs.
  • A course designed to encourage people to incorporate wisdom and integrity into their life purpose, as well as encouraging them to become leaders and to inspire others to "Change their Game", may by definition be reasonably claimed to in no way be "an ordinary educational course".
  • A course which is aimed to teach its participants to inspire others, if it is a "closed group" where nobody but the participants may view the discussion and logical reasoning of those whom are expected to be leaders, is by definition hardly likely to be an inspiration: in fact it could be said to be the complete opposite. We have enough so-called "leaders" whose decisions are about as transparent as a black hole.
  • Where there are participants who have pre-established ethics and principles that they uphold (and which are non-negotiable), it would follow that the organisers should do due diligence in ensuring that the course - including the tools that are selected for use by all participants - are compatible with the combined set of ethics and principles of all those participants.
  • Furthermore, it would make sense for the Organisers to do some research into the terms and conditions of use of the tools, to check that they themselves are comfortable with the geo-tracking, IP address tracking, sharing of confidential data with third parties, government and policing agents (with the associated abuse that results from the same) and the fact that the terms and conditions themselves may be changed at any time.

Questions

  1. When one or more participants have pre-established integrity and purpose as well as knowledge of Copyright Law and the privacy implications of utilising "Service as a Software Substitute", is it wise to sign them up for such privacy-violating services without first consulting them as to the implications not just for themselves but also for the other participants, especially given that it was assumed that all communication shall cease except as provided through the privacy-violating services?
  2. If the Organisers are simply unaware of these issues, such that the participants are in effect teaching the Organisers what "Wisdom and integrity of purpose" is about, what exactly is the purpose of the course? i.e. specifically: what "value add" is provided by the Organisers that justifies the cost of the course? (Supplementary question: should this particular participant, the author of these questions, be reasonably justified in charging the Organisers for their services, given that the author can reasonably claim to already be operating with integrity in their life purpose?)
  3. If the proprietary SaaSS tools (wordpress, disqus, slack) require payment for their ongoing provision, and one of the participants is funded and sponsored almost wholly by people who, in being keenly aware of the blatant privacy-violations regularly carried out by such SaaSS tools, and would be extremely annoyed to find that their money is being irresponsibly channelled (by way of payment for the course) into the public endorsement and funding of such tools, what explanation should be offered by the Organisers (to the participant's backers and sponsors) to justify these costs?
  4. If, in sticking to the ethics and principles that are integral to a participant's life work, they choose not to agree to the "Terms and Conditions" of the privacy-violating SaaSS tools (which they were signed up for without their consent), such that by refusing (as is their absolute right) to agree to those Terms and Conditions they, the other participants and the Organisers are put to severe inconvenience in communicating and in fulfilling the assignment (unable to comment or even see the coursework because it is behind a privacy-violating login), what course of action is best taken that allows all parties to effectively participate in collaboration and communication... with integrity?
  5. Can it reasonably be claimed that this should have been discussed with the participants themselves before the course was established, particularly in light of the fact that three of the participants are familiar with Copyright Law, one of them is a Lawyer, and one of them has been running their own Libre and privacy-respecting Web Services for themselves and their clients for over a decade?

Assignment

The assignment is therefore to answer the above questions, including providing suitable background material, where the answers are expected to be made public. The Organisers are also expected to research a suitable Copyright License under which their answers are to be published, which shall have the specific conditions that the distribution of the answers is unrestricted and permits public commentary. Any other conditions that the Organisers feel should be added are entirely at their discretion (as long as those do not interfere with the two conditions above).

The means and method by which these criteria are met is entirely up to the Organisers, who are invited to seek all and any advice (including from but not limited to the participants) in the active development and subsequent internet-wide publication of their answers.

The timeframe given is exactly the same as that for the participants.