Freecycling

Fighting for freerecyling

How is Ersatzfriend part of “trademark compliance?”

In one piece of evidence (pdf) submitted on behalf of SunnyvaleFreecycle in paragraph 30 it is asserted that groups that did not have ErsatzFriend as a co-owner where therefore they were not trademark compliant. For these groups TFN filed an application to Yahoo and the group was deleted and Yahoo deleted the groups for not being trademark compliant.

Forgive me for being stupid but how on earth can the existence of an email address being a member of a group ever mean that a group is or is not trademark compliant? I thought that trademarks were to do with logos and brand names.

If I was part of the Yahoo team that acted many times on the existence of ErsatzFriend being deemed a reason for deleting groups I think I would be very concerned and would ask some questions.

TFN have formally asked that this evidence be rejected citing they did not know the person whose statement this is. Note they do not deny the evidence, their objection is purely procedural. Mind you even their “procedural” argument is debatable. The objection cites that there are many 1000’s of volunteers. However this person rose to the status of GOA. How many GOAs can there be? These must be in the 100’s if not less. And this particular volunteer was around for a long time so it is hardly as if he came one day and went the next.

September 21, 2007 Posted by | freecycle, goa, legal, trademark, yahoogroups | Leave a comment

The Landfill Test is not definitive

Some people posting on a freecycling group may find their posts blocked aka moderated because they do not fulfil what is called The Landfill Test. Now let me assure you that I like most moderators and indeed many members want to work hard on reducing the number of items that end up in landfill. This is a key goal in my mind, but it is not the biggest goal.

The biggest goal, for me is about community. Nothing will save this planet to be in the best condition possibly like a sense of a healthy community. Therefore, for me the landfill test is not the definitive test of whether something should be an acceptable post. The definitive test is whether it supports the community in a positive way, following all legal guidelines and with flexibility for local conditions and needs.

So if someone is offering a mobile phone with a contract that is no different to offering a phone without a contract. The only contra to the phone with a contract is that it is quite complex. Freecycling is good with simple offers, whereas complex offers are more likely to fail.

Anyway that is my take – support the healthy community with free gifting with no strings attached. So would I allow a post for a mobile phone with a contract? Probably not since it is potentially quite complex.

An actual case of complexity that I got to discuss closely was that of a full kitchen suite. This was complex since anyone accepting the offer would possibly need to hire a van. This one did go through to success with all parties happy – at the second attempt. But it was a close call.

The landfill test, for my money is a reasonable and sensible guideline that forms a basis of thinking, but it should not be a definitive test.

If we consider a contra case, there are items that might be offered that actually easily pass the landfill test and yet do not supprt community values. Other freecycling caveats tend to pick up some of these such as drugs, alcohol, legal and appropriate for all ages etc. If you look at the common thread of these they are community values. That is what is important, and that is the acid test.

September 8, 2007 Posted by | freecycle, goa | Leave a comment

I do not want TFN to die

In a recent posting by The Powers That Be on OIDG it was insinuated that many critics of TFN only wanted TFN to somehow die. Let me just go on record that is the last thing that I want to happen.

Before that happens I want TFN to clean up its act such that it allows and encourages criticism, albeit in the private arena of something like OIDG. Not OIDG since that has such a bad reputation, but a new one perhaps OIDG-unmoderated. Also since the temptation from TFN to stifle comment is obviously far too great, I want this to be owned (and moderated) by an independent group of people.

To help facilitate this I have created just such a group on Yahoo, called OIDG-unmoderated. I have issued one invitation to join this group – to Mr Deron Beal. No other membership will be accepted unless he signs up to this. What follows is the text on the home page for the group.

This is an unmoderated OIDG forum for freecycle moderators.
By unmoderated, I mean that any NON-ranting post is allowed providing a context continues around moderation of freecycle groups with a primary focus around The Freecycle Network.
I am looking for some moderators to run this. The requirement is that:
  • they hold no post in TFN above moderator/owner. That is all GOAs, iMod, DaHub etc cannot own or run this group. If a moderator/owner of this group is promoted to a postion in TFN then they must relinquish their post immediately.
  • similarly anyone who is a member of either fcnext or IntlFCMS cannot hold post.
  • they must be moderators or owners of existing TFN groups.
  • no two people can come from the same state in the USA, also representation from 2 other countries is required
I think a team of between three and five people are needed.
To ensure that this group is run independently I also want to ensure that ownership and moderation control is rotated. That is any one moderator or owner of this group can not hold post for more than a year.
The first person to be accepted as a member will be Deron Beal. On accepting membership he will be appointed immediately to co-owner. The invitation has been sent to him.
Both Deron and I will cease my membership when we both know this group is properly formed.

September 6, 2007 Posted by | fcnext, freecycle, goa, intlfcms, OIDG, yahoogroups | 16 Comments

Top Posts 2: Woe, thrice woe

To read the full text of this post on the International Freecycle Moderator’s Group you need to be a member. (Also note the group has gone through a slight rebranding and is now located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IntlFCMS/ rather than the old IFMS.) Membership of this group is restricted to moderators of TFN compliant groups, including ones that have been delisted.

Anyway onto the post. Actually because of the group’s privacy rules I will provide neither the full text nor a synopsis. Members can read the full text in Freecycle grants etc… – sorry for the long post! What I will do, however is draw out some of the questions raised in the post.

The core question raised regards how a local TFN group could raise funds locally and use those funds locally. It is not about how they go about chasing funds, but assuming funds are actually coming then what bank account to use, what fiscal controls are in place, and how and if this should be done with relation to the TFN company. This post became interesting since the issues initially were addressed by Deron. Unfortunately he seems to have left the group hanging in limbo without any final and acceptable solution.

You see a “normal” charity has bank accounts set up in each country in which it operates, with proper fiscal controls so that any local group can establish or reuse a bank account properly and that any funding organisation can thus have total confidence that the money is used properly according to the funding guidelines.

TFN does not have such fiscal controls in place, except for perhaps the USA. So the first problem that arises is whether any money so raised in another country, or for that matter in the USA, should be routed through TFN’s own bank accounts. If any money is routed Internationally then you can easily hit some large financial penalties for moving money around, that’s one problem.

Another is that if it actually ends up in TFN’s pockets then it could take control of whether and when that money goes back out. This may suit TFN’s accounting needs but is likely to be entirely contrary to the local group’s needs and indeed their funder’s needs.

There is also the issue that once in TFN’s hands it might be technically possible that TFN might only return funds if spent according to TFN’s guidelines – and that these might actually not be aligned either with the original funder’s goals, or even the local group’s needs.

Rewinding a bit before any money moves, or is even promised to move, someone needs to sign for the money. So who should sign? Should the local moderator sign? Should a national supermod, such as a GOA, sign? Should even Deron sign?

I hope I have alluded to some of the issues raised clearly enough. Any moderator who has tried to raise funds for a TFN related group probably has felt some of the pain. It would be nice to think that TFN spent a lot of its own resources helping groups to raise funds, though in this example I am sorry to say the outcome was far from satisfactory.

Such problems actually prevent a group growing even when local funding is potentially being thrown at them. In this case it seems even the funder was recommending groups should change their affiliation away from TFN!

September 3, 2007 Posted by | freecycle, goa, intlfcms, yahoogroups | Leave a comment

Goa constrictor

(I have been wanting to blog “GOA constrictor” for a long time.)

Apparently groups are up in arms because their members are leaving. The reason members are leaving is another example of GOAs deciding, in their wisdom to enforce what they know best. The case in point relates to advertising what the US calls “curbside collections”, which is apparently illegal in some parts of the USA. Now no one wants to encourage anything that is illegal, but surely if a group is operating in an area where it is legal then what is the problem?

Any free recycling group and organisation worth its salt should be doing everything possible to remove items from landfill. Stagnating free recycling to a formula devised in 2003 in one part of the USA does not reflect the diversity and richness of today’s society.

July 22, 2007 Posted by | curbside collections, freecycle, goa | 3 Comments

The Sydney North story

What follows is the complete transcript with comments regarding the delisting of Sydney North Freecycle group from TFN. The story is related from the viewpoint of Narelle and the co-owner of the group, Chris.

Important note: TFN delisted Sydney North Freecycle at around 8am Saturday. At the time of writing this blog the group is still not listed on the Reuseit Network website, nearly 24 hours later. A clear instance of TFN delisting a group that is 100% totally TFN compliant and a clear case of Hobson’s Choice.

This is a long dialogue. I have made the absolute minimum of edits to in the interests of readability in the context of this blog. Corrections include spelling corrections and removal of some flaming annotations. Also I have removed actual names of TFN representatives: the GOAs name has been replaced by XXXXX. There are a couple of editorial inserts to assist clarification, these are signalled by [editor: …]. References to EF are shorthand for ErsatzFriend and Finder refers to the finder email address: both of these are administered by The Freecycle Network.

The transcript it has the following sections:

  1. Email from Narelle to her group members
  2. Email from GOA to Narelle
  3. Email from Narelle to Australian Modsquad
  4. GOA post to Australia Modsquad
  5. Narelle attempts to reply to Australian Modsquad
  6. Chris’s attempted Email to Australian ModSquad

If any of the edits that I have made make any errors of interpretation of events, then that is my fault, and I unequivocally apologise to all parties. The original transcript unedited, is available on the International Freecycle Modsquad group, message no 2293. The transcript is reproduced with kind permission. Read it and form your own judgements.

1) Admin Email from Narelle to her group members

Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:17 pm:

This is an important announcement about the direction of Sydney North Freecycle, so please read it in its entirety. Over the past few months there has been much going on behind the scenes within the Freecycle organisation management. There has been a lot of unrest, and some hard questions being asked by group moderators that are being answered with a fair amount of “caution” by those in more senior management positions, including the founder, Deron Beal. These questions regard a number of things including The Freecycle Network (TFN) finances, future intentions, and moderator/group autonomy. I will not go into great detail here and bog you down with boring politics, but I’m sure if any of you are interested enough, Google, or Yahoo Groups search will be your friend. So, we find ourselves now at a crossroads, but would like member input as to the future direction of this group.

There has been a new network set up (http://reuseitnetwork.org/) that we think has great potential and is not mired in cloak-and-dagger antics. Indeed, I (Narelle) have been working this past month or so to help set it up. Changing will simply mean that we remove all reference to Freecycle, change logos, and giving the group a new name. Our group will be delisted at Freecycle.org, and most likely a new Sydney North Freecycle group will be started up to take our place. You, as members will not have to do anything, apart from update the URL in your address book. The decision will be made in the next few days. I will start a thread in the café group regarding this. If you have any questions or comments, please take it to that group, or email us privately at the “–owner” address. I will be as honest and open as possible when answering any queries. If you make no comment, then I shall assume you are not fussed either way and will be happy with whatever is decided.

Café url: http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/SydneyNorthsideCafe/

Or post: SydneyNorthsideCafe@yahoogroups.com.au

Please also note, that even posting this Admin, and having a discussion on the café group will change things for Sydney North Freecycle, as unfortunately there a Freecycle “spies” everywhere who will let the upper management know what we are thinking (yes, truly! It’s like being in primary school with all dobbing going on!) Thank you for getting this far though our post and we look forward to hearing from you.

Narelle & Chris, Owner/Moderators, Sydney North Freecycle

2) Email from GOA to Narelle

Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:30 am:

Hello Narelle,

We appreciate the volunteer work you have done for Freecycle(TM) in the past. You have openly admitted to being a part of Reuseit and helping set it up. Because of your actions we are asking that you step down as a volunteer for The Freecycle Network. Please approve the interimmod at freecycle address and promote them to owner of your group.

If there are any other moderators on this group; it is advised that you create a back up members list and contact me at this time at if you would like to continue as a local group moderator. Sadly, we sometimes lose a group when we request that a volunteer step down.

Narelle, we wish you much luck in your future endeavours and thank you again for the time you volunteered with Freecycle. Your helping to build a successful local Freecycle group is deeply appreciated.

Regards, Xxxxx, Group Outreach and Assistance, NSW AU

3) Email from Narelle to Australian Modsquad

Saturday, 21 July, 2007 8:23:31 AM

So here goes… I may as well let you know what’s happening in my FC world. As some of you may be aware, I was caught up in what is now known as the “Imod Mutiny”. See IModUncensored for more details if you don’t know about it. Also freecycling blog gives some details.

Although I wasn’t one of the 9, I was demoted by EF after the mutiny (i.e. by FC hierarchy), and Stephanie threw me out of the Imod group without ever giving me a reason. I can only assume it was guilt by association. I have never been contacted by any of The Hub, or by any GOA regarding this. The last contact I had was to wake up to an email demanding that I choose “between Freecycle or my friends” and to find myself out of the Imod group (without any chance to choose freely anyway!).

Over the past couple of months I have watched with growing dismay on USMS and OIDG events unfolding: the suppression of any free and honest speech by members has been quite an eye opener.

So as my Imod friends, along with many others who have dared question the FC regime, have received their C & D emails, and been delisted by FC (yes, some of you have noticed all those new groups and wondered why they are replacing perfectly good active groups: that’s why), we decided to be pro-active, and have been quietly organising an alternative:

And so http://reuseitnetwork.org/ has been born. It is still in its infancy, but Freecycle are worried enough about it to send me my “please hand over your group to us” email, and have Imods (the new, untrained ones) join my group.

Finally, I urge you to delete EF as a mod in your group, and to delete finder as well. It has been my experience that these two id’s can be used to take away your moderator powers. Besides which, as finder is removing info from Yahoo and placing it on another server, it is actually going against Yahoo TOS.

It is sad that a few people in Freecycle have gone power crazy, and that it has come to this end for me. Although at the moment I still have a fully compliant Freecycle group, I doubt that TPTB will care much, and will still delist my group illegally. It is also not only sad but extremely childish that *someone* took it upon themselves to rush to the GOA and dob on me for daring to take it to my members to consider an alternative group.

If you are interested in joining Reuseit, or have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Thank you and good luck, Narelle, Sydney North Freecycle

4) GOA post to Australia Modsquad

[editor: exact time unknown]

Morning everyone. Just a quick one to clarify some facts for you…

1. This is fallout from the “IMOD mutiny” – yes. When individuals remove themselves and/or the groups on which they are owners, it is my responsibility to ensure the integrity of TFN.

2. We are representatives of TFN – as such, our loyalty is with this organisation, as it is from here that we accept their systems, procedures, publicity, links, guidance, support, etc. But more importantly, at a grassroots level, the members of our individual local groups join Freecycle – not Xxxxx’s group for example. Members join because they believe in the principles, logic, the theory behind TFN. As owner, I’m only caretaking and ensuring that I develop the group to the best of my ability under the ethos of TFN.

3. Therefore, if an owner decides to go independent or join another organisation, that’s fine – no problems whatsoever. But obviously, they can’t remain within TFN because you wouldn’t be following their guidelines – you’d be following your own. So it’s my job to ask them to make a decision – if they choose to join another organisation, then I need to ask them to remove themselves as owner of the existing group. Some people do – but others ‘hijack’ the membership and I have to put up with the complaints from members who are outraged that they joined one group only to find that they now belong to another – but that’s a separate issue!

4. In this particular case Narelle was part of the ‘mutiny’ by accepting ownership of groups when EF was removed. She was asked to step down because she has admitted to being involved in helping set up Reuseit, nothing more and nothing less. Narelle was terrific when she worked with TFN and I know that I for one will really miss her input – she put many hours into her group and in helping others through Oz. But she has made her decision and as I am GOA with Freecycle, I’ve had to ask her to remove herself from TFN groups.

We all know that it’s been tough for some within Freecycle lately – most group owners just want to get on with the job of improving their own groups and want to know how to go about this! In Oz, we’ve got amazing groups with new ones being applied for daily – our poor NGAs are snowed under with their applications. So we’re all doing something right, I have to tell you!! Thanks so much to you all – I know that this is confusing. I hope that I have demystified it somewhat.

Now, on a final note, just so you know – I’m off to the footy this pm – then I’m at some footy celebrations tonight. So I won’t be around to answer questions today. But tomorrow I’ll catch up. Enjoy your weekend – hope that the weather will treat you kindly!

All the best, Xxxxx

5) Narelle attempts to reply to Australian Modsquad

[editor: exact time unknown]

I began to reply, via the website, within a few minutes of her post, but as soon as I pressed “send” found out that I had been removed. I then saw that I had been removed from USMS and OIDG.

[Editors note: this is not what the GOA said would happen, which was that Narelle would be asked to leave]

As I have received no notification of my removal, I assume they changed my setting to “No mail” before doing Deron’s work. I then also checked Freecycle.org, and lo and behold discovered my group had been delisted, also without notification, without proper due cause and certainly without following their own protocol regarding how to delist a group.

As I did not get a chance to reply there, please allow me to post it here, so that at least my reply to her gets heard by a few, and I can defend myself against her accusations. So here is my reply to her points.

Answer to paragraphs 1 and 2. But if one is asked to choose between an Internet organisation and friendship, then one needs to question to ethics of the organisation, and those running it.

Answer to point 3: I was *not* part of the mutiny, and certainly did *not* accept ownership of any groups where EF was removed. Just the opposite happened. I was removed by EF *after* the mutiny by someone high-up in The Freecycle Network. Who else has access to EF? Nor have I hijacked my group, or intend to. Read the post that I sent to my group again. If I choose to change, all members have agreed to that change, either by contacting me or by implied consent through their silence.

So? My group is still fully TFN tm compliant and follows TFN rules and guidelines. Helping to set up Reuseit or any other Y!G is not against any TFN guidelines. I know there are plenty of FC moderators who own/moderate other recycle, trade, swap or buy and sell groups.

One quickly learns who their friends are when in crisis. Not a peep out of any TFN hierarchy, au or otherwise, for the last 6 weeks to see how I was going.

My group is still a TFN group, so I won’t be removing myself from anywhere.

Nope. Narelle

6) Chris’s attempted Email to Australian ModSquad

My co-owner, Chris was removed from Aus MS, OIDG and USMS at the same time as I was, also without any notification (where have I heard the guilt by association song before… Oh that’s right: Me, during the Imod Mutiny!) He also (before realizing he had been removed) attempted to post a reply to Xxxxx on the Aus MS. His post is spookily similar to mine, even though we did not confer in any way when replying.

[editor’s note: Chris’s email removed to assist brevity. Chris’s key points follow verbatim. Also the exact time is not known]

Narelle hasn’t done that yet and wasn’t part of the mutiny. The mutiny was 9 IMODs that I don’t even know and Narelle had fingers pointed at her a few days after the mutiny actually happened. When the mutiny was actually occurring I contacted Narelle to figure out what was going on and she was as much in the dark as I was.

I used the believe this that group owners were caretakers… But I’ve proven to myself over the last 6 months that members really don’t care. They are interested in their LOCAL COMMUNITY, not a global monolith that doesn’t respect the local input made by the people that make the network work.

IMHO, there has been no formal decision made yet. Narelle is polling the group for comment, that’s all that has been done.

Right, this is where I really get upset [ed: …is the insinuation about the Reuseit association]. Because Narelle has used her Freecycle knowledge to assist in creating another network then she’s axed? If this was corporate business then I would understand, but this is about local communities recycling unused items and reducing the burden on the environment and landfill … Wouldn’t it be nobler to applaud her for getting multiple groups to do this?

Right. So she puts lots of time into growing her local group, and assisting multiple other groups across Australia (she was an imod after all) and then TFN says “thanks, but we don’t need you”… wouldn’t that upset you … even just a touch ?

Basically, Narelle has done nothing wrong. She was demoted from imod duties without any proof that she was one of the 9. She has been told to surrender her group because she’s removing it from TFN (yet to be decided), and I just heard that she has been removed from this very group without any discussion at all.

SURELY if you value her input so highly, and the work that she’s put into the Network over the years, you should at least discuss things before termination.

Thanks for reading this. I’ll say my goodbyes before I get the chop as well….

Chris

July 22, 2007 Posted by | australia, ersatzfriend, finder, freecycle, goa, imoduncensored, OIDG, reuseit | 13 Comments

I want TFN to have a future

Let me say that I absolutely want TFN to have a future. They are, right now the epicentre of free recycling. But if what I have just heard is correct then that epicentre could move, and very rapidly.

I was one of absolutely so many people since OIDG started who wanted, nay needed to ask questions. As owners and moderators we felt we had a right to ask. In each instance we were told we were the “enemy”, this is totally something of TFN’s own invention. They drew the line unilaterally implying you are “either with us, or against us.” And thus they have spread their own fear, uncertainty and doubt.

If you want a clear timeline of events a very good indicator can be had by looking at the number of posts on groups such as Fcnext and IFMS, but particularly the FCnext.Fcnext Message History

This message history is the number of message posts on Yahoo Group FCNEXT, by month since the group was started by Tim Oey. If shows an increasing number of posts over time with peaks at around September 2006, January 2007 and the largest one right now, June and July 2007. These dates correspond to TFN delisting and AstroTurfing groups en masse. These dates correspond not only to the departure of groups but also to the iMod, NGA and GOA disaffection and for some departure.

My departure was (as far as I know) a reasonably solitary affair and what catapulted was the, again unilateral way the powers that be in TFN decided that they would present an opinion on Climate Change. This was so clearly a instance of do as we say, not as we do as you can ever imagine. The guidelines for freecycle clearly state no politics and here were the controlling interests going directly against many, many moderators and making a politically motivated official statement.

What my own solitary departure gave me was a possibly unique perspective on moderator and group departures. You see I have only been a member who freecycled for around a year, and was only recently elevated to moderator. This meant that I neither had any baggage of history around me (something that the unmoderated groups have plenty of – and I just LOVE that passion), nor any real concern with managing the day to day issues including very deep soul-searching that many group owners have when they think, “right I have had enough and so now I am going to leave TFN and take my group with me, if they want that.”

I had it easy. And that “outsiders” view led me to believe that hiding the profound discussion and passionate debate behind the closed doors of a Yahoo Group was simply not the approach that I would take. My core issue was around Free Speech and that was why I started this blog.

I am now hearing, second hand details of what is going on in OIDG, at last. At last people are beginning to be able to ask serious questions. They are now beginning to ask questions that are nothing to do with fluff, nothing to do with mundane subjects such as “too many wanted posts”.

What is being asked are questions like

  1. Approximate numbers of member groups which have left tfn to join ReUseIt or to be independent (presumably since the mutiny).
  2. How many complaining emails from individual members has Deron received (about groups leaving tfn)?
  3. The result of a simple formula – total membership of “lost” groups divided by the number of complaining emails – to give a percentage of consequently unhappy individuals, on the basis that most members are more concerned about their groups functioning at a local level than anything else.
  4. Does Deron realise how much recent events have created a lot of distrust?
  5. Does Deron feel that his hub has always acted fairly?
  6. What has happened when they’ve got it wrong? Do they put things right asap and apologise?
  7. Is tfn as transparent as it could be?
  8. Is the hub acting as a team? Or are the individuals concerned creating situations without talking it through with the team?
  9. Is Deron aware of Founder’s Syndrome and does he recognise the pitfalls?

These are brilliant questions in my mind, and whoever has allowed these posts has done TFN one of the biggest favours ever possible. Deron the time is now for some absolutely straight answers and some clear direction leading to TOTAL openness of TFN. Anything less is a joke but the ending will not be very comic.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | fcnext, free speech, goa, ifms, OIDG | Leave a comment

Has someone lost sight of the main goal?

Let me remind you the main reason for freecycling is to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill. Apparently someone somewhere needs reminding.

Apparently although some groups are happily listed on several directory sites if you are on TFN then you are only allowed to be on TFN. They seem to be so interested in exclusivity (presumably because they are so much better than anyone else) that they are happy to snub groups who might want to promote their group on another directory and delist them.

Call me stupid, but I mean how should one actually get new members? I mean, get real, surely a good group owner will use every tool in their arsenal to promote the group, get new members, and, oh here’s an idea actually stop unwanted items ending up in landfill.

TFN must be so arrogant that they think they are absolutely perfect list of freecycling groups? I think the evidence is stacked against them, otherwise why would Google and other search engines list other freecycling directories at all? And where, dear reader, does it say on the TFN website, “thou shalt not promote thy group and get new members?”

Come on TFN – open your eyes!!! Go now to the opticians and get yourself some spectacles before you make a complete spectacle of yourself.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | freecycle, goa, landfill | Leave a comment

An open invitation to The Freecycle Network to speak

I have just been contacted by a TFN Imod who says they are not allowed to talk on behalf of TFN and that any issues must be addressed by the relevant GOA. Well, I remember when trying to get some answers to my questions that my GOA was sick. ‘Twas very sad that there was no fallback cover for a GOA who was ill, perhaps some timely feedback might have obviated the need for this blog.

If I remember correctly I had asked TFN to distance itself from the AstroTurf equivalent of the group of which I was a moderator. All I asked was for TFN to state that they had nothing to do with delisting and AstroTurf. The ensuing silence spoke and speaks volumes to me.

Anyway if this blog is nothing else it is about free and open speech. Therefore dear The Freecycle Network, if you wish to speak to any of the points raised in this blog then the floor is yours. Any points you wish to make will go totally uncensored and unmoderated.

Please tell us that this entire blog is completely wrong. Please tell us that all of what is written here is even lies and damnation. I can guarantee that all I want is for TFN to be and act honourably, for it to build a sense of trust and integrity.

Who, from TFN will speak to those words?

July 19, 2007 Posted by | freecycle, goa | Leave a comment

A point of clarification…

Some groups have told me they are getting positive help from their GOA regarding trademark compliance. It is always good to get support, and I am glad to hear about. Of course it would help more if GOAs actually spent more time asking groups how they can help them rather than acting like a policeman.

Apparently there is a point at which this “help” stops. That is when you are sent a Cease and Desist email or letter. From that moment on your GOA is forbidden to talk to you on any subject whatsoever, and it is downhill skiing all the way.

So if you have not been sent a Cease and Desist then you should be okay for now and any purge will not affect you.
(Of course, there has been a problem of email communication from TFN. When they want to approve a new member of OIDG or a modsquad they seem to have problems getting a response. This was the case when I applied, and I know of many others who have had problems being approved. The main excuse is that it is owner’s fault for not responding… Well if they have problems communicating when trying to do something positive like modsquad or OIDG approvals, then I guess similar issues may face them when sending out Cease and Desist.)

July 19, 2007 Posted by | cease and desist, goa, OIDG, trademark | Leave a comment