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E

Eye

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Yes, it's not the GDPR that's a problem, IMO, but some of the other laws, and the coming DSA. For example, we're actually committing a crime in the Netherlands by insulting the royal family, or the heads of state of allied countries. So, due to my activities in P&R on a Dutch-hosted site, I should probably be serving multiple consecutive life sentences. :p

My point is just that if we're freely picking a new jurisdiction, let's avoid that sort of thing, and also laws on forum owners that might put them under undue stress about legal liabilities for things their communities post. If it were me in that situation, I'd want to keep the forum a civilized place, but not worry about legal penalties if someone decides the standard was wrong.
I suggest Mars, no rules there, and @pibbuR; will be on his way soon, we'll pick him to be site owner. ;)

En serio (I'm learning Spanish), every country has rules, and down sites. Like Pibbur I am not keen on sites not abiding to the GDPR, among other things.

As for foreign heads of state of allied countries, I already said somewhere in a recent thread it was fine to call Biden on this site an idiot (and Trump, whether he gets re-elected or not).
As for the King, three or four years ago (can't remember) someone saying 'fuck the king' was arrested, loud uproar from the population, prosecution decided to drop the case.
 
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largh

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For the record, I have been contacted during the weekend about a potential hosting of RPGWatch somewhere else, with the whole technical and financial side being managed by the hoster.
The site would still need a team of news editors and moderators though.

As far as a more or less seamless transition is going, this could be an option.

We had a bit of a discussion, but nothing has been decided yet.

That is good news and would definitely be the best solution (after carefully considering what the potential hoster wants/takes in return). By entirely rebooting the thing or by moving to an unfamiliar platform such, I fear we would lose quite some people (potentially me included) and that could influence the community.

Depending on the expectations and if needed, I could definitely help as a moderator, news editor, etc., as I have the ability to stay neutral and do not get easily provoked. There seems to be many who are willing to help, however. If too many, I can just continue as a lurker.

When I read the "End Is Nigh" thread, I actually found some of comments quite affecting, and starting thinking about ways to sort it out.

Yup, I noticed the same. I have been following this site for over 10 years quite actively. The internet would feel empty without RPGWatch.
 

Couchpotato

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Well if this mysterious buyer needs a news-edtior I might be interested in a comeback again. Just no moderation again. I hated being both and preferred sharing news.:biggrin:
 

Ripper

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I suggest Mars, no rules there, and @pibbuR; will be on his way soon, we'll pick him to be site owner. ;)

En serio (I'm learning Spanish), every country has rules, and down sites. Like Pibbur I am not keen on sites not abiding to the GDPR, among other things.

As for King and foreign heads of state of allied countries, I already said somewhere in a recent thread it was fine to call Biden an idiot (and in case he gets re-elected: Trump).
Three or four years ago (can't remember) someone saying 'fuck the king' was arrested, load uproar from the population, prosecution decided to drop the case.

The trouble with that is, if one is saying that the rules are determined by the laws we operate under, I think it's a bit of a problem to say, "except those laws which we think don't really matter, and ignore."

My view is that it would be much better to host where the First Amendment or similar applies - not to have a free for all, but for us to be able to decide our own terms, and the site owner not needing to stress over personal liability. In particular, I think the general giving of offence law is hugely problematic, and gives rise to all sorts of problems of interpretation. So, if we were just freely picking a jurisdiction from the world map, I think there are better options in terms of avoiding legal stress.
 

Kos

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Lot of fun talks about GDPR with Big Brother comparison and so on.

GDPR gives you full control over your personal data if you are a European. In Europe privacy is considered a legal right.

But you do what you want with your data. You can give it for free to Facebook so they can sell it for example.
That's ok with GDPR since it's your choice.
But to make that choice you have to know, so FB has to inform you about the trade of your data. GDPR makes also mandatory for them to provide you with the possibility to retract your permission and the possibility to erase your data from their DBs.

Obviously since GDPR protects European citizens any data hosting must comply with it even if there is only one single EU citizen connecting to it.
The physical location of the data has nothing to do with it, if the web/app can be reached in EU and stores EU citizen data it's covered by GDPR and must respect it.
 
E

Eye

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Hence my suggestion of Mars to Ripper. Though he still seems to think if everything will be located in the US, it will be decided on our own terms, but in fact he is ignoring laws he thinks that do not matter. :)
And that is just the GDPR. The DSA might change a few things as well.

The thing that matters is mentioned in our TOS. No need for the individual to think what kind of behaviour specific laws require. As long as members abide to the TOS and moderator's direction they are fine.
Moderators see to it. They have to act in a certain way to assure laws are respected.
That is being discussed in a secluded section of this site: the Moderators forum.
Moderators help the site owner to keep out of legal troubles. And it is the site owner that decides the jurisdiction, what laws matter and which to ignore.

This can never be a community decision.
 
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Ripper

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The physical location of the data has nothing to do with it, if the web/app can be reached in EU and stores EU citizen data it's covered by GDPR and must respect it.

Well, if the site is hosted in another jurisdiction that doesn't recognise the GDPR, good luck to them enforcing that, or even checking the compliance.

But I don't think the GDPR is a problem in this context. I'm in favour of it in general, particularly the effort to keep the big corpos from having a free for all with our data. There's more a problem with it giving a false sense of security - they are still having a free-for-all with our data, and many small organisations just ignore it and risk being non-compliant.

At the level of sites like this, the existence of GDPR offers very little real protection at all - if they're not to be trusted with your data, the GDPR won't stop them. It really just comes down to whether you trust the owners, regardless of where they're based.
 

Ripper

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Hence my suggestion of Mars to Ripper. Though he still seems to think if everything will be located in the US, it will be decided on our own terms, but in fact he is ignoring laws he thinks that do not matter. :)
And that is just the GDPR. The DSA might change a few things as well.

Not necessarily in the US. But there's an important distinction there. If I run a site in the US that is not GDPR compliant, and someone in he EU decides to access my site, I am breaking no law which I am beholden to respect. The EU could decide my site must be blocked for non-compliance if they get really excited about it, but there is no criminal liability for me.

With regard to ignoring laws, and the Martian option, I'm fine with that sometimes, too. I do some stuff with the charity Liberty, and it's not that hard to setup and host a site in a way that cannot be traced back to you (for people in the world that have very good reasons to break laws, and avoid being found.) Not really necessary for the Watch, but I were starting some random website tomorrow, that's how I'd do it, purely to avoid any conceivable hassle. If got litigious letters, my standard response would be: Hi, my name's Ripper, and I'm a Border Collie. Please direct your threatening letters to: Legal@ClownPenis.fart

:p
 

Myrthos

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I think it would be about the location of the legal entity and the legal entity would be the one who owns the domain. If that person is in the EU, it doesn't matter much where the site is hosted.


Then again, chances are low that anything will happen for a site like this.
 

Ripper

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Yes, I think that's right. So, IMO, for minimum legal hassle a site owner in the US or similar jurisdiction that keeps legal responsibility on the posters, not the owner, would be ideal.
 

Redglyph

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For the record, I have been contacted during the weekend about a potential hosting of RPGWatch somewhere else, with the whole technical and financial side being managed by the hoster.
The site would still need a team of news editors and moderators though.

As far as a more or less seamless transition is going, this could be an option.

We had a bit of a discussion, but nothing has been decided yet.

Just to be sure, what would be still left for us to do, in that case? I mean in our to-do list to transfer the site (choice of software, custom code, transfer the the db, ...)? I suppose they wouldn't handle everything themselves?

That's also to know if I have to keep investigating. :)

Either way, it would be great news.
 

Kos

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Not necessarily in the US. But there's an important distinction there. If I run a site in the US that is not GDPR compliant, and someone in he EU decides to access my site, I am breaking no law which I am beholden to respect. The EU could decide my site must be blocked for non-compliance if they get really excited about it, but there is no criminal liability for me.
:p

Life is not that easy :)
To give you an example Chicago Tribune or the Los Angeles Time had to block EU IP for few months because they were not ready.
Obviously they are in the US, but they are running ads, and it was judged a big enough risk for their customers.
Anyway the trend is to copy this kind of law like California, Colorado or Virginia did.
 

Ripper

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Life is not that easy :)
To give you an example Chicago Tribune or the Los Angeles Time had to block EU IP for few months because they were not ready.
Obviously they are in the US, but they are running ads, and it was judged a big enough risk for their customers.
Anyway the trend is to copy this kind of law like California, Colorado or Virginia did.

Sure, but that's a much more complex cross-border situation with large companies and advertisers. But the point I'm making is that if were a US site owner, there would be no EU law applicable to me running a site like this in the US; it wouldn't be a case of ignoring a law I didn't like, because it's not a law to me there.

But what I'm really getting at, is that I've seen a lot of discussion and debate about the Watch's legal position over the years (not GDPR issues), and it's something I've seen the admins express concern about many times. My take is that it would be a good thing to choose a jurisdiction that has the least onerous legal conditions, and set our terms without that stress or risk, as tiny as it probably is in reality.

In terms of confidence in data handling - a policy of no tracking or unnecessary gathering and sale of data, and no adverts either. Have trusted members of the community involved in the backend that can vouch for the fact that the policy is respected and there's no funny business going on. That's a far greater assurance than a compulsory and unverified GDPR statement on a small site.
 

SveNitoR

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Sure, but that's a much more complex cross-border situation with large companies and advertisers. But the point I'm making is that if were a US site owner, there would be no EU law applicable to me running a site like this in the US; it wouldn't be a case of ignoring a law I didn't like, because it's not a law to me there.



But what I'm really getting at, is that I've seen a lot of discussion and debate about the Watch's legal position over the years (not GDPR issues), and it's something I've seen the admins express concern about many times. My take is that it would be a good thing to choose a jurisdiction that has the least onerous legal conditions, and set our terms without that stress or risk, as tiny as it probably is in reality.



In terms of confidence in data handling - a policy of no tracking or unnecessary gathering and sale of data, and no adverts either. Have trusted members of the community involved in the backend that can vouch for the fact that the policy is respected and there's no funny business going on. That's a far greater assurance than a compulsory and unverified GDPR statement on a small site.
I get your point, but it seems like the biggest hurdle is getting people willing to do the work to start and maintain a site at all, and who can also take the initial economic risk (or be trusted enough by the community to donate money beforehand).

Maybe someone from the US wants to do it, but maybe not. I'm going to guess that we won't be able to pick and choose.
 

Pladio

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Sure, but that's a much more complex cross-border situation with large companies and advertisers. But the point I'm making is that if were a US site owner, there would be no EU law applicable to me running a site like this in the US; it wouldn't be a case of ignoring a law I didn't like, because it's not a law to me there.



But what I'm really getting at, is that I've seen a lot of discussion and debate about the Watch's legal position over the years (not GDPR issues), and it's something I've seen the admins express concern about many times. My take is that it would be a good thing to choose a jurisdiction that has the least onerous legal conditions, and set our terms without that stress or risk, as tiny as it probably is in reality.



In terms of confidence in data handling - a policy of no tracking or unnecessary gathering and sale of data, and no adverts either. Have trusted members of the community involved in the backend that can vouch for the fact that the policy is respected and there's no funny business going on. That's a far greater assurance than a compulsory and unverified GDPR statement on a small site.
That's not entirely correct, the EU and the US are negotiating a data transfer agreement which will allow EU citizens to pursue data privacy violations in the US.

Search for Privacy Shield 2
Or I think its new name will be Transatlantic Data Privacy Framework.
 

Redglyph

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Because imho the main problem at this point isn't a technical one but an organisational one.
There needs to be one person who is in charge and thus legally responsible. Then he/she could find a team and proceed.

I don't entirely agree, I think the most important point right now is the technical part, it's all listed earlier that we need to clarify. That's what takes time and what gives us an idea of what we're about to tackle - it's the critical path.

That will tell who's ready to handle this (hopefully more than one person) for the transition and for the future maintenance. Unless you just want to decide who will do something without knowing exactly what. ;) Besides, who will be legally responsible can still be decided the day before the change.

Then I think Myrthos made it clear that he wouldn't let anyone take over, so this is his decision once everything is clear enough. Maybe I misunderstood though.

But sure, there is a need to clarify the legal implications as well, though as it has been said before, it's not as critical for that sort of website. I wish that discussion was in another thread because it's P&R-like and I know people will want to discuss that at length before anything else (which is already the case).
 

Ripper

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That's not entirely correct, the EU and the US are negotiating a data transfer agreement which will allow EU citizens to pursue data privacy violations in the US.

Search for Privacy Shield 2
Or I think its new name will be Transatlantic Data Privacy Framework.

Yes, and as I said, I'm in favour of things like the GDPR, particularly with regard to the big corpos and their nonsense.

There's a bit of talking at cross-purposes, here. As I said earlier, GDPR and privacy laws aren't my concern here, but rather other EU laws around offence, "harmful content", and so on.

So, as of right now, a US site-owner is breaking no law not having a GDPR policy. That was one point. The other point is that I think the more onerous EU rules on content are problematic, and very unlikely to ever get past the First Amendment. I would prefer to operate under low-risk-to-the-site-owner US conditions, where of course one of the freedoms is to operate a site with whatever house rules we decide.
 

Ripper

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I get your point, but it seems like the biggest hurdle is getting people willing to do the work to start and maintain a site at all, and who can also take the initial economic risk (or be trusted enough by the community to donate money beforehand).

Maybe someone from the US wants to do it, but maybe not. I'm going to guess that we won't be able to pick and choose.

Well, it's probably easier to explain what I will actually do if this isn't sorted out in a more official way, and the Watch is going to die.

I already have a couple of VPS running various services, and I've tested some forum and CMS solutions, just out of interest and to see if I like them.

I would acquire a suitable domain, but I would maintain my anonymity that has always been important to me. That makes me the legal entity responsible for any issues, and I am then fine with that risk.

But, being anonymous doesn't do a great deal to inspire trust. So, I would invite trusted members of the community to help with the backend - partly to help with the chores, but also to confirm the integrity of what we're doing.

Initially I'd pay for it myself, but in the future I would have nothing to do with the money. I would ask a highly trusted member of the community to act as bursar, and any fundraising and its usage would go purely through them, with transparent accounting, and nowhere near me.

There would be a policy of no adverts, trackers, or data-dealing shenanigans of any kind.

I would consult the community on what our rules of conduct should be, and I'll bear whatever vanishingly small legal risk there is after whatever we agree.

I would set up the news site and a forum separately, as I see an advantage in them being independent entities. In part, it's a case of Keep It Simple Stupid - running services as close as possible to what they provide out of the box is what keeps maintenance headaches to a minimum. Then, depending on whether people get on board and want to take it forward, the news site could developed with as much or as little fancy Watch database stuff as we care to do.

First, I'd see if I could get some newsposters on board, because there's no site without them, and I would see if I could persuade people to be moderators, because that's a pain in the arse. :p

And then we'd see what happens.

But, as I say, I'd like to see if there's an official solution first, as I think it's overwhelmingly likely that the community would go with that option first, and I would have wasted my time, weeping in an empty forum. :p And I don't think it would be good to create a schism between competing options, if that can be avoided.
 
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SveNitoR

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Well, it's probably easier to explain what I will actually do if this isn't sorted out in a more official way, and the Watch is going to die.

I already have a couple of VPS running various services, and I've tested some forum and CMS solutions, just out of interest and to see if I like them.

I would acquire a suitable domain, but I would maintain my anonymity that has always been important to me. That makes me the legal entity responsible for any issues, and I am then fine with that risk.

But, being anonymous doesn't do a great deal to inspire trust. So, I would invite trusted members of the community to help with the backend - partly to help with the chores, but also to confirm the integrity of what we're doing.

Initially I'd pay for it myself, but in the future I would have nothing to do with the money. I would ask a highly trusted member of the community to act as bursar, and any fundraising and its usage would go purely through them, with transparent accounting, and nowhere near me.

There would be a policy of no adverts, trackers, or data-dealing shenanigans of any kind.

I would consult the community on what our rules of conduct should be, and I'll bear whatever vanishingly small legal risk there is after whatever we agree.

I would set up the news site and a forum separately, as I see an advantage in them being independent entities. In part, it's a case of Keep It Simple Stupid - running services as close as possible to what they provide out of the box is what keeps maintenance headaches to a minimum. Then, depending on whether people get on board and want to take it forward, the news site could developed with as much or as little fancy Watch database stuff as we care to do.

First, I'd see if I could get some newsposters on board, because there's no site without them, and I would see if I could persuade people to be moderators, because that's a pain in the arse.

And then we'd see what happens.

But, as I say, I'd like to see if there's an official solution first, as I think it's overwhelmingly likely that the community would go with that option first, and I would have wasted my time, weeping in an empty forum. And I don't think it would be good to create a schism between competing options, if that can be avoided.
Ok. So this is more your backup plan if other good options fail?

And for you to do that, you'd go that route to protect yourself and others who are responsible for the site?
 
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