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#133 2015-07-17 22:59:47

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,852
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

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#134 2015-07-19 18:07:20

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,852
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Regarding a mail list (let’s call it newsletter for sake of function), I’m going through the process with CSF, and there’s a fair bit of legal responsibility you must shoulder and have your ducks in a row for before throwing up the subscriber form.

Many mail list services (MailChimp, etc) require that the mail list owner provide a mailing address (snail mail) on the account, which is required by law, and which is displayed to subscribers in each instance of the newsletter. You can’t create an account with these services without providing the mailing address.

Also, if the list owner (account creator; i.e., Txp) is in the European Economic Area (EEA), they must also make it clear in writing somewhere to potential (and current) subscribers:

  • how list owner will use collected data (subscriber emails)
  • that by being subscribed, the list owner has subscribers’ express consent to transfer their info to the email service for use of the system (i.e. that subscribers understand the mail service provider has access to the data, being it’s the service’s system)
  • that the list owner will comply with it’s own privacy policy

This means Txp must have a privacy policy in the .com website in general, while taking the specific EEA concerns into account too — and there may be others — before making the newsletter public.

For us at CSF, this is challenging because we are not a legal association, organization, foundation, etc. It’s just a grassroots collective of people making shit happen via the inter-tubes. We’re having to get a little creative to pull it off.

So I’m very curious what Txp — notably project “leaders” — are going to do in this case. Who will own the mail list account and what mailing address will be used to represent the Textpattern project? What address will be allowed to be shown to the subscribers of the newsletter?

There’s been a lot of talk about the merits of a foundation, and something like that would solve this problem, but without any “legal” structure, who’s going to own the mail list? Will David use his company’s address? If so, it’s not Textpattern’s mail list at that point, and will make for complicated communication about identity, trust, and privacy. No?

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#135 2015-07-19 19:57:37

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,762
Website GitHub

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Good point. That’s typical EU arse covering and red tape for the sake of their mates making money. Having a registered snail mail address doesn’t stop spammers, it just means there’s an endpoint for lawyers to send their exorbitantly-priced letters if it comes to the wire. It’s a barrier to entry for legitimate groups of people to play in the sandpit who don’t pay for the privilege of a formal corporate entity of some kind.

In the event a Foundation of some kind is set up, there’s still the problem of a registered office. Ain’t gonna be my house. And presumably a (costly) PO box won’t cut it. Even if one member’s details were used on the mailouts, there’s still the trust issue, as you say. Assuming anyone scrolls to the bottom of the mail and reads the address.

As an aside, it reminds me of the debacle of countries vying for the slice of the data centre markets a few years back. They offered incentives and ridiculous tax breaks to host your data offshore. But it comes with the caveat that you need to have a registered office within the jurisdiction of the country so that you can be seen from a tax viewpoint to be bringing money “into” the country and satisfy EU regs. Your minimum legal requirement is to have a physical, contactable address and conduct one AGM at that address each year.

To bypass the legislation, and presumably to generate more local income to offset the cost of offering the tax breaks, there are supplementary services you can buy — from the data centre providers if you wish — where you rent a room with a desk and a phone in it. You pay for the (minimal) rent in a crappy suburb, use that address on mail headers, and your money also pays for a local guy whom you never meet to pop in and man the phone for one hour a week and forward you any mail. So it looks like you have a presence. As long as you keep the plane stubs for your “AGM” (which could actually be a piss-up at the nearby pub and some fake meeting minutes) you qualify for the significant tax breaks and lower TCO. A total mockery.

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#136 2015-07-19 22:24:51

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,852
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Textpattern, 1 Reciprocal Affection House, Meaningful Labor, The Internet.

Ding! You can’t pull this off with the Chimp (it uses restricted fields for country, city, and zip), and you certainly want —at least minimally — a privacy statement somewhere to tick off the little boxes and cover your arse, but the actual street number can be slightly more (a-hem) entertaining.

The worst that can happen, I would think, is you’re kicked off the system, But only if someone is not getting their money due.

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#137 2015-07-19 22:30:49

wavesource
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

The owner of the traffic is ultimately the generator, and that would be the domain owning the originating email address. Just like right now whoever owns and operates the TXP.com domain is responsible legally for the content of the forum discussions.

There should already be a privacy policy on TXP.com to cover forum activity and legals etc. If you don’t have one, then they are simple enough to throw up. I don’t see the problem unless the domain owner for TXP.com does not want to be listed publicly by name. Which is strange, as they are already liable for stuff going on here for years.

As a listmanager (I have Australian registered company and PO Box etc.) one could offer my details as contact for any list enquiries. I would also have some legal skin in the game, just like a hosting provider.

Mail Chimp et al just add another layer of governance to the chain and I’ve already stated that should be avoided on cost considerations alone.

I would probably suggest, if this went ahead, that whoever owns the domain operating the list, sets up the list address mailbox redirection (eg. newsletter@textpattern.com) as a redirect to a listmanager account on one of the servers I run, and I monitor that for manual removals etc. A second redirected address listmanager@textpattern.com would be set up as a contact route for enquiries etc. again to an account at my end. Or to whoever is proposed to have primary access. This allows for future changeover of list admin while retaining legals.

The list script itself resides on the TXP.com site – the list traffic is sent the SES account set up under the name of the domain owner but is paid for with my credit card until such a time someone else wants to do that or it is no longer used etc. etc.

And we can list my company address as the listmanager contact publicly on the TXP.com site for privacy/contact etc.

Whether one would need to list the domain owner’s name is moot – but if it came down to it, then you would just do that, eg.

John Doe – textpattern.com
List managed by {insert listmanger company name and address here}

I am not sure about EU law etc. but I believe that provided it’s set up as above, you could even forget about listing John Doe’s name as there is a legal chain from the domain name to the domain owner, and you are presenting another registered legal entity as having initial responsibility for contact and activity.

Last edited by wavesource (2015-07-19 22:32:06)

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#138 2015-07-19 22:51:12

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,852
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Yeah, so there’s some perspective between using a list service and hosting it yourself.

I’m not trying to discourage anything with Txp. I hope it works out.

At CSF we don’t have the luxury of hosting it ourself, nor would I want that responsibility, so that was my perspective, because that’s what I’m learning in that direction.

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#139 2015-07-19 23:18:19

wavesource
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

I think it’s a valuable conversation to have, and you’re right, TXP sites with any ability to take user input require a privacy policy – here’s an example I have knocked up, please note the requirement to expose an email address at the bottom, presumably this would be a forward to a nominated forum moderator.

I have introduced the concept of the newsletter as well – this would be suitable just for TXP.com but can be adapted per domain. I believe this is a good thing to get started with right now, and just requires an extra page per main TXP site, just replace .domain for required extension, edit, throw up and add link in site footers. Job done.

Privacy Statement

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy Textpattern.domain provides this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, Textpattern.domain makes a link to it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

The Information Textpattern.domain Collects

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the Textpattern.domain web site. All information marked with an asterisk (*) is required for a particular service.

Our online bulleting board system requires us to set up your account for you before you are able to use it. All of the information collected for account creation is strictly confidential and only shared with permitted forum moderators. The types of personal information collected at these pages are:

Email address* possibly your name and any domain name information you may offer.

Your IP address may also be logged. IP addresses may be used in fraud prevention and/or to prosecute perpetrators of fraud or other abuses.

The Way Textpattern.domain Uses Information

Textpattern.domain uses the information you provide about yourself when providing online services. We do not share this information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to allow these online services to function correctly, for example, password resetting.

Textpattern.domain uses return email addresses to notify of forum activity if requested in your forum user account controls, and to send out information newsletters if you have indicated that you wish to receive these. All newsletters sent provide you with the ability to opt-out from receiving such newsletters. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

Information submitted to the Textpatter.domain websites may be used for promotion activity, educational purposes and re-used and shared with other affiliates of Textpattern.domain. In these cases, no personal information will be shared with outside parties and shared information will be strictly anonomised.

Information you submit on the Textpattern.domain web site will not be used for any other purpose.

The Textpattern.domain Commitment To Data Security:

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, Textpattern.domain has put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information Textpattern.domain collects online.

How You Can Access Or Correct Your Information:

You can access all your personally identifiable information that Textpattern.domain collects online and maintains by logging in and clicking on your username in the Textpattern bulletin board and viewing your Profile. We use this procedure to better safeguard your information.

How To Contact Us:

Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies, please contact us at {expose email address here}

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#140 2015-07-19 23:42:14

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,956
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Dumb question, but if the Foundation is registered in the USA or AU is the EU law even worth worrying about?


…. texted postive

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#141 2015-07-19 23:52:18

wavesource
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

Nope – just have to comply with requirements dependent on country of registration.

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#142 2015-07-20 00:30:13

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,852
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

wavesource wrote #293513:

Nope – just have to comply with requirements dependent on country of registration.

I’m not sure that’s true. The ToS for MC, for example, which is server tech in the US, says even if your not targeting EEA subscribers, you still need to comply with EEA regulations IF EU residents can access your system. So to me that sounds like it does matter if your list is internationally open. A privacy policy generally addresses the EEA requirements though.

As for settling legal disputes, however, that takes place in your resident country according to local laws.

Last edited by Destry (2015-07-20 00:37:27)

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#143 2015-07-20 00:40:38

wavesource
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2011-08-02
Posts: 56

Re: Magazine to newsletter

I would expand my answer and say that international compliance generally is a requirement and good operators will always pay heed to those, eg. in Australia we have the Spam Act 2003 which as you can imagine outlines similar requirements for spam activity as expected in EU and other Western countries.

I think if you get to the level of corporate activity where groups or organisations are attempting to leverage advantage due to legal differences between international realms then sure, you will have the EU slapping down Microsoft, for example, for bundling software to advantage their own business case over local competition rules.

And these are genuine questions re governance and compliance that would need to be answered when TXP devs are looking at matters at that level.

But in the context of the discussion here, mailing list and now privacy statements, it’s not as arcane, and there is no barrier to moving forward with these limited and well-delineated activities under current circumstances provided we meet those simple operational criteria IMHO.

Last edited by wavesource (2015-07-20 00:41:54)

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#144 2015-07-20 00:51:29

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,852
Website

Re: Magazine to newsletter

wavesource wrote #293515:

there is no barrier to moving forward with these limited and well-delineated activities under current circumstances provided we meet those simple operational criteria IMHO.

I agree. This is what my cohorts at CSF have collectively decided as well. If we address the necessary privacy statement part and live up to it by doing no evil, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

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