Can Anyone Explain The Open Rights Group to me?

The Open Rights Group is out there. I have no idea what they aim to do.  There are a bunch of new projects that have sprouted up online for various goals having to do with Intellectual Property in the digital realm, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, and more recently, the Featured Artist’s Coalition…  

My question is, is the O.R.G. a friend or a foe?  

I’m a child of digital media, and I’m also an artist.  I’m also a creator of other forms of content like this blog. 

The Open Rights Group’s site is so confusing and not-clear in its mission at first glance.  For all I can tell it’s a front for a major publisher effort.  

Really, the site is terribly unclear.  Maybe I was supposed to spend a bunch of time digging for the agenda there.  

Please, you guys, make it clear!

I can help if you want, but damn.  I can’t even tell what you stand for.

It needs to be completely clear to anyone visiting the site, as soon as they get there, me thinks.

3 Replies to “Can Anyone Explain The Open Rights Group to me?”

  1. Sorry for the confusion Andrew, a complete redesign of the website is in progress that should hopefully make the site simpler, clearer and more easy to use.

    A good page to start is the about ORG page on the site.

    The Open Rights Group was originally formed when a thousand people signed a pledge stating “I will create a standing order of 5 pounds per month to support an organisation that will campaign for digital rights in the UK but only if 1,000 other people will do the same”

    If you are interested in more detailed explanation, here is a video recorded at one of the recent barcamps.

  2. I’m Open Rights Group’s Operations Manager. Sorry if you found the site unclear but trust we’re working to make it easier for newcomers. These two pages should make it clear what we’re about.

    Also, these are our goals as stated on the About page.

    * To raise awareness in the media of digital rights abuses
    * To provide a media clearinghouse, connecting journalists with experts and activists
    * To preserve and extend traditional civil liberties in the digital world
    * To collaborate with other digital rights and related organisations
    * To nurture a community of campaigning volunteers, from grassroots activists to technical and legal experts

    Again, we’ll keep working to make this clearer and welcome your comments.

  3. There are two concerns for the digital age.

    1. Privacy, or the decrease thereof. (You may treat this as paranoid, but suspend disbelief for a moment.) The tendency *toward* a centralized number id for each of us. One number for all of: passport, drivers’ license, Social Security, insurance, credit card, bank account, phone number, and on, and on… The potential for id theft is alarming, the effort to protect against it would be strenuous, and the effort of recovery from failure, well, you might imagine. And, on a separate note, it takes a great deal of foresight and planning to use the web in any non-superficial manner without sacrificing ones privacy.

    2. Intellectual property. It is well-nigh onto impossible to post material to the web without giving someone the ability to copy and (perhaps modify and) use it (perhaps for profit) and pass it on for others to do the same. Hence “copyleft”. One *attempts* to place upon the copier the onus of passing on credit to the creator and *insists* upon the creator’s right to re-use and modify the creator’s work no matter *what* the copier does. (In other words, if you copy my logo, you may not copyright it and prevent me from using it, nor may those who copy it from you on down the line.)

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