Volunteer meeting Wednesday 16 January


  • Present: Becky Hogge, Michael Holloway, Glyn Wintle, Matthew Petty, Chris Mear, Felix Cohen, Chris Adams, Suw Charman, Sheila Thomson
  • IRC: Rachel Clarke, Richard King, Tom Reynolds, Harry Metcalfe,


2008 Business plan

Becky presents our 2008 business plan, which was approved by the Board last week. In short, ORG are going to do 5 things this year:

  • Preserve and promote rights: Preserve civil liberties and human rights in the digital age ("digital rights") and promote consumer rights in the context of digital technology
  • Raise awareness: Engage a wider audience with ORG's mission
  • Amplify the voice of the grassroots: Nurture a community of campaigning volunteers, from grassroots activists to technical and legal experts
  • Practice what we preach: Function as an open, transparent and accountable organisation, with clear and accessible governance structures
  • Create a financially sustainable organisation

We will be aided in these goals by funding from JRRT, which will help involve and increase the ORG community by running events and bringing on corporate sponsors. We welcome comments, questions and involvement in achieving this strategy.

HTML versions of ORG publications

ACTION: Chris Mear agrees to turn PDF of Release the Music briefing pack into HTML version, using HMTL versions of e-voting briefing pack and Review of Activities as guidelines. Check Michael or ORG-tech for user privileges.


We have an Open Rights Group group on Upcoming but no-one's really looking after it. Purpose is to promote both our own events and others that would be of interest to the broad spectrum of ORG supporters, from free culturalists to open governors and cryptographers. Ideally one or more volunteer will commit to half an hour a week to post events. They will receive suggestions via upcoming@openrightsgroup.org.

  • ACTION: Sheila agrees to moderate. Yay Sheila! (Do you need additional privileges or are we good to go? Should we be inviting people into the group? Your proactive stewardship of this group would be much appreciated)
  • ACTION: Michael / Adam to point email address to Sheila (with Harry and Tom also available as possible moderators if things don't work out).


We have been working towards 2 widgets. One is for the Founding 1000 (the 1st 1000 paying Supporters of ORG. The purpose of widget is mainly to make them feel special and loved but partly to draw more attention and supporters to ORG, by linking to sign-up page) and the other is for people to track and publicise the almost-daily Guv data leaks.

Founding 1000 widget

Chris Adams has produced a number of images as basis for this badge to adorn our Supporter's websites. Everyone likes the look of the design (although text needs some tweaking). Still unclear how we'll deliver this to the Founding 1000. Do we host from our own servers or send out images by in email for them to host themselves?

  • ACTION: Chris Adams to discuss delivery mechanism with Chris Mear. Seemed to be a consensus that we should be hosting ourselves (otherwise we cannot track usage). Please aim for completion a few days before end of month.

Data-loss widget

Felix Cohen has been working with Chris Adams to design and serve the 'data leaks' widget. Some questions remain about how we estimate numbers of data losses and make the underlying data portable but the look is finished and the delivery mechanism is done(ish?) too.

  • ACTION: Becky to develop a 'landing page' nb Felix suggests this link may be useful http://out.landi.sh/
  • ACTION: Felix to aim for completion a few days before end of month. Can we also make this a Facebook app (, Sheila)?

(We want to launch one widget in the Supporters Update on 31 January)

Backdating Supporters Updates onto the blog

Supporter Updates are currently wordpress 'pages', linked from blogposts. We want to bump them up to be easier to read so need to be reformatted as posts, suitably backdated and categorised.

  • ACTION: Chris Adams will take this on. Check Michael or ORG-tech if user privileges needed. Turns out we prefer the old formatting so this task is unnecessary.

Matthew's suggestions*

  • * Method of integrating MP letter-writing efforts with the MySociety. Manually, probably / Method of tracking sympathetic MPs, using Hansard, TheyWorkForYou etc.

There's a lot of excitement in the room for these tools, which have been proposed and considered before. All agree they are important in long run, although spec and implementation are large, tricky questions.

  • ACTION: Staff will discuss with developers at a meeting scheduled for 24 January, where we'll be working on our supporter relationship management databases, then continue discussion at next Volunteer meeting.

Task ticketing database

CVStrac AKA "the volunteer task ticketing database" is not quite right for our purposes, although we're not entirely sure what's wrong and what we want instead. Becky cautious about over-committing developer time but Suw and others excited.

"Chugging" (Charity Mugging)

Becky and Glyn will be at various conferences (e.g. LUGRadio Live) this year, hoping to draw more people into the ORG fold. Glyn's tactics involve drawing people in with sweets, then blinding them with enthusiasm for digital rights. Becky's approach involves less confectionery and more facilities for charging laptops. We hope other volunteers will come with their own skillz.

  • ACTION: Staff to produce a wiki page. Richard King, Felix Cohen and Matthew Petty agreed (under much duress) to get involved.

CSS for new 'issues' pages

We are reformatting the website to make it easier for people to get straight to our issues. Currently users go through the wiki, which can be intimidating and incomprehensible. The new pages will feature links to the wiki but also a paragraph introduction, blog headlines and suggestions for further engagement.

  • ACTION: Sheila agrees to get involved. Staff to provide links and guidance.

Creative Business in the Digital Era

This project is coming up to a critical stage, and we really need help!

Find relevant reading / audio / video materials

The Creative Business wiki is already a solid resource but we need more reading, listening and viewing material on and around the concepts covered by this course. Please get stuck in and add your favourite articles and links of any sort to this page: [1]

  • ACTION: Becky agrees to get involved, but it'd be nice if this was a group effort.

List of trade/industry organisations and contact details

We want to market the course to anyone and everyone working in the music, film, books and other creative industries. We would like a list of industry bodies, e.g. the Musician's Union, or Writer's Guild. Either send suggestions to michael at openrightsgroup dot org, or add to this page http://www.eu.socialtext.net/org/index.cgi?cbde_trade_associations_and_bodies (contact Michael if you don't have access)

  • ACTION: Rachel Clarke to put some time in on this one, but again, be nice if it was a group effort.

Friendly bloggers to help promotion

Suggestions for friendly bloggers who might write about CBDE. No-one wanted to own this task.

  • ACTION: Please email michael at openrightsgroup dot org with your suggestions.

Copyright flows

There are charts for calculating copyright term under US law. Does anyone know of equivalent schema for UK law?

  • ACTION: No-one's got the answers. Anyone reading have this?

Events helpers

Will be very useful to have extra pairs of hands for the seminars, scheduled for 17/18/19 March.

  • ACTION: Felix, Chris and Matthew step up to this one. Michael to follow-up and organise.

Work on exercise materials and Next Steps forms

Part of the sessions will be exercises / activities (the other parts will be presentations). We need help designing / producing these. Also, 'Next Steps' forms (five things attendees will do, deadline for each, and how they'll do it.)

  • ACTION: Suw, Michael and Chris to meet - anyone else interested, contact suw [at] openrightsgroup.org


  • Matthew suggests we produce something like Blue Peter badges for the F1000 and others (enamel plus different colours to indicate different status)
  • Sheila has designed stickers that can be purchased through Moo!

ACTION: Michael to follow-up and find out how this can work for ORG.

  • Next Volunteer meeting scheduled for 6 weeks' time on Weds 27 Feb (usual place - 7th floor, 100 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8AL - usual time - 1830 > 2000. Ring 020 7096 1079 with questions)