Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

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Rebel
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Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by Rebel »

Current situation, the shop has indicated it wants to sell the talkchess.com domain because it wants to get rid of the forum . The shop is not responding to my financial proposal made 2 weeks ago. This is very unusual since contacts in the past were always promptly. In best case Quentin is on holidays.

I don't know what's going on but I find the situation worrying.

I want to propose the shop a money deal, thank the shop fore hosting the forum for 25 years, the members showing their gratitude in the following way -

Contact me via the contact form - http://rebel13.nl/home/contact.html

Name, email address (strictly for verification) and the gratitude amount you are willing to submit, don't pay anything yet.

After a week I will propose the total sum to the shop. In case they accept and hand over the domain name to the community I will ask you to make the payment to the shop.

I kindly want to ask HGM if he is willing to make this subject sticky.
90% of coding is debugging, the other 10% is writing bugs.
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Rebel
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by Rebel »

So far received donations from 2 members.
90% of coding is debugging, the other 10% is writing bugs.
chessica
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by chessica »

This is not surprising and was therefore predictable. You can't let yourself
be blackmailed! Then rather create a new forum somewhere else.
jdart
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by jdart »

Acquiring the domain is one thing, but there are ongoing costs for hosting. What is the plan to continue the site?
pavs
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by pavs »

I don't want to sound rude. But hosting a PHP forum with such a small number of users is so little. It will cost less than 1-2 cups of coffee per month.

Even if you were to get a ridiculous high-end bare-metal server, it shouldn't cost more than 20-30 USD per month (Hetzner/OVH/Digital Ocean).
- Move/migrate to the better forum software. (I personally like Flarum)
- Add a global free CDN like Cloudflare for some ridiculous speed improvement + lower bandwidth usage (At this price point it shouldn't even be a problem).

The domain itself doesn't have any value. It's the archived discussion of many years that's worth anything. Even that can be scraped and archived if needed. Esp if the current owners starts being difficult.

On a related note. Does anyone know if the original CCC Archive has a download zipped dump, or do I need to run a scrapper on it?
https://www.stmintz.com/ccc/index.php

The ongoing issue users from specific countries not being able to access the site is also so annoying. Esp its such a simple fixable issue.
smatovic
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by smatovic »

I proposed to set up a kind of registered society, a legal entitity, to own and run old/new TC forum and offered to the founders to do the tech, webprogramming+DB+Linux. I mentioned that my local chess club around the corner (Union 1871) has ~70 active members and gets thing done as a registered society, so it is really up to us TC members. A registered society can collect fees of its members, receive donations, or contact sponsors, to pay the server fees.

I offered to do the tech, there is a demo running for new TC, the tech is not the issue:

https://computerchess.club/
user: guest
pw: guest1234

I proposed to Chris the following tech path if a deal with shop/Quentin is incoming, a stagewise approach:
Some stuff for later when deal is incoming and it is about moving to a new/own
server.

DB:
I estimate the database to be ~1M posts with avg. 1KB, so <= 1GB unpacked, this
is too much to be imported via an webinterface, hence you will need console
access (root server access) on the server to import the DB directly, therefore
a simple webspace won't suit, you need a root server, or virtual root server,
with root/console/shell access.

Traffic/Load:
I do not have web-server traffic numbers, only know we have currently ~100
views on average per post, this does not sound that much, hence I assume the
TC members themselves do not cause that much traffic, but the crawlers, bots,
spiders and scrapers out there. Thus I suggest a stagewise approach for the
new TC server:

Server:
1. start small, virtual private server with root access, exclude crawlers
completely
2. include crawlers, but limit the # requests/second/client, monitor how
much traffic and load we can handle, upgrade the server package
if nessecary
3. depending on 2., consider a CDN, content delivery network (Cloudflare,
Akamai), to handle the traffic/load via proxy in front of actual server

Limit Crawlers, Bots, Spiders, Scrapers:
1. robots.txt -> exclude or limit # requests
2. Apache mod-qs -> limit requests per client, filter attacks
3. TCP/IP -> there are ways to harden a Linux on TCP/IP level

Cos I suggest to upgrade the server package by demand a Cloud provider with
OpenStack technology would suit, there are local ISP out there, I suggest to
rent a sever located under the same jurisdication as the registered society
is, here in Hamburg Germany we have for example Artfiles as OpenStack Cloud
provider, they offer 1 single core to 32 core Cloud server, starting with
~10 euros monthly:

https://www.artfiles.de/cloud/af-stack/ ... ipv4=false

Jurisdicaton:
To run a forum with ~3600 registered members involves several EU laws applying,
depending on jurisdication you have to take care of things like:

- Trademark
- Copyright
- Imprint
- Cookies
- Data Protection
- Right to be forgotten/deleted
- Hate-speech (CTF)

With increasing user numbers/daily visits the forum will be considered as a
tele-service-provider and additional laws start to apply.

I could figure out some laws which would apply in EU or Germany for running a
online community with less than 10K users, but it would be nice if there is a
person which takes this kind of job as permanent duty, not me.


Generally, I think this all is handable by a small, motivated team.
As far as I got it, the current blocker is shop/Quentin, he might be currently out of country on vacation, dunno how far the founders developed the idea with the registered society to own and run old/new TC.

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Srdja
smatovic
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by smatovic »

From the demo forum:
https://computerchess.club/viewtopic.php?t=21
admin wrote: Regarding CCC and TalkChess history and legal status:
guest wrote:Fri Jun 09, 2023 11:33 am The prepossessor of the shop (IcdChess), Schwartz, made a deal (contract?) with the CCC founders as site/hosting sponsor, in ~1997, when computer chess engines were of commercial interest. The current shop (ChessUSA - Your Move Chess & Games) has barely any chess software in stock, it is a chess set seller in the US.

The first incarnation of CCC ran under http://www.icdchess.com/ from 1997 to 2006 with custom written forum by shop, the second under http://talkchess.com from 2006 on with phpBB as forum software.

It seems the TalkChess domain itself is now property of the shop (ChessUSA - Your Move Chess & Games), where Quentin is the company president. The content might belong to the public domain/users, but that does not imply that the .sql database itself, and website, is a free giveaway IMHO.

I guess it really does not pay off to take such a thing to court, maybe try to find a kind of gentlemen agreement first.
See also: https://www.chessprogramming.org/CCC
...if we do not set up a registered society, where the community owns and runs CCC long term, we will just repeat the errors of the past IMHO.

--
Srdja
chrisw
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by chrisw »

smatovic wrote: Fri Jun 09, 2023 8:10 pm From the demo forum:
https://computerchess.club/viewtopic.php?t=21
admin wrote: Regarding CCC and TalkChess history and legal status:
guest wrote:Fri Jun 09, 2023 11:33 am The prepossessor of the shop (IcdChess), Schwartz, made a deal (contract?) with the CCC founders as site/hosting sponsor, in ~1997, when computer chess engines were of commercial interest. The current shop (ChessUSA - Your Move Chess & Games) has barely any chess software in stock, it is a chess set seller in the US.

The first incarnation of CCC ran under http://www.icdchess.com/ from 1997 to 2006 with custom written forum by shop, the second under http://talkchess.com from 2006 on with phpBB as forum software.

It seems the TalkChess domain itself is now property of the shop (ChessUSA - Your Move Chess & Games), where Quentin is the company president. The content might belong to the public domain/users, but that does not imply that the .sql database itself, and website, is a free giveaway IMHO.

I guess it really does not pay off to take such a thing to court, maybe try to find a kind of gentlemen agreement first.
See also: https://www.chessprogramming.org/CCC
...if we do not set up a registered society, where the community owns and runs CCC long term, we will just repeat the errors of the past IMHO.

--
Srdja
Need to set up something, that's for sure. Someone should register something, preferably in English, and explain to everybody, how the something is in 'community hands'. Presumably have an online AGM, where people can vote, and the chairing team are then mandated to continue keeping on until next year. etc. Surely somebody here likes bureaucracy enough to start it off. I wrote the charter and the shop contract last time, not sure that I really want to do all that again. But, anyway ....
smatovic
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by smatovic »

chrisw wrote: Fri Jun 09, 2023 8:35 pm [...]
Need to set up something, that's for sure. Someone should register something, preferably in English, and explain to everybody, how the something is in 'community hands'. Presumably have an online AGM, where people can vote, and the chairing team are then mandated to continue keeping on until next year. etc. Surely somebody here likes bureaucracy enough to start it off. I wrote the charter and the shop contract last time, not sure that I really want to do all that again. But, anyway ....
I get it, it is quite some paper work, at least here in Germany, and you have to get some people together etc., if you and Ed and Thorsten, the remaining founders, are out of this idea, then I would make a call to other TC members out there for action, maybe a team Germany, team Netherlands and team US/UK...and team gets then the blessing (legitimization) of the founders, or alike. But the short/quick way, guy XY owns domain and runs forum won't last long IMO.

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Srdja
smatovic
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Re: Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name

Post by smatovic »

From the demo forum:
https://computerchess.club/viewtopic.php?t=19
guest wrote:
guest wrote: Re: on talkchess from the thread "Crowd funding initiative to get our hands on the talkchess domain name"
forum3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=82146
...
A registered society can collect fees of its members...
I hesitate to say it but, fees could be a deal breaker for those who vote no!

It is intended stage wise, no fees for forum members, but fees for society members, you can register on forum for free, if you want to go further, you become a society member and pay a fee...if we set such a thing up.
The society would own the domain, set up the Charta, and run the server, the society members (open to everybody) elect the society board, the registered forum members would elect the forum moderators to run the forum, something like this.

--
Srdja