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CHAT: Egroups' Terms Of Service (Crying "wolf!" again)

From:Kaleissin <taliesin@...>
Date:Monday, July 17, 2000, 19:22
First of all, let me clear up some widespread confusion: conlang-l is
*NOT* hosted by egroups, egroups merely acts as one of several
web-frontends to the archives. The list is *hosted* by (a) machine(s) at (which has its own web-frontend now, at,) and before that at, and before that as a handmade alias, IIRC.

Now to the point of this mail: egroups have changed names, owners,
partners, underlying machinery, quality of service and terms of service
(see, hereafter: TOS) several times
during the years, and I have been less than pleased about that every
time, and have plagued this list with my justified indignation[*]
several times because of it. Well, here I go again:

  We don't need egroups. Let's stop using it, in fact it's bad for us.

You see, one day (when pigs fly and the Winter Olympics is held in Hell)
I hope to publish (through a publisher, the dead-tree kind)
short-stories, novels etc. based on the world, people and language that
I've been working on for almost as long as I've been able to read and
write. It is a life-long ambition of mine, one thing I'd like see happen
before I die (there are others but they're off-topic here and even less
likely to occur). This might be a goal for other subscribers to this
list as well.

The current TOS of egroups makes such dreams even more unlikely to ever
happen. Why? To quote the owner of another list (this one *hosted* on
egroups, and using many of its other features) (original at

"If the Yahoo! TOS, as they currently stand, are applied to Traveller-
Culture, it will mean that _no_publisher_will_touch_the_material_.
Period.  Because the Yahoo! TOS will mean that we _cannot_ give the
publisher first publication rights, because we cannot legally enjoin
Yahoo! from publication at their discretion."

Traveller-Culture, which have been mentioned here several times before,
is for a role-playing game setting. Fear-mongering a bit, here's another
quote from the same post that *might* be relevant to us...

"Worse, the Yahoo! TOS as they currently stand give Yahoo! the right
to modify the material - which means that they can selectively quote
out of context and present any image that they want, regardless of
the reality. With all of the bad publicity that rôle-playing has
gotten in the past, do we really want to take the risk of closed
minds getting into control of Yahoo! or eGroups, and using our own
material to undermine our shared hobby?"

Enough about the TOS. The web-frontend at is good enough for
our purposes really, as the files-area and calendar etc. aren't used.
Conlang-L is only partly webified by egroups anyway, if you compare
conlang with conculture[+]. Furthermore, the egroups of today is quite
useless as an archive of a mailinglist, which is what we need, as
searches are limited to just a few months back, sorting is limited etc.
I claim that the only things egroups has going for it is bigger archives
than at brown (can older archives be added to the brown ones, David?),
and that budding conlangers and other newbies might find this list
through egroups.

So what say ye? I say "better safe than sorry". Let's dump egroups.

[*] Anyone else remember "Bucky O'Hare" and his adventures in the
[+] What I've said here goes for conculture and all other lists hosted
on egroups as well, of course.