Virtual Citizens Association

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living in a virtual world gives us the status of citizen there, and our rights have to be recognized and enforced.

URL = http://www.virtualcitizenship.org/

Description

"We're a group of MMORPG professionals, people who enjoy playing in online universes in general and people who advocate the use of Free Software. We strongly believe that virtual worlds should belong to all of their players. Furthermore, we believe that the players, as virtual citizens, should have the right to influence the laws governing the virtual worlds in which they live. Also, any sufficiently motivated developer should be able to realize their own dreams, by starting their own virtual world. This vision should include making all of source code, artwork, documentation and tools available to any developer as Free Software." (http://www.virtualcitizenship.org/)


Social Contract

"We, the founding members of the Virtual Citizenship Association, have created this social contract to codify our commitment to you, players, developpers and virtual citizens. We promise to abide by these values, and that the promises listed below will form the philosophy behind the Virtual Citizenship Association.


1. We will defend the rights of virtual citizens.


We consider that everyone playing or inhabiting a virtual world is a virtual citizen, with rights and duties. Too often, decisions impacting everyone's virtual life can be taken against the interest of the world residents. Privacy and individual rights can (and are!) easily dismissed, as nobody is looking over the shoulder of the local police - the world owners. Participative democracy, transparency and honesty are often only remote dreams.


We consider that our primary mission is to protect these elementary rights, and the Virtual Citizenship Association will be dedicated to have them recognized and enforced.


2. We will promote the use of Free Software in online universes.


To ensure a minimum level of transparency, we consider that online universes should be licensed as Free Software, and rely on public standard protocols. We will advocate the use of Free Software to closed source copyright holders and help freeing virtual worlds.


To tell if a work, a source code or data is Free Software, we refer to the Principles of Free Software according to Debian. We promise that all materials we will produce or acquire, including source code, data (except the personnal ones), tools and extensions, will be free according to these principles; we will use the GNU General Public License and the GNU Lesser General Public License for the code, the GNU Free Documentation License without any invariant sections for the texts and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike for 2D/3D/artwork/leveldesign data and we will help the people who create and use both Free Software and non Free Software works linked to Free online universes.


3. We consider the avatars should be the property of their respective online players and virtual citizens.

     We consider the data of a virtual citizen, located on a server as the property of the virtual citizen who created it. Every virtual citizen should be allowed to download it (for example to create a copy on another server), and also to delete it. Also, every virtual citizen should be free to exchange its data (avatars, objects, tc.) with others.
  

4. Our priorities are virtual citizens, online players and free software.


We will be guided by the needs of the virtual citizens, online players and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of the players for operation in as many different kinds of computing environments as possible. We consider it should not objected to non-free works that are intended to be used with Free online universes. We will defend the right for everyone to create new game servers, with identical data (except personal data), without any fee.


5. We will not hide problems.


We will keep our entire issues report database open for public view at all times. Reports that people file online will promptly become visible to others. When a technical issue will happen, we will quickly publish details about it, and explain the causes - all of them.


6. Our decision process will be based on participative democracy


We will elaborate, a consitution similar to the Debian project constitution, but applied to our specific case. Noticeably, two main modifications will be :

  • We would recognize that, in a online universe, all the virtual citizens are developpers ; after a completing a mentorship to ensure he knows the rules of the project, every member should be able to participate to the decision-making processes, and especially to the votes.
  • The possibility to hire full time employees, who would complete work designated by vote."

(http://www.virtualcitizenship.org/page/project_socialcontract)