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From the very start, the creator of MeetFighters envisioned the site as a non-commercial project. The mission of the site was creating a personals site where the main purpose is allowing people interested in fighting to meet. I took over the site with the promise of keeping the site true to its original purpose.
What is wrong with commercial interest? Nothing in principle. Our societies are largely built on "enlightened self-interest", aren't they? On the other hand, too much of it can compromise the original mission of the site. We could put up huge banner ads. We could make deals with video production companies. We could limit what functionality is available for free, keeping basic features locked away behind a paywall. We don't do any of these things. We are not raking in the dough, because we believe that doing so would compromise our goal. Donations keep the site afloat, for which we are grateful to our membership. You guys rule! :)
So, our site's mission is not being compromised by commercial interest on our part. But what about commercial interests of others?
We just had an incident in which our site, a free, non-commercial project, was threatened with litigation by a company that was using our site (for free) to promote certain events and services and were claiming that we were interfering with their business. Some profiles were deleted. We are not at the liberty to disclose any details.
We maintain that the site's purpose is allowing fighters to meet. By its nature, the site is for personal, non-commercial use. My question to the community is this: What shall we do about commercial use? Up until now, we have taken a "live and let live" approach and allowed people to link to their commercial homepages, promote commercial events, offer paid services, etc. We have seen no harm being done to our site and figured that some of our community might find these services useful. So, why not? This is why. We don't want to be sued. We are not set up as facilitators of other people's business and have no interest in it anyhow. We certainly do not have the capacity to deal with the fallout.
(On a related note, the Events page is removed until further notice.)
Open question to all members: what are your thoughts on this? Your votes (multiple choice) and comments are welcome.
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