Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

First of all, THANKS to Six Apart and the community of users for the support. Creative Commons and WITNESS can really use the money and we appreciate it VERY much. A portion of the donations by users for permanent Live Journal accounts was donated to RAINN, EFF, Creative Commons and WITNESS during a recent campaign.

Unfortunately, we failed to disclose my involvement in Creative Commons and WITNESS when Six Apart was conducting the campaign. I'm the chairman of Creative Commons and a board member of WITNESS. I apologize to everyone for this oversight. I think that transparency is an essential part of everything we stand for and it really is unfortunate that we didn't handle this properly.

I would like to make it clear that while I donate time and money to WITNESS and Creative Commons, I pay all of my expenses and have never charged anything to either of these organizations... so while it doesn't make the lack of disclosure OK, I don't personally benefit financially from either of these donations from Six Apart.

Anyway, thanks again for everyone's support of Six Apart, Creative Commons, WITNESS and other organizations that I love.

BTW, Valleywag posted about the lack of disclosure.

UPDATE: BTW, my wiki profile probably is the best list of affiliations that I have if you're interested.


You must understand that it seems incredibly suspect that this 'oversight' occurred when a large portion of your customers are questioning the actions of Six Apart and getting ignored. Customer relations are horribly bad at the moment, and there seems to be no accountability for the employees actions.

Forgetting to acknowledge that you are an active chairman and board member of two of the charities just made matters worse, regardless of any personal gains you may or may not receive.

Erinys, I realize that it "looks bad" to some and that is why I apologized.

One thing that I did not mention is that Six Apart has been a supporter of CC longer than me. MT had integrated CC before I joined the board. Six Apart has also done campaigns and donated to CC in the past. I think the oversight was an honest error. It doesn't require much sleuthing to figure out the connection, but yes... we should have made it more clear.

I am a board member of WITNESS. I suppose that should have been disclosed as well.

As for the EFF... I have supported them in the past and will sign petitions when they are engaged in activities that help protect our rights. The extent of my formal involvement with the EFF is that I've joined their facebook group.

Also, while we're at it... financially, I'm just an investor of a company that is an investor in Six Apart. I'm also the honorary chairman of Six Apart Japan, which Six Apart has an interest in, but which is not directly involved in LiveJournal as far as I know of. Also, Six Apart really doesn't get anything out of "being nice" to me. I'm not anyone's boss there, just a friend and a indirect investor.

So again. I realize it looks bad and that we should have said something, but I've read some posts that have exaggerated the extent of my involvement in both Six Apart and the charities.

Considering you donated to WITNESS, would you mind supporting the virtual FREE BURMA campaign on Oct 4, 2007 ?

It was started by European bloggers to show support for the peaceful protesters in Burma.

More info in various languages can be found here...