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Today is World Backup Day (worldbackupday.com)
48 points by pinwale on Mar 31, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 43 comments

The legal issues behind this were posted here a few days ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5449226

The original blog post was removed (for legal reasons?), here is the cached version of it - http://goo.gl/E1gKN

I can explain. It was just a misunderstanding with Backupify! Backupify is cool. The name was trademarked because some shady companies were creating ransomware/shitty software and using World Backup Day to promote it. The lawyer was just overzealous with the stupid notices. :( I apologized to Rob about the other day.

But anyone can use the name! We just wanted to protect our visitors. I am just a college student and the site was hand-coded & designed by this awesome redditor who just graduated highschool.

hmm, though I question, who decided that is a the world backup day, its still is clear that it doesn't matter much, just like many other XYZ days that I don't follow.

But I don't see the need of legal actions around such a thing.

It was an idea from a reddit thread. I getting hammered in this thread, and I don't if anyone can see this. but the Backupify thing was a misunderstanding. It's okay to use World Backup Day!

I had some trouble with scammy companies and I wanted to protect people from thinking we were endorsing them. That's all

I'm not sure what the misunderstanding is. Didn't you issue a trademark on a community created idea and then hire a lawyer to enforce it? even if that lawyer made moves not authorized directly by you, this whole incident has a bad taste to it.

It was just supposed to be monitoring for some scammy companies and she got overzealous and sent a letter to Backupify (they are awesome and definitely not scammy). The lawyer said the best way to stop scammy companies would be to trademark it, I'm just a college student so I (unwisely) let them take care of it. Plus it was just an unnecessarily scary letter-not an legal action.

I just didn't want people to mess up their computer because they downloaded something that seemed to be endorsed us (fyi, we don't endorse anyone). That's all.

The original post said that they contacted you through the site you put up, and that you requested sponsorship ranging between $40k and $400k to be associated with this "holiday". That doesn't sound like you were just trying to protect public interest (which is not clear why you would think it is you who should say who can use that name or not).

That was some proposed advertising packages on reddit plus a couple other things-I didn't handle the advertising. I'm really tired and sorry.

I just wanted want a nice event for everyone. :(

So which non-profit are you donating the sponsorship fees to?

from the sound of it, it is over, gone in the past. Mistakes happen, lets not publicly rip his clothes (lol). Sounds like he is sorry and its over. I hope so at least.

ah then its okay, don't worry if someone says BS about you. As long as you are right in your place, stay confident. It will only hurt, if you take it that way, just don't.

I can freaking declare this as the 'LOVE RIKA DAY' :P who cares about it anyway? if someone does, then good!

Thanks! I really appreciate that. It's just difficult to see the reaction here compared to happy reaction on Twitter and facebook. :) Your comment was nice to hear.

Backupify didn't take the post down for legal reasons. We took it down because I talked to the founder of World Backup Day and he explained it was all a misunderstanding.

As a tech company CEO who has to deal a lot with lawyers, I'm not surprised this happened. Most of us in tech view lawyers as a necessary evil to be used sparingly. Lawyers often view themselves as protectors of original ideas. They often don't understand the social structure in which most techies operate.

So, I'm sure as a 20 something college student who hasn't experienced this yet, you lean on authority. If you have a bad experience with the first World Backup Day and someone tells you lawyers can prevent that, then you go and find a lawyer. The right thing to do would have been to use the community to police it and point out the scammers, but it's hard to understand the dynamics of these interactions until you have been through them.

Let me just say that Backupify supports World Backup Day, and intends to be a sponsor sometime in the future. We are on good terms with the founder, and I think his attorney was just a bit overzealous with enforcement.

My expectation and understanding of the future is that World Backup Day will belong to the community, and anyone will be able to discuss it, but to be a formal sponsor and be listed on the WBD site will be a paid option. I think that sounds fine.

Waaaay too commercialized.

It's like as if Pi day was brought to you by Wolfram Mathematica with a sprinkle of MatLab coupons.

(edit) MathLab -> MatLab

Sorry to nitpick: MatLab, sans the h, it's matrix lab, not mathematics lab…

Wait a minute, didn't it start out of a Reddit thread a couple of years ago?

It did. Now a company called 614a ltd claim they have the legal rights to the name and collect money from sponsors for it.

Umm...it's just a legal vehicle for my projects. I'm just a student. (fyi, it's the area code for Columbus!)

Yep! Well, companies were going to exploit it anyways. I thought why not at least screen them before.

I'm just a college student in Ohio and the site was coded & designed by a guy who just graduated high school in Australia.

I'm not convinced that "screening them before" should quite extend to the level of "sponsorship fees" mentioned here: http://goo.gl/E1gKN

That was for a proposed advertising package for reddit.com. That definitely isn't coming to me.

Why doesn't anyone believe me? I live in my parent's house and I got a broken car. I love HN because it helped inspire me to do something. That's all. I'm almost crying here. :'(

Please call me at 330.647.6245 if you don't believe me.

Remove sponsors from the site and you will be bathed in HN appreciation and support.

I'd imagine that you're suffering because the community in general is a bit skeptical about trademark enforcement issues, and the pump was primed with that Backupify snafu.

I just wanted to protect my visitors. Companies wouldn't listen to me when they found out I was student. I hope everyone understands that. I'm just a guy in the Rust Belt who wanted to do something for the community. The designer/coder is just a kid who graduated from highschool. I want people to think our their data. Not to be the center of things. :(

The reason is that people are mad at you is that you took something that was an impromptu community thing and trademarked it[1], then seemingly ask a lot of money for sponsorship. Given that the site exists for promotion only, people are going to think you've co-opted the ideas of others to make a lot of money for yourself.

The "right" way to have done this would be to form a non-profit and then be accountable for the money raised, however I don't really see the need for raising money where the only cost is a simple website. The commercialization is what leaves a bad taste.

[1] http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4001:dn...

I'm really sorry about everything, but I do want to say the virtually all of the work and promotion was done by me and my friend in the beginning three years ago. (I'm hesitant to bring my friend's name in this thread even though he is an awesome designer/dev who just graduated from highschool and deserves to be recognized. Email me if you like his stuff!)

I learned my lesson. I don't know too much about legal stuff so I'll look into making non-profit. I didn't want to ask for money from people and companies were asking for sponsor World Backup Day. I thought was a nice gesture. Last year, I had a link to bone marrow registry and even had tied the message of being a "backup for a human" to get people to sign up for the registry. I wanted to do something this year, but we ran out of time to settle & create graphics for another cause.

I just wanted it to be a happy and helpful event before April Fool's Day. That is all.

I wonder if this would be a good time to mention that I think I've got my new open-source snapshot backup tool (up on Github) ready for a larger testing audience? I'm a bit nervous about promoting it too widely until I'm sure that it is stable enough, but if anyone wants to test it in a non-critical setup, I'd appreciate any feedback.

Thanks, I always forget to post the link. I've also got a Github page at www.snebu.com (this is mostly the Github auto generated web page based on the readme, with a Google Analytics stub in it so I can see if anyone is downloading it).

Just to give a bit more information, I started off with using the rsync/snapshot method (rsync to a remote drive, then cp -al to create hard links into a snapshot directory). But I didn't like that the clients needed to have root access to the backup server (yes I could resolve most of that through fancy ssh authorized_keys file scripting). Also I needed compression (was using ZFS with compression originally). So I designed "snebu" (simple network backup utility) to store compressed files on the backup server similar to how Git stores objects (using the sha1 checksum to name the files), and I keep all the metadata in an Sqlite database. That way, I have the simplicity of something like rsync, but with some of the features of the heavy-weight backup programs (like Bacula, Amanda, etc) but with a slightly easier setup.

I'm in the middle of re-writing the documentation, so I'm sort of looking for feedback on if the current docs don't quite explain things good enough.


Is it worth buying a few extra terabytes to backup? I simply don't have enough free space to even begin backing anything up.

You can get a 2 TB external HDD with USB 3.0 for $100[0]. I don't see why not.

0: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178...

I use CrashPlan, though there were some issues when I tried to restore deleted files (my fault, really).

They offer a 30-day trial. If you try it, like it enough and are willing to wait, they often have promotions for the first year (for Black Friday last year, it was a tiered discount depending on how early you signed up).

There is a promotion for World Backup Day as well (or Reddit?) 40% off. http://www.crashplan.com/backupreddit

Imagine losing all your data and thinking "dammit, I would give X of money to get my data back". Find X and decide for yourself.

Not even remotely correct.

I crash my 100k dollar car, and I think, damn, I'd give 100k to get it back. But when insuring it, I don't pay 100k for insurance! You have to take value x probability of loss to arrive at your X.

Corrected for your risk tolerance, of course. Suppose my data is worth $10k, and and there is a 1/100 chance of data loss (making those numbers up). I'd gladly pay $500 for "data loss insurance" (i.e. backups) to avoid the chance of data loss, even though $500 > (1/100)*$10k.

Just multiplying by the probability is what's known as "risk neutral" - it works and is a very good approximation when the dollar amounts amounts are small compared to your net worth. It tends not to be a good approximation when the dollar amounts are higher.

Of course, a realistic analysis would also account for the fact the the "data loss insurance" itself is probabilistic, but this is a start.

Some stuff is more important than others.

You really need to sort out something for passwords; software registrations; and logins. This is a tiny bit of backup, but it'll make life easier if your drive dies.

For $50/year you can have unlimited backup of your local drives through the various players (I use backblaze, others say good things about crashplan).

Is there a service about as cheap as Backblaze, but lets you use your own backup client, and doesn't limit which file types you can backup? I would love to find something that gave me a remote Linux account (even on a shared host), where I can put my home-grown backup package, and a half TB or so of storage.

Having that much data probably has some worth to you. 3TB external hard drives goes for only ~$120 nowadays.

Fitting that this comes a day before April Fool's

At least here in Italy, it seems to be more about 'restore' than backup.

To point out the old adage: "Amateurs backup. Pros recover." While backup day is a great reminder for folks, "make sure your backup can actually recover" day seems like the one more people would benefit from.

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