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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Todoni wrote:
True, usually a business has a tax burden on any monies received. However, between friends, I can legally give you a gift of up to $11,000.00 a year, and my recipient friend has no tax burden on that. (I can give friends who are a married couple
$20, 000.00 a year....but I can afford neither a single person or a couple at that rate!)

So, if someone has a server, and has costs, I suggest we send them a pm to establish a private friendship. Then I give my friend a gift of $20 to help my friend start their server, then $10 a month after to treat my friend to a cup of coffee.
My friend should have no tax burden at all.


Yes and no. First, donations aren't necessarily gifts and second; gifts have to be a one-time affair. ie. $1000/month doesn't qualify as a single $12000 annual gift. The page linked by Nalates doesn't really make that clear. Although the forms and such further linked from that page should.

Friend and CEO of a small corporation just had this issue come up. IRS would only accept one of the monthly payments as a gift: the recipients had to pay taxes on the other 11. It's possible that they were treated differently because the recipients were employees of the corporation but I don't feel like digging into the tax code right now to see.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:49 pm 
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What about people who are receiving donations for running shards in other countries?
It's income. You'd be taxed on it unless you can offset it against a business expense.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:23 pm 
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One possible way (in the US, anyway) to ameliorate the tax implications and allow multiple people to fairly contribute to the running of a shard would be to form an LLC. This would help to separate the business expenses (hosting, hardware, etc.) and the donations/fees from people's individual finances. With an LLC, the company figures out its revenue, expenses, and profits for the year, and sends the partners a K-1 form detailing their share of the gain or loss that the company made. The company doesn't pay income taxes directly; instead, each partner claims the gain or loss against their personal income and pays taxes on the money that way.

When forming the LLC, the partners each front the company with a capital investment. The share in the company that each person receives is normally commensurate with that investment (if two people form an LLC, and one fronts $1000 and the other fronts $3000, the first guy gets 25% stake in the company, and the second guy gets 75%). These proportions can be changed by further investing in the company (in the previous example, suppose after a year, the company has made a $4000 profit (!!) and therefore holds $8000 in capital, with the first guy holding a 25% stake, or $2000, and the second guy holding a 75% stake, or $6000; the first guy can invest an additional $4000 to bring his stake up to 50%), usually with the approval of the other partners.

In a profitable LLC, periodically, the company makes a disbursement of funds to the partners commensurate with the stake each partner holds; alternatively, the LLC can hire the partners as employees, pay the appropriate payroll taxes, and claim the wages as expenses, with the employees also paying income taxes on the wages.

The biggest problem with doing this, though, is that most of us don't know each other IRL, and ultimately, someone involved in an operation like this would be in charge of the money. A certain level of trust is required to make something like that work, and while I think most of us respect each other here, I don't know how pervasive that level of trust is.

One other caveat is that an LLC must keep its assets separate from the individual assets of each partner. So, if you have a personal box you want to use as a server, you have to sell or donate it to the LLC. If you mix your own assets with those of the LLC, you lose things like separation of liability between the LLC and yourself (meaning if someone sues the LLC, they could sue you personally as well).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:18 pm 
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What all this is telling me is that if you decide to take money for the shard, whether it's a one time thing or a periodic thing - then you are a business. Maybe you are a profit making business, or maybe you want to try to classify yourself as a non-profit. Geting yourself classified as non-profit for a game - that seems tricky to me, but I don't know the specifics of this - my experience with profit making companies and non-profits is with larger institutions, not small businesses. Either way, you have to do your homework and figure out how, in your part of the world, it all works. It's interesting - once you take money for something, it becomes a different world - not a bad world, just a different world.

I do know that profit/non-profit doesn't depend on how much the money you make. You can be a profit making company that doesn't happen to make money.

Personally, if I elect to pay money to play on a shard, I'm not interested in entering a partnership with someone, or in sending a PM to establish a relationship so it can be thought of as a personal gift. If I'm going to pay money I want it to be very straightforward - link on a site - I pay my money and that's that. The people taking my money get to figure out how it gets counted, from a financial perspective. That's me though - other people might have different ideas.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Here's another possibility that seems (to me, at least) to better suit the nature of our community: the co-operative.

A few standard features of co-operative ventures: resources are equally owned by all members / decision-making can be shared by all pariticipants / finances can and should be made transparent to all / services can be spread among members, with participation defraying cost of membership (think ResEng functions) / administrators can be equitably reimbursed for their greater participation.

Here's an excellent site that has tons of info on co-operative principles, how to set up a co-operative venture, and the legal pros and cons.

I'm not advocating this path, not even advising that we discuss the matter here and now - just saying it may prove a worthwhile thing to look into when and if the time comes that URU's aggregate servers are flooded with more players than a freeform volunteer community can handle.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:21 pm 
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If every body sets up their Servers the way they think is best, and then somewhere down the line get together in a "conference room" age to share notes and compare business strategies, between all the server owners you might together out do the competition.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:54 pm 
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I have to say I agree with the straight forward donation route with no expectations.

I'm not phobic like some people I've seen lately about charging money for Uru, it's just that the one thing the phobic people got right is that if your charging people expect you to have a content pipeline. If you have five or six new Ages in the background all sharing (common elements,puzzles, themes, stories) then you could be rightly expected to charge for several months, and hopefully release them into the wild for free after you recoup your money. :lol: But if you just have the top ten Fan Ages from Uru:CC people will be a bit miffed most likely and leave feeling burned when they realize that is all you have..

P.S. @ Karkadann
Love the idea of Server owners getting together in the game to discuss strategies and compair notes.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Team work,

Competition is great and it inspires one to think up something better then the next guy, but as a team I think the server owners have a better chance at a successful long lasting Uru live In the hands of the fans it will be run by the people who love the game and want to keep it running, and if we all pull our resources together ( what ever they may be) their is no telling how long we can keep the Caverns open...................

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Ok, World of Warcrack costs $15.00 per month and there is ALWAYS something to do whenever you log on, it has nice graphics, engaging content and storylines. I would pay this for something comparable.

RunEscape is free up to a certain point and if you wish to progress further you pay $5.00 per month. There is always something to do, just not necessarily fun stuff, graphics are lame, content and story are mediocre.

Kingdom of Loathing is free/donation and is worth every penny. The graphics are a joke, the storyline... IS there one? There is stuff to do for a little while every day. But hey, it's free.

So, i would be willing to pay what the game is worth to me. If it is like it was before with pretty graphics and nothing to do most of the time it should be free. No offense, but there was a lot of downtime. If it is amazingly engaging with stuff to do all the time, engaging content, and storyline as well as killer graphics, I'd pay $15.00 per month.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Yes, one of the problems in uru is that it wasn't good enough for the money. Normal players don't have fun with thinking "ah, that's the 1st time I was in kadish tolesa...", they want things to do. We need to figure out somekind of a thing which will make players stick by (other than storyline and ages). Quest maker?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:11 pm 
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Well to start with there are about 66 fan made ages in the Uru-Age-Manager would it be possible to add those to Uru Live?

You can have new age expeditions where groups of people explore the varies ages
Tours for new comers.
More marker missions. perhaps some that fly to make them more difficult to collect
An age set up to host a competition and seating for all the audience. Soccer comes to mind
Live streaming video onto a giant imager so we can have concerts.
Glitch hunting contests.
to name a few

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:03 pm 
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Karkadann wrote:
You can have new age expeditions


Do you mean new "age expeditions" or "new age" expeditions? ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Glitch hunting contests.


And that's what will draw new players?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:04 am 
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Karkadann wrote:
If every body sets up their Servers the way they think is best, and then somewhere down the line get together in a "conference room" age to share notes and compare business strategies, between all the server owners you might together out do the competition.

I agree. There should definitely be easy ways for server operators and other such people to compare notes and coordinate things (for example, technical standards), although I'm not sure if it needs its own Age (but could perhaps be hosted in various servers, to specifically show certain techniques and all).

The stranger wrote:
Yes, one of the problems in uru is that it wasn't good enough for the money. Normal players don't have fun with thinking "ah, that's the 1st time I was in kadish tolesa...", they want things to do. We need to figure out somekind of a thing which will make players stick by (other than storyline and ages). Quest maker?

A quest maker would definitely keep people in longer (to make their own stories, make tours, have races and scavenger hunts, etc.). Perhaps it could be connected together with marker missions (like perhaps having the KI get a message after it picks up certain markers/certain amounts of markers connected to the "quest" [you'd have to select the quest from some central KI register thing first to see the quest markers, and they might be marked to note which quest they are for (by color?)]).

Quote:
Well to start with there are about 66 fan made ages in the Uru-Age-Manager would it be possible to add those to Uru Live?

You can have new age expeditions where groups of people explore the varies ages
Tours for new comers.
More marker missions. perhaps some that fly to make them more difficult to collect
An age set up to host a competition and seating for all the audience. Soccer comes to mind
Live streaming video onto a giant imager so we can have concerts.
Glitch hunting contests.
to name a few

In order:

I'm pretty sure many of those Ages are going to be ported over fairly quickly (some might take longer/never be ported over due to technical issues between the UAM way of Age making and the open sourcecode).

Do you mean expeditions like the bahro glyph tours people talk about, or something else (like special group puzzles/experiences that would occur during these)?

Hmm... that could be interesting (it needs people, though, to work in the first place), especially in D'ni (to explain linking and various previous Uru events).

Do you mean the marker's moving, or markers associated with flying objects, or the avatars having to fly to get markers (any of those would add interesting twists to marker games)?

David's Journey (currently one of our Age designs includes a nice soccer [or any such game] court) comes to mind. :D

Even just sound streaming would be nice (some simple way to get a nice clear area with whatever music/sounds you need - for music events of all kinds, or for speeches). Perhaps a movie projector thing (one of those digital designs, with a computer like interface) even (we don't need the D'ni equivalent for everything).

Quote:
Quote:
Glitch hunting contests

And that's what will draw new players?

You'd be surprised :roll: - but yeah, I agree. That probably won't bring in new players or significantly make people keep coming back.

But good ideas nonetheless.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:16 am 
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all of the above, except the Marker missions I was referring to the markers flying around a few feet above the ground to make them more of a challenge to catch

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