Obviously the group would never form in the first place if people had to pay for it. So the latter-day emergence of a sense of right comes from what
having invested time, energy and content into phil forum.....if you had been part of a group of friends in real life for an extended period do you really think that you would have no more right to right to decide direction than someone who everyone just met yesterday? You are the one with the long running relationship with everyone else, you are the one who has proven your worth as a friend over the long haul. You are the one who in fully invested and because you are human could not just walk away now, not the newbie.
You are the one who has earned some rights, and while they are not recognized by law failure to recognize those rights shows a failure of morality.
Robert and I have clashed on this point repeatedly: My contention is that he owning the virtual clubhouse does not give him the right to do what ever he wants. In my opinion that while he has the primary investment (by far) in a2k, and he has a duty to act in a way that takes into consideration the needs and desires of the other vested interests. Likewise, the old owner of Phil Forum had the same responsibility to the Phil Forum folks in my opinion, and did not exercise it.
However, I know one forum where the owner straight up says that he is the dictator, that it is his way or the highway, so my opinion is certainly not universally agreed to.