Getting Drew, the new owner, to agree that all banned users should be invited back was the best I could do.
No one has been able to convince Drew to keep old content free and open. It is a shame and I completely understand how you feel Andrew. You put your soul into RG.
I don't think this is good enough. The color forum and the MF forum were both destroyed by Rob's banning - in particular most of the experts are simply gone from the color forum, and inviting us to pay to give advice is not exactly helpful.
Let's face it, for people like Andrew and me, giving forum advice is a sympatico way of advertising your abilities and the fact that you are easy to work with, but getting charged to be allowed to do so is a bit over the top. Paying to be in a forum as an expert is a bit like paying to be a club stripper in the hope that you will then get custom for private dances !
It may be time for us to draw the consequences of Rob's actions - I think it's time we thought about why we should be building value for the new owners, and what we expect from them.
Corporations who sell stuff (eg Adobe, Microsoft, Hasselblad) may find it worthwile to sponsor the new RG forum as after-sales provided it has restrictive rules .
Last not least, there is the matter of author's rights, as distinct from copyright - in europe we have this concept- I agree that RG had the right to sell access to posts, and license those rights to access or reproduction, but he did not have the right to remove banned author's names from posts as he has done. Would you agree to posting pictures submitted by banned members as "former member's image" ? Inviting members back is nice, but the new "owners" should first stick their names back on the stuff they authored.