HTML Writers Guild Guides Interpreting AR

Interpreting the Actionable Rules

Copyrighted Material / Private E-mail Postings

All material from public sources such as web sites, books, magazines, etc. may be quoted provided they adequately identify their original source and abide by fair use practices (in other words not reproducing the entire work).

Email from either an individual or company source is considered private email copyrighted by the original author, whether it is claimed as such or not. Posting private e-mail messages whether in whole or in part to the lists without some form of written (e-mail) permission is forbidden.

Email from a public (non-HWG) mailing list is considered public material and can be quoted provided adequate referencing is provided (e.g. list, date, author). Posts quoting private e-mail to the list, in whole or in part, must include the author's permission to post the material publicly

Mail Attachments

Due to their capacity to include viruses and their waste of bandwidth and interference with digest mail, posting of attachments is prohibited. E-mail client attachments such as VCard files are not included under this rule.

Guild Business

This includes discussion of all HWG programs and their operation. It naturally includes questioning the reasoning behind a public INFO post or any List Guide action.


We do not allow any kind of advertising messages on our mailing lists, except with previous approval.

Advertising covers:

  • private or commercial postings containing blatant sales hype and pitches.
  • Postings that are self-referential advertisements,
  • soliciting members for site contributions,
  • promotions or misrepresentations of the posting member's affiliation with the service or product mentioned are included in this definition.

This does not include a member suggesting their services in response to a member enquiry.

Advertisements will only be approved if the content is appropriate to the list charter and of interest to members. If approved these announcements are posted as INFO posts by the List Guide. Posting by individual list members is prohibited.

As a special note about .Sig files: as long as it is not blatantly plugging a product or service and does not violate other rules, such as pricing, we will allow them. Excessively large .Sigs promoting products or services will be cited as advertisement.

Discussing Prices

Pricing discussions are not allowed on the HTML Writers Guild's mailing lists. In this context, "pricing" refers to any mention of monetary figures related to what companies or individuals charge, or may charge, for their services, products, time, or expertise related to web design. This ban covers the following types of pricing discussion:

  • Products or services you are selling or are considering selling
  • Web design services
  • Graphic design services
  • Web hosting services
  • Programming of web-based applications (Java, cgi, browsers, etc.)
  • Internet access, mail list hosting, and other ISP services
  • Website advertising rates ("banner ads", etc.)
  • Internet consulting and training
  • Salaries of webmasters and other web professionals

Quoting of pricing information is equivalent to the original poster posting it.

Public Service Announcements

Public Service Announcements, including notices about software bugs, new releases of software, seminar/conference notices, or anything that is not specifically included in the charter of the list, are not permitted on the lists. Members unsure if their post falls into this category are encouraged to contact the List Guides.

PSAa will only be approved if the content is appropriate to the list charter and of interest to members. If approved these announcements are posted as INFO posts by the List Guide. Posting by individual list members is prohibited.

In addition, virus/antivirus topics are also off topic on any of the Guild's lists. Members concerned about a potential virus threat, may contact List Guides. In such cases the List Guide on duty should attempt to verify the message content. If warranted, an INFO announcement can be sent to the lists. Only in rare cases would dissemination of virus information be considered appropriate for public distribution.

Using Guild Lists to Attack a Company or Individual

This rule does not include flames. It is reserved for instances where the content of the post is such that the individual or company under discussion may be harmed in their ability to continue to survive as a business entity or where their ability to conduct business is put in jeopardy. This includes accusations of illegal and unethical activity.

SPAM and Harassment

The use of addresses obtained from Guild lists or Web pages to harass others or send repeated offensive, abusive or commercial e-mail is forbidden. This includes chain letter e-mail, pyramid scheme types of plans, or the "pass this on to everyone" e-mail

Posting Illegal Material

Material considered illegal includes (but is not limited to)

  • discussion of warez and how to obtain pirate software
  • discussion of how to circumvent software protection and limits on trialware
  • violation of copyrighted such as trading fonts or images
  • divulging passwords and logins.

Purposeful Abuse of the Lists

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Blatant abuse of the list,
  • open refusal to abide by guidelines,
  • willful incitement of on-list chaos.

Our lists are privately owned and maintained by the HTML Writers Guild. Any individual intentionally or maliciously causing harm to the equipment, software, or processes operating the Guild's services, or to individuals using the Guild's services, shall be in violation of this rule. Any such activity may result in civil and/or criminal penalties as prescribed by laws applicable in Atlanta, Georgia.

What's in the violation notice to the member

The official notice sent to a member for violating one of these rules should have the following message header:

INFO: <members email address> Subject header
e.g. INFO: <j.smith@email.address> Black backgrounds

The post should contain:

  • a pointer to the Mailing List Policy <>,
  • notification of which actionable rule they have violated,
  • the rationale for it's inclusion as such,
  • notification of non-compliance consequences, and
  • contact information.
  • a copy of the post containing the violation

This letter should be as short as possible.

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This page is maintained by Last updated on 12 August 1998.
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