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Mailing List Actionable Rules

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Breach of these rules will result in action from our List Guides, and can result in anything from a formal warning through expulsion from the Guild.

  • Do not post material without including the copyright holder's permission. [Explanation]
  • File attachments are not allowed on the Guild's lists. [Explanation]
  • Guild business is off-topic on all lists except hwg-ops. [Explanation]
  • Advertising of any kind is forbidden, except as noted. [Explanation]
  • Price discussions are not allowed, for several reasons. [Explanation]
  • Do not post "virus warnings" or other public service announcements. [Explanation]
  • The Guild lists cannot be used to attack a company or individual. [Explanation]
  • Spamming or harassing other list subscribers is grounds for removal. [Explanation]
  • The Guild's lists cannot be used for illegal purposes. [Explanation]
  • Anyone purposely abusing the lists can be removed at any time. [Explanation]

Rule Explanations

Copyrighted Material

When posting material from a public or private source outside the Guild, include appropriate notices that you are authorized to re-post this material, including the source. Failure to include such notices will result in violation of this rule, and will warrant a suspension from the lists.

All private e-mail is considered to be copyrighted by the original author. If you post private e-mail to the list, in whole or in part, you must include the author's permission to post the material publicly.

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Mail Attachments

Do not send any e-mail to the lists with file attachments. Attachments can contain viruses, and also cause an extreme waste of bandwidth. If you have something you want to make available, put it on an FTP site and send a pointer to the list. You can also state you have it, and have people request it by private e-mail.

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Guild Business

Guild business should only be discussed on hwg-ops, the mailing list specifically intended for that purpose. This includes questioning the reasoning behind a List Guide message. Also, please do not reply to or post List Guide messages on any of the Guild's mailing lists. These are done privately, and should continue to stay private. They are of no interest to the other subscribers of the lists.

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Unless specifically allowed in the list charter, we do not allow any kind of advertising messages on our mailing lists, except with previous approval of a Senior List Guide. We do not allow blatant sales hype and pitches. This includes any private or commercial postings of this nature. If you aren't absolutely sure, ask for permission first. Postings that are self-referential advertisements, promotions or misrepresentations of the posting member's affiliation with the service or product mentioned are included in this definition.

As a special note about .Sig files: as long as it is not blatantly plugging your product and does not violate other rules, such as pricing, we will allow them. Excessively large .Sigs promoting products will be cited as advertisement. Try to adhere to the recommended .Sig length of four lines or fewer.

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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, ti me, or expertise. The reasons for this ban are listed at http://www.hwg.org/resources/faqs/priceFAQ.html, and are based on the Guild's desire to avoid even the appearance of "price fixing."

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

The list above is not exhaustive; if you are unsure if a topic is appropriate for the Guild's mailing lists, please write to the appropriate List Guides and ask. A topic which may not fall under the "price fixing" ban could still be off-topic for a given Guild list, or inappropriate for other reasons as described in the Guild's rules.

The pricing guidelines above apply whether or not you specifically provide that service. For example, posting to the list that your ISP charges some amount for some service is considered a violation of these rules.

This guideline does not apply to the Guild's administrative or operational lists when discussing specifics of Guild operations, fundraising, or other such Guild-sanctioned activities.

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Public Service Announcements

Please do not post public service announcements to any of the Guild lists. If you are unsure if your post may fall into this category, please seek approval from the List Guides prior to posting to the lists.

Public service announcements would include notices about software bugs, new releases of software, seminar/conference notices, or anything that is not specifically included in the charter of the list.

Do not discuss virus/antivirus topics on any of the Guild's lists. There are numerous other sources available on the net to get this type of information.

Some sources of reliable information about viruses:

We do not want to see any more messages about the GOOD TIMES VIRUS, or its ilk. These are hoaxes. Sources of information about the GOOD TIMES VIRUS are:

Look at this page for information about the Concept MS Word virus:

Check this page for general information about hoaxes perpetrated on the internet:

Lastly, if you see a post on any list about viruses, do not reply to the list. Send all replies via private e-mail to the author.

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Using Our Lists to Attack a Company or Individual

Do not use the lists to slander or otherwise attack a Company or Individual. The Guild does not want to be involved in any litigation due to libel and slander suits. The Guild lists will not be used to air problems of this nature.

If you must ask the readers of the appropriate mailing list for advice, you may not mention company names or list URLs. Describe the situation only.

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Spams and Harassment

You may not use addresses obtained from Guild lists or Web pages to harass others or send them offensive, abusive or commercial e-mail. If you believe you have received such a message, please forward it to the List Guides with full headers for investigation.

Also, the Guild does not condone nor permit the posting of "chain letter" e-mail. These consist of pyramid scheme type of plans, or the "pass this on to everyone" e-mails.

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Posting Illegal Material

The Guild's lists may not be used to post illegal material. The Guild is incorporated in the State of Georgia, and all laws applicable will be applied.

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Purposeful Abuse of the Lists

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.

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This page maintained by lg-manager@hwg.org. Last updated on 28 August 1997.
Copyright © 1997 by the HTML Writers Guild. Please see our legal statement.