HWG Lists Policy Rules

Mailing List Actionable Rules

| Mailing List Policy | Netiquette Guidelines |

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.

  • Outside sources may only be quoted under specified guidelines. [Explanation]
  • File attachments are not allowed on the Guild's lists. [Explanation]
  • Guild operations and related business is off-topic on all mailing lists. [Explanation]
  • Advertising of any kind is forbidden, except as noted. [Explanation]
  • Price discussions are not allowed. [Explanation]
  • "Virus warnings" and other public service announcements require explicit prior approval. [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

  1. Do not republish material from outside web sources without including the source's redistribution permission and URL for the original source page.
  2. Do not quote copyrighted material outside of fair use guidelines. Bibliographic references required for all instances of quoting copyrighted material.
  3. 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.

When posting material from a public or private source outside the Guild, include appropriate bibliographic citations or 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. Please see Quoting and Republication FAQ for information on what is allowed. Note: this document is in progress and should be available online in the near future.

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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 online server site and send a pointer to the list. You can also state you have it, and have people request it by private e-mail. E-mail client attachments are not included under this rule; please see Netiquette Guidelines for further information.

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Private Guild Business

HWG operations and procedures should not be discussed on any of the Guild's mailing lists. This specifically includes discussing a pending Governing Board motion and questioning the reasoning behind a List Guide message. The HWG provides forums for the discussion of Guild operations, and these are located at:

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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 the List Guides. We do not allow blatant sales hype and pitches. This specifically 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, soliciting members for site contributions, and 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 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. Try to adhere to the recommended .Sig length of four lines or fewer.

Job advertisements must be sent to lg-jobs@hwg.org for review. Approved posts are forwarded to HWG-Jobs by List Guide personnel. Further details about HWG-Jobs is available from http://www.hwg.org/lists/hwg-jobs/index.html.

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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, time, 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

Quoting of pricing information is equivalent to posting it yourself and will be treated as such.

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, fund raising, or other such Guild-sanctioned activities. Nor does it apply to HWG-Jobs which is used exclusively as a one-way notification of job opportunities.

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Public Service Announcements

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

Please do not post public service announcements to any of the Guild's lists. If you are unsure if your post falls into this category, please seek approval from the List Guides assigned to the pertinent list prior to posting. List relevant announcements may also be submitted to the List Guide Manager address, lg-manager@hwg.org, for posting consideration; please include the list you wish the request to be posted on. If approved these announcements will be posted by the list's staff. Posting by individual list members is prohibited.

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. If you are concerned about a potential virus threat, please contact the List Guides for the appropriate list and they will attempt to verify the message content. If warranted, the List Guides will make a public announcement to the lists. Only in rare cases would dissemination of virus information be considered appropriate for public distribution.

Some sources of reliable information about viruses:

Check these pages for general information about hoaxes perpetrated on the internet:

If you see a post on any list about viruses, do not reply to the list unless providing pertinent educational content. Send all admonishments, flames, and other related 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. 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.

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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Spam 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 or 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. This includes but is not confined to copyright violations and the discussion of warez, trading of commercial fonts and software, or discussion of ways to avoid password protection and registration codes.

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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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