Some of you may be offended that we have membership rules. Frankly, we're not happy about having them. The world would be brighter and happier if everyone played nicely and shared their sandbox toys. Unfortunately, anyone over the age of seven understands that not everyone will share, or stop calling names, or behave politely. In those cases, it's better to have rules laid out beforehand, so everyone knows what behavior is considered acceptable and what is not. Our fondest wish for SFF Net is that we never have to refer to these rules (or refer you to them) again.
The doctrine of "fair use," although often needing teams of lawyers to work out the details, is a fairly simple concept. You may quote small portions of a work as part of a review. You may quote portions of a newsgroup post in your reply to that post.
Deliberate misquoting, or quoting out of context so as to give a false impression of the original author's intent, is not allowed. You should give proper attribution for all quotations.
Anything posted in a public-access newsgroup on SFF Net may be freely quoted in other public or private newsgroups, as long as the above guidelines are followed.
Anything posted in a private-access newsgroup on SFF Net may not be quoted, directly or indirectly, outside the newsgroup hierarchy in which the quotation first appeared, without the author's explicit permission. Information in private-access newsgroups may not be distributed by email, reposting, or other methods.
Newsgroup posters, email senders, and web page maintainers are assumed to hold copyright to the things they post, email, or display on a web page. SFF Net retains the so-called "compilation copyright" pertaining to newsgroups and web pages.
Note: Hosting a site for someone else (or another company, group, organization) within your site is considered business use.
Newsgroup posts must be non-commercial, except in newsgroups specifically designated for advertising.
Your email privacy is very important to SFF Net. We do not monitor the contents of your email, and access to your mailbox is very carefully controlled. Tech support will examine your mailbox only in case of system problems or at your request. Logs are kept only for the purposes of resolving system problems and/or generating statistics on the overall load and performance of the mail system. SFF Net shall not reveal personal information about a member to any individual other than that member without a specific court order.
Incoming mail and mailbox maintenance
SFF Net employs a custom mail program, SMTPFS, that handles aliasing, spam filtering, embedded script disarming, attachment renaming, mailbox limits, and removal of old mail. Most aspects SMTPFS may be adjusted on a user-by-user basis (see the Member Services page for links to controlling your email box).
SMTPFS will automatically block incoming mail that is (a) malformed, having incomplete or invalid headers; (b) from sites that have spammed us in the past; or (c) that contains known spam markers. Users may not turn this automatic filtering off for their accounts; automatic filtering is system-wide.
SMTPFS uses various rules and lists of criteria, somewhat the same way a virus-protection program identifies viruses by their electronic signatures. The rules and lists are updated continuously to reflect the nature of the incoming email. If you believe a rule is incorrectly rejecting your email, please write to tech support and tell us about it.
Warning: SFF Net can accept no responsibility for mail lost due to server problems, connection problems, or spam filtering. Use of the SFF Net service constitutes agreement to imdemnify and hold harmless SFF Net for any loss, financial or otherwise, caused by undelivered mail.
SFF Net does not permit its servers to be used for sending spam or other unwanted email (as specified below). Anyone receiving unwanted email from SFF Net should forward a copy of the email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will take prompt action.
The following types of email are not permitted:
If you commit any of the email abuses listed above, we will close your account. You may or may not get a first warning. We take email abuse very seriously.
We will delete blatantly illegal pictures, and anything else that in our judgment causes problems. This isn't a Constitutional issue; we'll decide as we see fit. Try not to let the matter come up. We don't police your pages, or peek into your directories regularly. Pretty much the only time we'll get involved in your page's content is if we receive a complaint.
SFF Net is designed and run primarily for the benefit of "those who like to read" -- which is why our emphasis is on reading, writing, publishing, and other aspects of genre fiction. We understand that in the course of normal conversation, the topic may range wide and far. This is perfectly acceptable. People who like to read like to do other things, too, and therefore like to talk about them. However, we reserve the right to decide what's appropriate for the server.
Any Basic member (or above) may have a personal newsgroup (sff.people.yourname). A personal newsgroup is for the newsgroup host to interact with others about their daily lives, their favorite things, their activities, family, interests, hobbies, and so forth. A personal newsgroup is a virtual living room. Personal newsgroups should not be commercial, or for advertisments, or dedicated to things that are not about the newsgroup owner or SFF Net's primary focus of genre fiction.
For example, if you sew, overhaul engines, or train horses, and you and your guests want to talk about these things in your personal newsgroup, that's fine -- but the newsgroup should be about you, not the activity.
We have general-topic newsgroups for group discussions that aren't related to individuals. For example, the sff.games hierarchy is where people can talk about games with other gamers, while the sff.publishing hierarchy is for discussions about publishing. Upon request, and if we deem the general topic is of interest to SFF Net as a whole, we will create new hierarchies for general discussions.
We do not police the newsgroups, review or pre-approve posts, or even look at all the posts regularly. If someone complains, we'll look at the situation. If we happen to notice a problem while wandering by, we may say something. Otherwise, the staff are just members of SFF Net.
The following things are tacky, and may be subject to action if we receive a complaint or notice them while wandering through:
Some newsgroups have special rules. For example, the sff.workshop.critters group requests that no manuscripts and no critiques be posted in that group. Fair enough. Please abide by the posted FAQ for each group. (A FAQ is considered official once it's been posted in the sff.admin.just-the-faqs newsgroup.)
We can, and will, delete newsgroups or individual posts from time to time. Groups that that don't fit in with SFF Net's genre-fiction focus, or that duplicate existing groups, may quietly disappear. We may also delete any group that hasn't had a post in sixty days. Any SFF Net member is welcome to restart a group.
Upon noticing, we will delete these kinds of posts:
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