Organizing a posting policy. Is it appropriate to...

Discussion in 'Community Organization' started by PoetJC, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

    ... copy parts of other websites and forums' rules of etiquette and posting policy? For instance - TAZ has and it is quite concise and similar to the type of policy I'm trying to develop.

    Is it appropriate to copy parts of it for use on another site? What do you guys think? Are there any ethical implications to consider when doing such a thing? Would it be considered a no-no? Or would it be perfectly fine.

    I've actually shared parts of my poetry forum posting policy here at TAZ when answering others about the type of posting policy they should develop. As an inspiration of sorts. But copying verbatim...? IDK. So I wonder... It's a bit of a precarious situation when I think of developing a policy - when a section I've just created reads so very similar to what TAZ and a few other forums have.

    Anyway... Just wondering what you guys think.


  2. Gus

    Gus Enthusiast

    I'd ask before just taking something word for word, but if you use the general idea and put it in your own words... That seems fine.
  3. Maddox

    Maddox Moderator

    Almost all T&C are similar with extracts taken from the pool, the differences generally lie in specifics to the items/services that the T&C apply to. Also, some are not as strict or detailed as others. The important wording is left to the end where most say that 'these T&C are subject to change without notice and may not cover all situations, in this instance the decision of an administrator/owner will be binding and final without recourse'. That's the bit that clinches it all lol.

  4. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

    Yeah... That's what I'm thinking. I know some people *would* copy word-for-word and have seen it done before. I wouldn't though. I was just thinking out loud I suppose, wondering if people would say doing such a thing is akin to plagiarism and unethical. I wonder what The SandmanThe Sandman thinks actually...

    Yeah - very similar. And probably shouldn't be copied word-for-word because different niches will require different policy. And depending on the strictness of the moderation, would make quite a difference from board to board. And hmmm. I've written a section about "Administrator Directive Is Law" ... But haven't thoguht about the line regarding the policies not covering all situations - but will add something similar.

    A section I have on my poetry forum might actually suffice:
    Ah... Kinda nice closing lines :p

  5. Gus

    Gus Enthusiast

    Probably but then again this is the internet. Not much people being held accountable for not having good ethics. Its the wild wild west out here. :p
  6. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

    Frankly, in 99% of cases I don't think they would know or care....

    That said - its usually better to take a rule and just put it in your own words, tailored to your particular community.
  7. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    Policies are procedures formed from needs and organisation. As long as the text is not copypasted or identical, it should be fine to consider other sites' policies as a reference to build yours on top of.

    No 2 sites are exactly identical, that's why basing your policies/TOS on another's without even adaptation to your site's specificities is bad. Cloning the site-specific unique parts of other sites' TOS is particularly offensive, as it suggests no thought whatsoever went into creating the TOS and there was a deliberate intention to clone them for some reason. A webmaster would be excused for believing the reason was intentions to dishonorably compete with the preexisting site.
  8. agandl

    agandl Fan

    I think its fine to use another site as a model but would always ask and only use if the author agrees. If you wanted to copy and paste then I think one should not only ask but, assuming permission is given, also acknowledge one's source.

    From my experiences on the internet most people are only to pleased to help but you do get the odd one who doesn't want to.
  9. redlake

    redlake Aspirant

    i rlly wouldn't worry about it no one would sue you HOWEVER fun fact a lady sued mac donalds for spilling cofee on herself :D

    in all seriousness i would ask but i highly doubt anything bad would happen if you used the template honestly probably the forum where you copied the rules copied from someone else.
  10. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Senior Citizen

    I wish I was surprised to see no one else pointed out what the real issue was: copyright infringement. If you copy something from one website and paste it on another, it's a copyright violation. It is so easy to copy what you want and paste it into... a PM or email to the site owner asking permission to use that copy. I can remember, in 20+ years, being told NO only once. Of course, I don't ask to copy creative content, but have asked many times for content similar to what you are referring to.

    All the times I have been asked if I would consent to letting someone copy something from my site I can count on one hand. I have discovered my content on other sites a bunch of times. I've never used a DMCA to combat copyright violations, but have asked people to remove my content. That seems to work most of the time.
  11. Starskull

    Starskull Enthusiast

    I think if they are generic in terms. Yes it is ok. Things like forum rules or a TOS.
    Yet if it is a custom part then no. Like formatting and theme and style and all that jazz.
  12. NickCF

    NickCF I come from a land Down Under...

    A few years ago I completely re-wrote our ToS. It's a couple of thousand words, and very specific.

    Last year I happened to click on one of our members' sig links to their own forum (different niche) and what do I see but my ToS almost entirely copy and pasted onto their site! That's copyright infringement and I asked him to take it down. He complied.

    The issue as I see it is I spent many weeks working on the ToS, both in writing and consultation with others. You can just take it and use it as you see fit, especially without asking first.

    It shouldn't be too hard to create you're own ToS. Yes, take inspiration from others, but seriously, it's such a douche move copying someone else's.

    Ironically, what he copied included our copyright and privacy policies. LOL.
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