Policy on libel and copyright violation

Draft Policy

(This policy reflects current operating intention. Comment is welcome.)

coldfusioncommunity.net (CFC, this blog) is a service provided by Infusion Institute, Inc. (III), a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation, created to empower the community of interest, to support cold fusion research (which would include confirmation or disconfirmation). CFC depends on volunteer labor, at this point, for administration and the provision of content. III and CFC cannot be responsible for review of content, until and unless it develops an official review process. It is thus a service provider without direct responsibility for content.

In this context, content contributed here by the public is the responsibility of the author or uploader of the content. This includes content provided by an administrator here.

The blog is set to require administrative approval of the initial comments of a user. The user’s email is a required field in a comment submission. This email is not at present verified, but an administrator here may request verification by email to the address. For practical reasons, this cannot be routinely done at this point, but it can be done if a legal issue arises.

The approving administrator is personally responsible for approving blatantly libelous comments or other submissions. However, if the administrator errs, correction shall be according to the process outlined here. No administrator here is individually and personally required to take any action; responsibility to respond to complaints as detailed on this page is a collective, community responsibility. (At this point, this is the responsibility of Abd ul-Rahman Lomax, because there is no other active administrator with full privileges. There is a backup site administrator in the event Abd becomes unavailable.)

As a volunteer activity, “prompt response” may not be immediate, as the blog may be absent attention for extended periods of time. Attention may be inferred from administrator activity on the blog, but reasonable time for response to a complaint must still be allowed.

There is no site or administrative responsibility for alleged libel or copyright violation absent complaint as described here. (Individuals are always immediately responsible for libel, however. As to copyright violation, this site operates under a generic claim of fair use, subject to the provisions of U.S. copyright law for such, and subject to take-down requests per complaint as outlined here.)

Complaint may be filed by making a Reply comment on an offending post, page, or comment. If comment is not enabled on that post or page, it may be made on any page on the blog. A complaining party is advised to keep a record of the complaint, a screen-shot showing it was submitted would be adequate.

(Registration here is not required for the posting of comments. An email address must be provided. If that address is invalid, the user has no guarantee of rights.)

If the complaint is persistently rejected by the software (which can happen if the antispam filter is triggered, though this is rare with legitimate email addresses, the most common cause of rejection for otherwise acceptable comments would be multiple URLs included in the comment. One or two should be okay), a complaint may be filed by ordinary mail to Infusion Institute, Inc., 40 Fort St. #1, Northampton, MA 01060.

Anonymous complaints may be disregarded at administrative discretion. At the user request, identity will not be published. (Identity need not be disclosed in a complaining comment, but administration may request identity by email to the provided address. This will be considered private, confidential information. Relevant here, an anonymous person cannot be legally libeled, nor does such a person hold enforceable copyright.)

On receipt of a complaint, one of the following actions will be taken:

1.┬áRemoval of the allegedly offending content from public view, pending review. In general, CFC does not delete user-provided content, but may “trash” it, which hides it. On request, if provided timely, such content will be provided to the user who posted it, at the email address provided with the post. Requests for copies of hidden material will generally not be provided to users other than the original author, but this is subject to administrative discretion. Such hidden content will never be provided to an anonymous user (other than the original user at the provided e-mail). It might be provided, for example, to responsible administration on other sites, to collaborate in identifying and preventing abuse. This also applies to normally confidential information, such as potentially user-identifying information (IP address, user agent string). Such private information will ordinarily not be made public, absent necessity.

2. Correction or clarification of the allegedly offending material, by site admin or the original author.

3. The provision of opportunity to respond and correct or clarify. If the acting administrator considers a provided response itself improper, he or she will negotiate in good faith with the complaining user. Generally, corrective response will not be limited in length or detail; such might, for maximum freedom, consist of a brief description and a link to a URL provided by the complaining party. These responses, if administration considers them disruptive or harmful to the blog or community, may be noticed with the original content, with a brief and neutral summary, to a subpage or other page that allows the offended user full voice. Such content, if potentially or actually libelous or otherwise offensive or illegal, may be flagged so that readers will be aware that this is not approved content. Blatant libel will not be allowed.

Errors in this administrative activity would similarly be subject to complaint.

Administration may always decide to hide content, subject to preserving the material for the user’s recovery or appeal. CFC and III cannot be responsible for accidental loss of content, however, but will take ordinary precautions to maintain site backups.

This blog has two major features: Posts and Pages. As it is developing, posts are generally chatty and may be opinionated. They are presented to the public in date order, this is standard blogging. Pages are intended for the creation of content, useful in the long term. While sometimes this is mixed up, this is the overall intention at this point.

III is seeking additional volunteers to support administration. This can range in scope to the acceptance of Author privileges to allow the volunteer to create original content (pages and posts), to taking on volunteer administration. An administrator is not held to any particular standard of performance as to the commitment of time, but would be expected to be responsive to direct requests for assistance, again subject to the ordinary constraints of the administrator’s schedule and level of availability.

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