Last update - 05 January 2007
- Ownership. If you submit content to the Publisher (including without limitation any text, photograph, graphics, video or audio), you grant the Publisher a licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, create derivative works from, distribute and display in public that content in any form and media on or in connection with the Site, at no cost to us and for as long as we require and you warrant that you own or have rights to the intellectual property in such content and have the right to grant this licence. You waive any moral rights in your contribution. You will indemnify us and keep us indemnified from and against all costs, claims, damages and expenses made against or incurred by us as a result of a third party alleging that the use of such content by us infringes the intellectual property rights of a third party.
- Submissions. When submitting content, you agree not to do any of the following:
- defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate or infringe the rights of any person or entity (including, but not limited to, rights of intellectual property, confidentiality, or rights of privacy);
- upload or transmit any material which is unlawful, indecent, defamatory, hateful or racially, ethnically or otherwise offensive or objectionable, politically sensitive or of an obscene or menacing character, or that may cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety;
- upload or transmit files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents;
- upload or transmit any materials that infringe any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights of any third party;
- upload or transmit material that you do not have a right to make available under any law or contractual or fiduciary relationship (such as confidential information);
- upload or transmit any computer viruses, macro viruses, trojan horses, worms, corrupted files or anything else designed to interfere with, interrupt or disrupt the normal operating procedures of a computer;
- use the system of uploading or transmitting content (or any part thereof) in a way that may cause the system (or the servers or networks connected to the system) to be interrupted, damaged, rendered less efficient or such that the effectiveness or functionality of the system is in any way impaired;
- where you are not the author of any material you are uploading or transmitting , delete any author attributions, legal notices or proprietary designations or within the material;
These House Rules have been developed so that everyone can get the best out of contributing to the Forums. They aim to protect anyone who reads or contributes to the Forums and to help everyone to have an enjoyable and safe time.
By participating in the Forums you agree to abide by these House Rules. The Publisher reserves the right to change these Forum House Rules at any time by posting these changes online. You are responsible for regularly reviewing information posted online to obtain notice of such changes. Your continuing use of the Forums once these changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of these Forum House Rules as modified by the posted changes.
* Please be warned that if any content breaks the rules below it may be removed by the moderators of the Website.
Rules for Contributing to the Forums and Principles that You Must Accept.
- Adding Comments. To add your comment to a Forum, click the "Add Your Comment" (or similar) button on the bottom of the article. If the comment on that specific Forum requires the user to log in or register then please click on the relevant link.
- Moderation. The Publisher is keen to encourage lively and informed debate but at the same time considers that some of its topics will require a closer level of editorial oversight. That is why the Publisher has introduced moderation for some of our discussions. When comments appear on the Forums they will either be "moderated" or "non-moderated". Moderation means that the Publisher's staff will check each comment before posting it onto the Website. The Publisher cannot guarantee that all comments can be published. The Publisher will publish as many comments as it can without editing. However, the Publisher may edit your comments.
- Complaints. We want to encourage safe and open discussions but if you think a comment breaks the Forum House Rules, click on the "Report As Unsuitable" (or similar) button which appears beside each comment. You will be asked to log in / register (if not already logged in). Once you have logged in, the "Report This Comment" form will appear with a field to enter your reason. Please fill this in telling the Publisher why you think the comment is not acceptable. Once you press the "Report" button, your complaint will be brought to the attention of the Publisher's moderators, who will decide whether the comment breaks the rules. If it does, they will remove it. If it doesn't, it will be allowed to remain on the Forum. This process may be automated, and the comment may be removed automatically, before being reviewed by the moderators. Then it will either be reinstated, or remain removed from the site. The Publisher will not normally enter into correspondence about complaints, but will do so in special cases. If you want to take the matter further, you can do it via the Contact Us section, listing the article in question (please include the web address) and the offending comment and author. Please do not abuse the complaints system. It is there to allow users to report any comments which you deem unsuitable and in breach of the Rules. Similarly, please do not use the "Report as Unsuitable" icon to complain about spelling errors, differences of opinion or multiple postings. Anyone who repeatedly abuses the complaints system simply because they disagree with comments may have their account suspended.
- Personal attacks are prohibited. Commonly known as flaming, personal attacks are posts which are designed to put down or insult Forum members. Text of this nature is not beneficial to the Publisher's community spirit and will not be tolerated.
- No trolling. Trolling is used to describe a post that is deliberately designed for the purpose of angering and insulting the members of a Forum. Posts of this nature are disruptive and say deliberately provocative things just to stir up trouble. It's not polite so please don't do it.
- Unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually orientated, racially offensive or otherwise objectionable material is not acceptable. Hardcore swearing is not allowed on the Forums. Please see the Swear Word Policy for further details on what is and what is not acceptable language for use on the Forums. If you do use language in your posting which goes against the Swear Word Policy the Publisher will remove your posting. If you continue to break the rules you may find your account closed down.
- Comment etiquette. Do not make an unreasonably large number of postings - the Publisher wants to publish comments from as many different people as possible, thus participants should keep their number of contributions per debate to a reasonable level.
- Be patient. Please remember when posting that people of all ages and abilities use the Forums. Remember when you were a new user and try to be kind.
- No spamming or flooding. Spamming is the posting of the same (or very similar) messages to lots of conversation threads. Flooding is when the same (or very similar) message is posted over and over again to the same conversation. Please don't deliberately spam or flood the Forums as the Publisher will simply remove your posting and possibly your account.
- No advertising. Advertising is not allowed within the postings on the Forums. Writing articles that review or criticise commercial products, local restaurants, venues etc. are obviously fine as long as they're balanced, but adverts aren't. If you wish to advertise through a banner or a tile advert on the Forum pages please contact the new media advertising department at the relevant local newspaper.
- Postings or articles containing languages other than English may be removed. The Publisher has to ensure that it understands a posting or article before it can pass it, therefore postings in languages other than English may have to be removed.
- Don't impersonate others. Impersonating another user of the Forums, moderator, administrator or the Publisher's employees is strictly prohibited. This may be grounds for permanent loss of your Forum account.
- Be careful with including email addresses and instant messaging addresses in contributions. Do not include anyone else's personal details. You may include your own personal email address or instant messaging address in postings (providing it's acceptable, i.e. not vulgar or offensive), but please be aware that it is at your own risk and you are potentially opening yourself up to a lot of email and possible spam. You should be absolutely sure that you want people to able to contact you like this. It is not acceptable to publicise anyone else's contact details other than your own. However it is acceptable to include general contact details for companies, but you must only include publicly available details, for example, the telephone number of a restaurant or the email address of a local company.
- Only include suitable URLs in your postings. Links to websites we consider unsuitable will be removed, so if you are considering contributing something that contains a URL please make sure that it adds value and interest to the subject of your posting and it isn't purely commercial. Unsuitable sites would include those with racist material, pornographic or sexually explicit material, potentially defamatory material, anything which encourages illegal activities, material which infringes copyright, sites which purely plug or promote commercial products or services without containing material which enhances the subject matter, sites that start with automatic downloads or sites which may offend users of the Forum. The Publisher may also have to remove links to sites which are in languages other than English for the reasons described in item 11 above. Please note that the Publisher does not allow URLs to be included in nicknames.
- Feedback. The Publisher welcomes feedback, both positive and negative, about its products and services, but please make sure your comments are in line with the above Forum House Rules. You can contact the moderator of The Forum by using the link provided on the page. Please note though that repeatedly posting personal or offensive comments about individual members of the public or people who work for the Publisher may be considered harassment. The Publisher reserves the right to remove such messages and take action against those responsible.
- Copyright on the Forums. It's important to note that you retain copyright in your contributions to the Forums. This means that you are free to take what you have written and re-publish it somewhere else.
All you do in contributing to the Forums is to grant the Publisher the right to publish in accordance with these terms and conditions. In other words, what you create here is done on the condition that you grant the Publisher a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, sublicense and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to your contribution worldwide and/or to incorporate your contribution in other works in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in your contribution and you agree to waive any and all moral rights that exist in your contribution for the purposes of its submission to and publication on the Forum and the purposes specified above. As the Publisher may wish to distribute the content in various formats over time, it needs to be sure that it has the right to publish everything posted to any Forum.
- The Law. The Publisher accepts no liability in respect of any material submitted by users and published by it and the Publisher is not responsible for its content and accuracy. Please keep your comments relevant, in good taste and civil. If anything you post is illegal (for example defamatory), condones illegal activities (such as recommends drug taking) or infringes the copyright of a third party then it will be removed.
Parental Guidance. If you are under the age of 16 Please get your parents' or guardians' permission before taking part in the Forum's discussions. Never reveal any personal information about yourself (for example your telephone number, location, home address or email address) without getting your parents' or guardians' permission first.
Transgressions. If you fail to abide by these Forum House Rules then, in most cases, the following procedure will be followed. Please note that the Publisher reserves the right to terminate accounts immediately at its discretion (in the event of such things as criminal behaviour or personal abuse or harassment of the Publisher's staff for example) or to vary the following process as it sees fit.
- Do not post any defamatory material of any nature anywhere on the Forums (for example a comment that is capable of damaging the reputation of a person or organisation. You could be liable for damages and costs if successfully sued). This includes text, graphics, video, programs or audio.
- Posting a message indicating your intention to commit an illegal act is strictly prohibited.
- Do not post comments which could be in contempt of court or which could break a court injunction - this means not posting anything that risks prejudicing on-going or forthcoming court proceedings (such as naming an individual or speculating as to their current whereabouts after a court has issued an injunction against doing so).
- Do not post messages that are unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented or racially offensive. Do not incite people to commit any crime, including incitement of racial hatred
- Only post material to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically. You may not violate, plagiarise or infringe the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity or proprietary rights.
- For the first offence you will receive an official warning from the moderator.
- For the second offence your account will be suspended for seven days.
- For the third offence you will be suspended from the Forums for a period of one month.
- For the fourth offence your account will be closed permanently.
In each case the warning or suspension notice will be sent to the email address you have used to register with the Forum. This email will explain the nature of your transgression and the process for transgressions. If this email address bounces your account will be terminated.
While suspended if you return to the Forums by creating another account this will constitute a further offence and will extend the suspension to the next period or will result in your account being closed permanently. Asking other Forum members to post on your behalf while suspended will constitute a further offence on your behalf and may constitute an offence by those members.
Violation of any of the Forum House Rules could lead to legal action being taken against you by interested authorities or an aggrieved party. Be aware that if legal action ensues the Publisher could be legally obliged to reveal your registration information and/or IP address to those authorities.