It hasn't gone unnoticed that there is a lot of confusion around forum rule #22. I created this thread to help answer questions that some of you might have. As well as including an explanation, a series of rule #22 violations are below. I tried to encompass all of the issues that the Wolfhome administration normally runs into when dealing with rule #22.
So, without further adieu:
What is forum rule 22?
- Forum rule #22, which can be found here, states that any character transactions (sales, trades, or give aways) must follow certain guidelines. For each thread containing a character transaction, one must post on the thread clearly for all to see:
•Whether or not you have permission to go through with the transaction of the character(s)
•Whether or not you have permission to include artwork with the character(s)
•Adding copyright(s) to each character listed in the thread
•Adding copyrights to all of the included artwork with the character
What are copyrights?
- A copyright is defined as:
“the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.”
- – Oxford Dictionary
- What this means in terms of rule #22, is that you must state the copyright holder of the character you are planning on rehoming as well as the artwork that comes with it (if there is any). In most cases, this means clearly stating on the thread who the artist(s) are.
What are permissions?
- That the original artist of the piece (the character itself or the artwork included with it), the previous owner, or any other involved party (it will vary from situation to situation) has given you their blessing in rehoming the character.
I don’t have permission to rehome a character yet, but I need money ASAP and I’m sure the original artist and creator would give me permission to rehome it. Can I go ahead and post it?
- No. If they have yet to give you permission and there is no area within the previous owner’s relevant Terms of Service that states that you can, you cannot make the thread.
What makes a Terms of Service relevant?
- If a user has not laid out the ground rules of the characters, you must abide by the Terms of Service they laid out, located in the “Terms of Service” subforum. If the user has more than one post in their Terms of Service thread, you must abide by the one most recently created before the transaction. For example, if a user has updates to their Terms of Service at the following times: Sept 30th, 2013, December 12th, 2013, June 5th, 2014, and you purchased the character on May 6th, 2013, you must abide by the Terms of Service laid out in December 2013.
What happens if a thread does not follow this rule?
- A Wolfhome administrator will comment on the thread to give a reminder that rule #22 was broken. After that reminder, the owner of the thread will have a full twenty-four hours to adjust it. If it is not adjusted by then, or an administrator sees that the reminder was ignored, the thread will be removed and depending on the amount of one’s prior offenses, a warning or a ban may be given.
Why do you post reminders on the thread? Why not send messages via the private message feature?
- Unfortunately, because there are many topics floating about that do not follow this rule, as well as a continuously growing userbase of 10,000+ versus a team of 30-40 administrators, keeping track of that many private messages would be nearly impossible. Especially considering the lack of a search feature for private messages. Private messages used to be sent out as a reminder to adjust threads that broke rule #22, but often they were ignored or not responded to. Reminders posted on threads are a more convenient way for administrators because the search feature can be utilized to search for keywords, therefore no threads will be missed. Unless this rule is less frequently broken and a search feature is added to the private message feature, it is unlikely that this way of reminding will change.
Why only twenty-four hours for the thread to be fixed?
- This is because regardless of whether or not the person who made the thread is browsing the forum, another user is likely browsing that thread. If a transaction goes through without proper copyrights and permissions being stated, the Art Review Team will not accept it as an accurate or reliable source of whether or not the new owner has permission to use the artwork or character purchased. The artwork and character of said transactions will not allowed to be used until viable evidence is shown to the Art Review Team stating otherwise.
I followed all of your advice and my thread was still removed? What’s up with that?
- If you feel you made all the necessary corrections and your thread was still removed, you are more than welcome to open up a Problem Ticket and it will be looked into. Mistakes can happen. Most times though, while users attempt to properly fix their threads, some key factors are missed. I made a thread of rule #22 violation examples, which may help you find out why your thread was still removed.
Why did I get in trouble when UserQ didn’t?
- The Wolfhome administration is a team of 30-40 volunteers, who are moderating a large forum that consists of 10,000+ users. On average, 1,000 threads are posted a day. We miss things, it is only natural. At certain times of the day, more administrators are active. If you post at such a time, you are more likely to be given a reminder. We rely heavily on reports. If someone is breaking rule #22 and you see it, feel free to report it to a forum moderator.
Where can I read more information on this rule?
- While this thread was posted in the Character Market, it pertains to other types of character transaction (give aways and trades, as well as posts in the Perspective Market): http://forum.wolfhome.com/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=56236
Why should I care about all of this?
- When someone is making a purchase or completing their part of a transaction, they have the right to know the history of that product, as well as what they can and can’t do with it. By not putting copyrights or permissions, who is to say the character transaction can actually occur legally? Why put the new owner of the character through all that heartache and hassle? If you take the time to research the character, as well as add proper copyrights and permissions, you can avoid: 1.) not getting in trouble yourself, 2.) an upset user who has to give up their character in the future because of a misunderstanding, 3.) the future owner being able to use the beautiful artwork (obviously, if permissions are given) previously made for the character. A little research goes a long way.
Any last parting words of advice?
•Ask questions if you are confused. We have a whole team of moderators who are willing to answer said questions.
•Always be honest. If you do not have permission to include artwork or go through with a character transaction, just don’t do it. If you get caught, you will be in a huge amount of trouble. And most people do get caught.
•Always make copyrights and permissions for characters and artwork included legible and clearly stated on the thread. Even if you do use gallery links for included artwork and characters. The chances are, even if you do have it in links, if it is not on the thread, it is considered a violation of rule #22.
•Never say “comes with artwork, which will be sent to the new owner”. Don’t even consider doing it. If it isn’t posted publicly, it is will not be considered reliable.
•Do your research. This is relevant to receiving a new character, as well as giving away an old character. If you are receiving a new character: make sure you are receiving reliable information about what you can and cannot do with the character, as well as what artwork you can and cannot use, that is, if it comes with artwork. If you are unsure, it does not hurt to double check with other previous owner(s) (if there are any) as well ask the artist(s) who made the artwork of the character. It is also wise to consult any relevant ToS'. If you are giving away an older character: be sure to provide as much reliable information you can about the character to the new owner, as well as making all this information easily visible on the transaction thread. It was your character, so you know best! Don't put the new owner, as well as the Art Review Team, through hoops and hurdles just because you did not put all the relevant information on the thread.
•Always double check before you publish the thread. Did you remember to include all relevant information?