TGS Terms of Service

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You are allowed to use the Tazlure Terms of Service as a lay out for your own Terms of Service. We do recommend your use of a TOS if you are running a RPG site, especially if you are dealing with citizens from the USA. It protects against lawsuits, lays down how you deal with users and warns others that you have copyrighted material. Tazlure's TOS has proven useful in the past and was based on many industry examples. It was also reviewed by two lawyers on a voluntary basis. Nonetheless, you should always check yourself.

Contents

Introduction: Why a Terms of Service?

Terms of service (abbreviated as "ToS" or "TOS") are rules by which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service. Usually, such terms are legally binding. By dictating Terms of Service a site tries to prevent abuse, set rules of conduct for users, safeguard copyrights, protect against lawsuits etc. It is a big bad world out there and this offers a small measure of protection.

You can introduce your TOS as follows.

This Agreement (the "Agreement") governs your access and use of all Tazlurian facilities ("Tazlure"). This TOS covers all resources affiliated with Tazlure.nl, including but not limited to the website, the forums and the chatroom. In consideration for your right to access and use Tazlure, you and we agree as follows:

Acceptance of Terms

You declare the user bound to the rules in your TOS. This means you can always quote the TOS to your users and say "This is what you signed up for." Of course you make sure that your TOS is appropriately linked all over your site.


1. ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS
By creating an account, creating a character and/or posting on our boards and/or using our chatchannel, you agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement and any modifications made to it in accordance with Section 10 below.

Definitions

Here you will set up a couple of definitions. What is your site about? Where does your server reside and consequentially under which system of law do people need to prosecute if they want to sue you? Who owns your site (you need real life names here, no skipping to nicknames)? You can include other definitions. At Tazlure we've also included private ownership and a financial recognition, as well as the existence of a Mod Charter. They are part of Administrative Ethics. You will need a contact address here but remember to protect it from spambots.


2. TAZLURE
Tazlure is an online play-by-post fantasy role-playing game with a diceless but moderated gamesystem.
Tazlure.nl resides in Leiden, the Netherlands, and is therefor subject to Dutch and European Union Law. Any issues of law need to be brought to the Leiden Court.
Tazlure, Tazlure.nl and all its subsidiaries are owned by Tanja de Bie and Saskia Kellenbach.
Tazlure is privately owned. The owners are represented by the Gamedesigners, who are the ultimate authority everywhere in Tazlure. At all times the spirit of the rules will take precedence to its actual wording, subject to the review of Gamedesigners, provided it is not in contradiction to these Terms of Service.
The owners of Tazlure do not receive profits of any kind from this site, but reserve the right to collect voluntary donations from users to be able to reduce the costs of the server, domainname and other game expenses. The proceeds of the merchandise go in full towards this goal as well. Tazlure staff receive no compensation of any kind for their time. A full financial accounting can be requested by users at (emailadress) .
Tazlure is staffed by volunteers and these volunteers are to be treated with respect at all times. Tazlure staff follows the guidelines in the Mod Charter to ensure that you are treated correctly.

Registration

This part sets some rules to use of accounts, when they can be deleted, that you once again declare to have read the rules etc. It prevents lawsuits regarding breach of service. It also quite neatly contains a clause about abandoned characters and what may happen with them, preventing emotional debate later. Remember that one of the points of Administrative Ethics is to keep a clean userlist. It prevents spambots spreading links through you userlist so sites gain a high google page rating. It also prevents YOU from spamming somebody else when sending newsletters. Finally it established once again that Tazlure, like CreativeLizard.nl, might listen to their users but is not a democracy but privately owned. What the Administration says, goes, period. Freedom of Speech does not apply. We later called this concept the Living Room. "Anything that is not okay in my living room, is not okay in my community and might get you thrown out onto the streets."


3. REGISTRATION
Registration with Tazlure is free. We do insist that you are at least 14 years of age and that you read the introduction, the FAQ sheets, the Rules, the World Guide and the Players Guide, prior to character creation, and follow them while using our resources.
You may only register ONE account per IP address, unless you have asked permission to register more than one account. Exceptions will be made for 2nd PC's, moderator logins, relatives or friends using the same computer etc. provided Tazlure Administration is informed beforehand at (email address)
Termination of your account
Accounts that have not been used over a period of more than two weeks without prior warning will be periodically removed. Your charactersheet may be archived, but we cannot guarantee that you can restart your PC (player character). Moderators will take control of inactive PC's as NPC (non playing character) and may on occasion have made irrevocable changes to your PC, including a slow and unpleasant death at their sole discretion.
Accounts that have never been activated or have been abandoned will be periodically removed. Sheets that are not modified upon request will be deleted seven days after their original submission date. This is done to keep our database registration current and prevent users receiving mail from Tazlure when it is not wanted (spam). If you want your account to be saved over a longer period, or want to be removed from our database, please inform Tazlure Administration at (email address) .
If for whatever reason the Tazlure Administration considers you no longer a member of the community, the Adminstration may, at its sole discretion, terminate your password, account (or any part of it) or ability to use Tazlure, and remove and discard your character.


Rules of Content

This section contains the Rating and the Rules of Tolerance.

The Rating is unique, once designed by the Amethyst Alliance IRPG. The other ratings available have been lost, and over time it has been adapted specifically for Tazlure. Its basis is the assumption that sexuality is not so much threatening our youth as violence is. It is a fundamentally European point of view, but voiced to keep US parents at bay. This rating is very different from the US movie ratings.

The Rules of Tolerance are based on an academic debate in the Netherlands on the limit of free speech imposed by other laws including any anti-discrimination laws, as well as seeking to limit the instances when emotions take over from rational debate. It seeks to allow any debate in an international controversy without losing good faith of the community. In the period after the 9/11 it was debated if extreme patriotism was really such a "crime", since understandably US patriotic feelings were rising high, while other people were equally understandably some what weary of it, but the weight of the sentence is in extreme and fanaticism. It has proven to be effective not only in stopping debates about US policies, but also the Arab vs Israel question and the Right Wing movement in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.


4. CONTENT ACCESSIBLE ON TAZLURE
Tazlure contains a huge variety of settings within which many phases of the human (and not so human) condition are explored within a fantasy flavor (the "Content"). Please use caution and common sense when viewing the various forums.
This site is not for you if you are younger than 14 or of a strong conviction that might make you, your parents or your guardians object to our content. Profanity may be used IC with moderation. Descriptions of violence and sex may be explicit as long as they are in good taste and used with moderation. In principle no topic is off limit as long as it doesn't glorify certain crimes. Tazlure management will exercise its own discretion to moderate all topics, including editing or deleting topics. However, we do not take any responsibility for players that are confronted with material they are not comfortable with. However you are advised to follow our system of comfortzones to avoid such situations.
Concerning out of character debates we ask that you follow our tolerance rules, that ensure real life international disputes do not have a spill over effect on our boards or in our chatchannel.
1. Speak for yourself
If you participate in a debate you are kindly asked to speak only for yourself and not for the ethnic, national, religious or political group you belong to. We are all individuals here. You can describe your own opinion and views. Don't assume all "members of your group" will agree. Don't assume your opinion is an unanimously acknowledged fact, especially where it concerns your religious and political views.
2. Do not speak in General Terms about others
Likewise please do not use general terms to describe other groups of people. It often invites inflammatory reactions from others. Be specific, and preferably give arguments for your opinion.
3. Don't abuse history as an argument
If you give arguments please do not abuse history as a rethorical trick. It triggers irritated responses from people with a college education, as well as putting oil on the fire of extreme patriotism and religious fanaticism. It is not a constructive contribution to the debate.
4. Keep Discrimination (including Racism) and extreme Religious / Atheist / Patriotic / Political Fanaticism off these boards.
If a subject verges on this, it is violating several aspects of our Rules of Tolerance. If you wish to air these extreme views there are other places that are more appropriate. This still allows a moderate exchange of arguments by individuals on any subject, even the sensitive ones, on the forums.
5. Show respect
No opinion or view is ever stupid or alien. Everybody has the freedom to express their thoughts as long as they stick to our rules of tolerance, terms of service and the Mods Charter.
Posts in Tazlure that do not contribute to the debate and are in direct violation of our rules on tolerance will be removed without further warning.
All OOC political, religious and philosophical statements made by moderators, including the game designers & owners, are personal views and do not represent the views of Tazlure unless specifically stated as the official view of the Tazlure Administration.

Standard Conduct Rules

This section basically tells users not to break any laws, nor break netiquette. Lawyers tell us this section is not really necessary, since the law is the law and people need to uphold it whether we say so or not.

Cyberpolitics needs a special explanation. This is the code word for any attempt to rise conspiracy theories, use other mediums to rise up in revolt against owners and all those other human emotions that people have found on the internet too.


5. PLAYER CONDUCT
The law is the law, and it applies universally even if we don't acknowledge it right here in in our Terms of Service. In addition to existing laws you are not allowed to use Tazlure's resources to:

(a) forward concepts of racism, discrimination, or (sexual) harrassment;
(b) begin, participate in or otherwise engage in flame wars, cyberpolitics, trolling or immature behavior;
(c) impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, moderator, gamedesigner, chat room op, administration, owner, or any other official;
(d) disseminate off-topic messages on boards or in chat promoting any product, service, web site, board or venture, or promote boards on Tazlure through unsolicited electronic mail messages to third parties.
(e) advertise, promote or otherwise display the URL's or names of any current PBP, or online game, unless they are one of our Strategic Partners. By that same note, do not use the Tazlure.nl resources to bash, blacklist or otherwise negatively impact other PBP's or online games of the RP genre. At all times keep your RPG links limited to your profile.

Copyrights

Again, the law is the law. Your intellectual property rights remain even if you do not put copyright notices all over the place. Nonetheless most people feel better claiming your natural copyright in a TOS. It also explains to people they cannot withdraw material even if they still maintain their own copyright (aka can reproduce it elsewhere). It is called a "first rights" construction. Clarification is the main goal here. Ownership is once again defined. Regarding copyright you might wish to maintain a creative commons licence instead. Check out their website.


6. COPYRIGHTS
In addition to what is described in section 5 please take note of the following:
We will give credit where credit is due, but all copyrights on "Tazlure", its world and the names of characters therein are reserved by the original creators, and owners, of this game Tanja de Bie and Saskia Kellenbach.
By submitting skills, equipment etc. as well as background material, including all material created in your role as staffmember or supporter, you give Tazlure and Tazlure.nl first rights to this material which means that although the material remains your intellectual property (and you can reproduce it elsewhere) it can and will be reproduced in other games of the same owners, and any publications concerning Tazlure, both electronic and on paper as well as any other medium that is available, without any monetary compensation, now or in the future.
Please note that in the same vein your contributions as your player character become part of Tazlure, and thus fall under the same first right rules. This does not limit your use of your PC outside Tazlure in your own creative endeavors. However you cannot "erase" a PC from Tazlure's history. In other words you cannot withdraw your PC, and if for whatever reason you are unable to continue your PC it will be taken over as NPC.
All material on this site is for personal use only and may not be published, altered, redistributed or posted on Mailing Lists, Web Pages, News Groups, FTP Sites or Bulletin Boards without the express permission of Tazlure and Tazlure.nl or the respective author/artist.
Tazlure is committed to bringing original content to the internet. In addition to upholding copyright and trademark laws in a pro-active way instead of waiting for a complaint to be lodged, Tazlure goes further by disallowing the use of brandnames and any carbon copied character from books, movies or any other medium. Be original!
Regarding submissions to Tazlure we will actively uphold the copyright of others. All submitted art (including articles) must be by your own hand. The work of art must be completely original, save that it is derived of or inspired by Tazlure. This means that your work of art cannot be a direct tracing or copying in whole or in part any existing work of art that you do not own the intellectual property of. It can also not be based on celebrity photo's etc.

Fair Use

This section deals with how you want your fans to conduct themselves if they are going to create fanfic and other material. Fair Use is a legal term originating in the USA, detailing circumstances where copyrighted material can be used without informing the right holders. Think of educational purposes, scholarly review, parody etc. Technically what fans create is not fair use, but something close to it. It is referred to as derivative material. Creating a section for honest fans, giving them permission to express their devotion, is part of Administrative Ethics. Many RPG's are fandriven and so it is this broader community which should always consider fan needs.

Using concepts from a game system is not part of Fair Use. It is in fact theft, unless the game system is offered under a creative commons licence (as the TGS now is) when it is allowed under those rules. However it is fairly difficult to copyright let alone trademark a concept. If several games are using the concept but with their own variations and terms, if in fact the concept is considered generic, the general idea is already part of the public domain. For instance, you could never claim copyright to RPG, but Wizards of the Coast has copyrighted Dungeons & Dragons. Nor can you copyright elements of a genre (like a quest) but you can copyright a specific story about a specific quest.

At Tazlure we have never minded exchanging ideas for game systems for PBP. What we have objected to, in several instances in the past, is other games not giving credit to ideas we introduced into the larger community. That however is merely a question of style.


7. FAIR USE POLICY
We consider derivative work about Tazlure, including but not limited to art, stories and poetry, both on and offline, a compliment, but require that you:
a) notify us that you have created derivative material about Tazlure available to others, including a link ( email address)

b) give credit to Tazlure by linking back to us online, and providing information on how to contact us offline
c) give us, Tazlure, permission to (re)publish your material both on and offline on our own sites and publications with proper credits.
d) do not use any original material from Tazlure as copyrighted by us. This includes the word Tazlure or Tazlurian. Do not use other derivative work from Tazlure that does not belong to you.
e) do not use your derivative work for any commercial venture
If you want to use (part of) the Tazlure system to create your own game, permission may be granted on a case to case basis. Please contact the owners via (email address) . We appreciate a note from fellow games that use concepts even if they neatly avoid the clauses in these Terms of Services as allowed under US and EU law. Do the ethical thing!

Privacy

This part is a legal requirement in most countries, though the language in this particular example was derived from the USA. Again, the law is the law, so even if it was not written down here, you would be forced to cooperate with government agencies, and users reasonably should know this. Still, it is always better to be upfront on these matters.


8. PRIVACY POLICY
Tazlure recognizes that our users have legitimate concerns about privacy. This privacy policy, which is part of our User Agreement, sets forth our practices regarding the collection and use of "personal information". "Personal information" is information that personally identifies you, including, for example, your name, address, and email address.
You provide certain personal information to us when you: (a) register for Tazlure, (b) enter contests sponsored by us or one of our partners, (c) send email messages, submit forms or send other information to us. We may collect personal information from you at other points on our site that state that personal information is being collected. Our servers automatically collect information about which pages are viewed within Tazlure.nl. We use a feature of your browser called a "cookie" to assign a User ID that automatically identifies your computer when you visit the site.
We use personal information, among other things, to anticipate and resolve problems with your service, to personalize your service and to investigate activity that may violate our user agreement. You should note that personal information that you voluntarily disclose in forums or in chat rooms may be used by third parties.
We do not disclose your personal information to third parties with the following exceptions. We may be forced to disclose information to the government under certain circumstances, or third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. Additionally, we can (and you authorize us to) disclose your personal information to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate.

Complaints & Disputes

It is part of Administrative Ethics to have a complaints procedure for your users. However, it can be a pain in the ass if you have a troll that seeks the letter of the law only to create upset. So, it is a double edged sword and you should make the procedure as general as possible. Note that there is also a privacy consideration dealt with here: the use of chat logs and other private communication in moderating a dispute. We have had instances in which our chat provider was approach because of our "abuse" of such private communication, and it is the reason why we have always put it in our TOS. Don't moan about something you were told about beforehand. In all cases resist the urge to make this some kind of court of law. Remember that your site is your living room, not a public street.


9. DISPUTES
You are solely responsible for your interactions with other users of Tazlure on Tazlure resources. However, if there is a dispute that can not be settled without mediation send proof of the conversation(s) and your general views to the Gamedesigners at (email address) and mediation will be taken care of within a period of 2 weeks. We prefer you do not post private issues on the public boards of Tazlure.nl, and ask that you do not involve us with issues that have nothing to do with Tazlure.
Note that the staffmembers are held to higher standards under the Mods Charter and keep logs at all times by requirement, including PM's. Tazlure does not monitor behavior outside Tazlure resources unless it has a direct and major impact on Tazlure itself. Abuse of this mediation priveledge is taken very seriously and may lead to disciplinary measures.
Complaints Procedure
If you want to report a violation of the rules & regulations of Tazlure, the Mod Charter or the Terms of Service please send your motivated letter to the Gamedesigners at (email address) The complaint will be reviewed within 2 weeks. Abuse of this complaint procedure is taken very seriously and may lead to disciplinary measures. Disciplinary measures include formal and informal warnings, temporary and permanent bans on the forums and/or in our chatchannels and anything else that the Gamedesigners think is warranted.
When considering disciplinary measures the GD's use logs, email, testimony etc. Decisions are based on the spirit or intention of the rules and the general good of the whole of Tazlure. The GD's ensure that they are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that their decision is necessary, without allowing any form of rules lawyering. Please remember that Tazlure is a private organisation and not a court of law.

Modification

A technical requirement.


10. MODIFICATION
We may amend this Agreement at any time by posting the amended terms on our site at www.tazlure.nl. All amendments shall automatically be effective 10 days after they are initially posted on our site. Your use of Tazlure following the effective date of any modifications shall constitute your binding acceptance of those modifications.

Language standards

This may seem obvious but it is not. We've seen examples of English that make you cringe and really stand in the way of running a creative writing site. It is not our attempt to be snobbish, but to the enjoyment of all it is necessary to demand a certain standard of English. In our experience many people from all over the world are able to write exceedingly well. It is usually the younger audience that doesn't have enough control over a foreign or indeed a native language to write to a higher quality standard. Sadly they usually also lack the maturity to accept a rejection with grace.


11. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE - ENGLISH
While we do not demand you are a native English speaker, a firm grasp of English is necessary to be able to play this game. You are asked to use a spelling checker before posting. A continued display of a lack of understanding of English may be reason to ask you to leave the game.