Members Community Rules, Etiquette, and Privacy Guidelines

Thank you for being part of the Authors Guild Members Community. To ensure the best possible experience for all members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation.

By joining and using this community, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and guidelines. The AG Community should be used to engage with each other on issues relevant to the writing profession, share best practices and tips, as well as debate merits of publishing opportunities and advocacy issues of interest. It is a great medium for soliciting the advice of your peers, benefiting from their experience, and participating in a conversation about the writing profession and life. Questions about how to use the Community should be directed to our member services department via the Contact Us link on this site.

Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these important guidelines. In order to preserve an environment that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate membership in this community for violation of the rules.

The Rules

  1. Respect others. Focus on the content of posts and not on the people making them. This means that you may not condemn or speak disparagingly about groups of people or other members, their beliefs, views, religion, race, sex, or sexual orientation. This includes using terms such as “idiot,” “stupid,” or similar-meaning or other derogatory or snarky terms or phrases about people who may have views different from your own. As a matter of courtesy, please extend the benefit of the doubt to newer guests and members; there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
  2. Respect the purpose of the Community. Use the Community to share information and ask questions about the business of writing—about issues relevant to authors in their professional lives as writers. You may discuss your successes, challenges, and goals and provide constructive feedback to one another. If you’ve found a product or service helpful, please share your experience with the group in a respectful way. New threads that pose questions or comment on topics not related to the profession of writing may be deleted, as may specific posts in an otherwise permitted thread that are not directly related to the business of writing or writing life and the topic that the thread is intended to address. “Trolling” a discussion in an effort to inflame a response is unacceptable and such posts will be deleted.
  3. Use caution when discussing third parties or their services or products. Information posted on the discussion groups and in the libraries is available for all Community users to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws.
  4. You may not post defamatory, abusive, hateful, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal content. We will not tolerate harassment or any behavior that violates the Authors Guild’s Anti-Harassment Policies. We will not post, or will take down, any comments we find that contain abusive, hateful, inflammatory, or harassing language. Again, please acknowledge and respect the purpose of this Community to support writers in the exercise of their chosen profession.
  5. Respect intellectual property. Post content that you have personally created or have permission to use and have properly attributed to the content creator. Content that violates the intellectual property of others will be removed, and if the infringement was intentional, your right to use the Community may be immediately suspended.
  6. Plagiarism, copyright infringement, the impersonation of another, defamation, or any language that advocates or incites violent or illegal acts are prohibited on our website and on the Community and may subject the person engaging in such behavior to legal action.
  7. Everything posted in the Community should stay in the Community. You must get consent from the owner of any material or posts if you would like to reuse it outside of the Community. This includes reproducing any posts in any forum or publication outside of the Authors Guild Community.
  8. Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate communities. This helps to ensure all messages receive the best response by eliminating “noise.”
  9. We do not allow advertising or solicitation, such as advertising one’s publications or business.
  10. By posting a comment, you agree that you are fully responsible for what you submit. You understand that the Authors Guild is not responsible for any user-submitted content and that the views and opinions expressed by users of this community are not those of the Authors Guild.
  11. We do not allow trolling. Trolling includes posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking others into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting or derailing normal on-topic discussion.
  12. Doxing (which we define as sharing or otherwise publicly providing personally identifiable information about an individual) of members and other authors is also expressly prohibited.

Rule Enforcement

To keep this forum useful to others, we must strictly enforce these rules. We understand that people may sometimes inadvertently violate certain rules, and in normal circumstances, we will not immediately ban someone from the Community following a single violation, with the exception of illegal or extremely abusive conduct. We may also immediately ban someone who reposts or publishes others’ posts in other forums or publications.

In other cases, the Authors Guild follows a graduated enforcement policy for these guidelines.

Three Strikes Policy

  • First Violation: A written notice is sent to the member who violates the guidelines.
  • Second Violation: A written notice is sent to the member who violates the guidelines advising them that this is a second violation, and that their Community account will be put into moderation for up to six months, meaning that messages from the member’s account will be reviewed before they are posted online. If, during that moderation period, the member attempts to make a post that violates the guidelines again, this will be deemed a third violation triggering suspension.
  • Third Violation: The member will receive a notice of a third violation stating that their Community access is suspended for not less than six months. If a member violates the guidelines again within six months of being taken off suspension, they will be subject to an additional six month suspension.

Violations occurring within the space of a two year period will be counted to trigger moderation and suspension. In cases of repeat violators, the Guild may permanently terminate a user’s account.

Discussion Group Etiquette

  • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject.
  • Send messages such as “thanks for the information” or “me, too” to individuals, not to the entire list. Do this by using the “Reply to Sender” link in every message.
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list,” to the group. Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing email addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new email address. Simply change your settings.
  • Last, but not least, we ask you to refrain from using that Caps Lock button—no shouting here.

Authors Guild Policy Regarding Discriminatory and Harassing Posts

In line with the Authors Guild’s adoption of a resolution calling for the creation and implementation of policies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, we would like to remind all members that the Authors Guild online Communities are a welcoming environment for authors from diverse backgrounds.

The Guild has Terms of Use barring disrespectful posts, discriminatory language, or harassment in the online Communities; this is intended to include threads and posts that reflect either conscious or unconscious bias based on skin color, gender identity or sexual orientation. Statements that reflect such bias can make authors feel unwelcome to participate in these communities, and there have been instances when members have stated that that is the case.

With that in mind, please be advised that comments that are insensitive to minority or marginalized groups may cause a post to be removed and will be subject to the Guild’s “three strikes” policy.

Members should not feel that they must refrain from raising and discussing politically and racially sensitive topics as they relate to the business of writing; before posting, however, we ask that you consider how your post might read to an author of a background different or views from your own.  As authors, we are all used to taking great care with our words. Please exercise that same care when posting in the online communities.

We will not tolerate harassment or any behavior that violates the Authors Guild’s Sexual Harassment Policy,

The Legal Stuff

This site is provided as a service for the members of Authors Guild.  Authors Guild is not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. We disclaim all warranties with regard to information posted on this site, whether posted by Authors Guild or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall Authors Guild be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on this site.

Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials.  Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that he or she owns the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the posting party grants Authors Guild and users of this site the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or other material.

Messages should not be posted if they encourage or facilitate members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or impliedly leads to price fixing, a boycott of another’s business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade. Messages that encourage or facilitate an agreement about the following subjects are inappropriate: prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or territories; or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.

Authors Guild does not actively monitor the site for inappropriate postings and does not on its own undertake editorial control of postings. However, in the event that any inappropriate posting is brought to the attention of Authors Guild we will take all appropriate action.

The Authors Guild reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.

Authors Guild Blog Comments Participation Guidelines

The following rules apply specifically to comments posted to any Authors Guild blog post. We welcome all points of view in our blog comments and encourage all commenters to freely express themselves. That said, we request that all discourse in the blog comments be kept respectful and civil. To that end, we require all blog participants to comply with the following guidelines:

  • We do not permit abusive language; we will not post, or will take down, any comments we find that contain abusive or hateful language.
  • Bear in mind that this is a public blog. As such, do not post another’s personal information without consent or otherwise violate another’s privacy. Likewise, don’t post any thoughts, ideas, or personal information about yourself that you do not want made public.
  • We do not tolerate plagiarism, copyright infringement, the impersonation of another, defamation, or any language that advocates or incites violent or illegal acts.
  • We do not allow advertising, solicitation, or links to outside websites to be posted.
  • Last but not least, we ask you to refrain from using that Caps Lock button—no shouting here.

By posting a comment, you agree that you are fully responsible for what you submit, just as you understand that we are not responsible for any user-submitted content, and that the views and opinions expressed by users of the Website are not those of the Authors Guild itself.

The Authors Guild retains the right to remove any content that does not conform to these guidelines and to deny further access to the Website to any person who posts such content.

Member Conduct

The Authors Guild requires that all uploads of content to the Website by any member of the Guild (each, a “Member”) or any person whose membership is pending (each a “Pending Member” and collectively with all members and pending members, the “Members”) primarily focus on the Member’s authorship, literary works and/or issues pertaining to the writing life and business of writing. All information, text, graphics, photographs, messages, or other materials (“Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted through the Website are the sole responsibility of the person who posted or transmitted the Content on or through the Website. This means that the individual Member or Pending Member, and not the Authors Guild or the Website, is entirely responsible for all content that is uploaded in the appropriate portals to the Website, including the Events Calendar, and the Members Directory. The Authors Guild does not monitor or otherwise control the content uploaded by Members or Pending Members via the Website or any part thereof, and accordingly, does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content. Under no circumstances will the Authors Guild or the Website be liable in any way for any content, including but not limited to any errors or omissions in any Content uploaded by Members or Pending Members, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any content posted, uploaded or otherwise made available on the area of the Website members are permitted to upload information to.

Prohibited Actions by Members and Pending Members

Members and Pending Members shall not use any part of the Website to:

  1. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, or invasive of another’s privacy;
  2. harm minors in any way;
  3. impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, the Authors Guild Website or staff, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent Member’s or Pending Member’s affiliation with a person or entity;
  4. forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any content transmitted through the Website;
  5. upload, post, email, transmit, or otherwise make available any content that the Member or Pending Member does not have the right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships, or under nondisclosure agreements);
  6. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights (“Rights”) of any party;
  7. upload, post, email, transmit, or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation, except in those areas (such as shopping rooms) that are designated for such purpose;
  8. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy, or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
  9. interfere with or disrupt the Website or any part thereof, or the servers or networks connected to the Website, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Website, or access or attempt to access password protected secure or non-public areas of the Website;
  10. violate any applicable local, state, national or international law;
  11. “stalk” or otherwise harass another person; or
  12. upload, post, email, transmit, change settings or otherwise make available any material that can jeopardize the security of any Authors Guild server.

Members and Pending Members will use the Website in a manner consistent with all applicable State and Federal laws. The Authors Guild will make no effort to control, monitor or restrict the content uploaded of data other than as required by law or delete or edit comments or postings that do not comply with this Copyright Policy. The Authors Guild will be the sole and final arbiter as to what constitutes a violation of the above terms and conditions.

Intellectual Property Rights

Members and Pending Members acknowledge that the Authors Guild, Inc. owns all copyright, title and related interests in and to the Website, including all copyright and other intellectual property rights therein (the “Authors Guild Rights”), other than any Content posted by Members, which shall remain the property of the Member or Pending Member who posted such Content, or other owner thereof. Each Member and Pending Member who posts or transmits Content on or through the Website hereby grants to the Authors Guild the right and license to display, distribute and/or perform the Content on the Website or as indicated. Each Member and Pending Member agrees that he or she will not (i) copy, reproduce, alter, modify, or create derivative works from materials contained on the Website (ii) use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the Website.

Changes to the Terms of Use

From time to time, we may change terms of use technologies, industry practices, regulatory requirements or for other purposes. We will provide notice to you if these changes are material and, where required by applicable law, we will obtain your consent. Notice may be by email to you at the last email address you provided us, by posting notice of such changes on our sites and applications, or by other means, consistent with applicable law.

Copyright Policy

It is the Authors Guild’s policy to respond to notice of alleged copyright infringement in compliance with Section 512 of the Copyright Act, enacted as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and other applicable laws. If you are a copyright owner or an agent of a copyright owner, and you believe that any content or link on our websites or (collectively, the “Website”) or any portion of the Website, including the Events Calendar, the Members Directory, or any other pages on the Website infringes upon your copyright, you may submit a notice to the Authors Guild’s designated DMCA copyright agent. Please provide our copyright agent with the following information, as required under Section 512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 512(c)): an electronic or physical signature of the copyright owner or of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest; a description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed; a description of the location on the Website (i.e., the URL) of the material that you claim is infringing ; your address, telephone number, and email address; a written statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or are authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf. Any notification by a copyright owner or a person authorized to act on such copyright owner’s behalf that fails to comply with the requirements of Section 512 of the Copyright Act shall not be considered sufficient notice and shall not be deemed to confer upon us actual knowledge of facts or circumstances from which infringing material or acts are evident. Our copyright agent for notice of claims of copyright infringement can be reached as follows:

Name: Cheryl L. Davis
Address: The Authors Guild, Inc., 31 East 32nd Street, Suite 901, NY, NY 10016
Telephone: 212-563-5904

It may be advisable to consult your legal advisor before filing a notice with our copyright agent. You should note that there can be penalties for false claims under Section 512 of the Copyright Act.

Updated 3.30.2023