Code of Conduct

The Public Index is designed to provide a single convenient forum to study and discuss the proposed settlement in the Google Book Search lawsuit. We hope that you’re able to inform yourself, share your perspectives, connect with others, and make your voice heard. To accomplish this goal we require that you adhere to the following Code of Conduct when using the Public Index. These are a few simple rules to make sure that the Public Index remains a safe and useful resource for everyone.

  • Be nice: The Public Index is a place where everyone should feel comfortable. Don’t act in a way that makes others uncomfortable. Use your common sense: be polite, use respectful language, don’t insult other users, and don’t do things you know others may find offensive. There are a million ways to be a jerk, and no, we’re not going to list them–most jerks know perfectly well who they are. Don’t be a jerk.

  • Assume good faith: The lawsuit and settlement have generated a lot of controversy, so not everyone here will agree on everything. Please share your ideas in a spirit of respectful conversation. If things are getting heated with another user, take a step back and a deep breath. What seems obvious to you may not be obvious to them, and vice-versa. See if you can find a way to recognize their points, even if you disagree.

  • Don’t plagiarize: If you post material from somewhere else, point out where you got it. Give others fair credit for their ideas (just like you’d like them to do for you). Get the permission of the copyright holder before posting long excerpts.

  • Stay on topic: Keep your conversation focused on the Google Book Search lawsuit and settlement. In topical forums or particular comment threads, please try to stick to the topic at hand. We may sometimes come along and move a conversation to a new forum thread if it’s spilling over the available space where it is at the moment.

  • Be moderate or be moderated: We’re watching the site to make sure that everything’s going well. If a poster steps out of line, we’ll usally start with gentle suggetions. Only if that doesn’t work will we escalate to more severe actions, like deleting comments. We try to reserve time-outs or expulsions for really severe cases in which the message of mutual respect just hasn’t gotten through.

  • You own your own words: Everything you say here should be something you’re willing to stand behind and take responsibility for. We let you post under usernames and keep your real name off your profile if you want, but we’ll revoke that privilege if you start abusing your pseudonymity.

  • Keep in touch: If something on the site is offensive or worries you, or if there’s anything else you’d like to ask about or point out to us, please contact us. We’re always happy to take a look and step in if things have gotten out of hand.

This Code of Conduct forms part of the Public Index Terms of Use.