From: Steven J. Coker
Date: August 31, 1998

No, this is not, and never has been, a joke.  This is the SCRoots Forum policy. 
Most of this has been SCRoots Forum policy for a long time.  The policy
statement is, and has been, posted on the forum web site.  The policy is
automatically sent to every subscriber when they subscribe.  I've posted it in
the Forum periodically several times.  I've discussed and explained various
aspects of the policy at various times both in and outside of the forum.  And,
I've enforced the policy whenever I deemed necessary.

It is a very common practice for service providers to give people a written
service agreement.  Most give it to people on flimsy paper and it is usually
written with small light print that is barely readable, and it is seldom ever
read.  The Forum Policy statement is of a similar nature.  However, I give it in
clearly readable form with nothing hidden.

I'm confident that any reasonable person who reviews the policy will understand
the general intent and comply without having to study the document over and over
again.  If they are considering doing something which they feel questionable
about, then the document is readily available for them to review.

Subscribing and unsubscribing is everyone's free choice to make.  Anyone who can
agree to the policy is welcome.  Others should seek another Forum with a policy
that better suits them.  Most participants have had little problem complying
with the Forum policy.  

Anyone who doesn't like this free service or can't accept the Forum Policy
should unsubscribe.  My goal in providing this free service is not to please
everyone.  I do try to please and help many.  But it does not upset me if I fail
to satisfy all.  It is my estimation that the overwhelming majority of
subscribers have been pleased with my free service.  Likewise, my estimate is
that those who were not pleased and are no longer subscribed are a small

The Forum has 621 subscribers today.  This number changes often.  New people
frequently subscribe, others leave.  Some join and quit and join again
regularly.  In addition, the Forum is readily accessible to the many millions of
people browsing the web.  There have been many thousands of hits on the Forum
web sites. With all of this traffic and accessibility, it is inevitable that a
trouble maker or person of bad intent will crop up from time-to-time.  It only
takes one such person to make my life miserable.

One of the primary purposes of the policy statement is to remove and minimize,
to the highest degree possible, my personal liability to lawsuits.  One jerk
abusing the service could result in some outraged or litigious person seeking to
sue me personally.  While such issues may be of no interest or concern to Forum
readers, they are of real concern to me.  It would be in my personal best
interest to remove myself completely from this liability exposure by closing the
service.  However, I feel the service is of some worth and public benefit. 
Therefore, I have chosen to accept this personal risk, subject to my best effort
at minimizing it via the Policy statements.

Another purpose of the policy statement is to minimize the number of people
writing to me asking questions.  I try to cover the basic issues that would
otherwise be asked frequently using the Policy, the guidelines posted on the web
site, the Help & FAQs posted on the web site, and the message taglines.  Even
with all that, I still get many people who write directly to me with questions. 
Answering such emails can take a lot of time.

Another purpose of the policy statements is to help minimize annoying,
inappropriate messages in the forum.

Steven J. Coker
SCRoots Forum Manager
DuBose Forum Manager
Coker Forum Manager

Steven J. Coker wrote:
> For the month of September, 1998, the SCRoots Forum Policy is hereby modified
> as shown below.  This revision will be implemented on a test basis for the
> month of September.  After that time the prior policy becomes effective again,

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