Guide to Surviving RO

—New Members - Getting Started—
[]Post an introduction first – say hello! :slight_smile:
]After posting an introduction please participate in any of the other discussions
[]To prevent spam and troll storms, we don’t allow new members to create new threads until 7 days and 10 posts after registration
]If you have any problems posting a reply to a thread, try logging out and logging back in – PM me or a moderator if it continues

  1. Don’t be stupid For example, if you are a liberal don’t post such things as Bush is Hitler, etc… You will be booted without warning. If you are a conservative don’t say such things as all Muslims are terrorists. It’s not about political correctness, but rather about making plain stupid comments.
  2. **Introduce Yourself **It helps you break the ice and get accustomed to posting. You don’t have to say much, and if you don’t know what to say just answer the following questions:

Quick Introduction in Q&A format!

  1. What state do you vote in?
  2. Are you, or were you ever a member of the armed forces?
  3. Does your username have any meaning?
  4. What are 3 or more of your favorite books (not necessarily in order)?
  5. What is the most important topic for you in the next election?
  6. How long have you been lurking around the forums before signing up?

And our younger members would like to know:
7) What is your favorite music?
8) What galaxy are you from? (it’s not good enough we know the state of mind you’re in.)
9) What are your favorite video games?

  1. No Profanity Why? It’s not that we’re prudes, but we like to set ourselves apart from the other profanity ridden boards.
  2. **Respect other members **Simple respect and decency is all I ask. This board has a broad age group of people, from teens (not too many) to grandparents age. So don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your grandparents.
  3. Bad habits There may be times when one is tempted to see how close one can come to the brink of breaking RO rules without breaking any. RO staff understand … usually we don’t appreciate it, but we do understand. Don’t make a habit of personal baiting or snarks. Habitual boundary-walkers who contribute little or nothing to discussion risk being banned as a troll, at the discretion of RO’s Moderators and Administrator. Expounding an unpopular opinion contributes to discussion; junk like racism or antisemitism (not an exhaustive list) is beyond the pale.
  4. **Posting articles **When posting an article, DO NOT post the entire article. The proper way of posting an article is to include the first and second paragraph and then post a link to the source of the story.
  5. **Self promotion **If on your first post you are posting links to your site, it will be deleted. Spend some time posting useful material and then promote your site. After ten posts you can have a live link. By doing this you’ll find that more people will be interested in what you’re spamming than if you just say hey check my site out.
  6. Posting in general When replying or posting don’t use all caps, don’t bold the entire statement, only quote when referencing a quote, italicize only when appropriate, and try to spell correctly. Any questions just ask WhoIsJohnGalt or one of the mods: RightwingNutjob, PeteS in CA, Fantasy Chaser, Devilneck.
    New Threads
    : any new threads posted with only a video or link and without any of your opinion or review will be deleted as spam.

This is a rule that comes up occasionally:

  1. Posting articles When posting an article, DO NOT post the entire article. The proper way of posting an article is to include the first and second paragraph and then post a link to the source of the story.

Because the reason for it may be less than clear (but not because of any post on RO’s public forums), I thought some historical background might be useful. From Wikipedia’s article on Free Republic

In its early years, Free Republic generally allowed its members to post copyrighted news stories in entirety to its forum, regardless of whether permission had been granted by content owners, until the site was sued in 1998 by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times for copyright infringement. The newspapers obtained a permanent injunction, although stipulated damages of $1 million were reduced to $10,000 during settlement negotiations which allowed the defendants to drop their appeal.[15] The case, often cited when arguing cyberlaw, is called L.A. Times v. Free Republic.

More recently, From Wikipedia’s article about Righthaven

Righthaven initially entered agreements concerning old news articles from Stephens Media, publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, based on a business model of suing bloggers, other Internet authors, and Internet site operators for statutory damages for having reproduced the articles on their sites without permission.[9] An affiliate of Stephens Media owns half of Righthaven.[10] As of 24 March 2011, 255 cases have been filed.[11][12] Typically, Righthaven has demanded $75,000 and surrender of the domain name from each alleged infringer, but accepted out of court settlements of several thousand dollars per defendant.[13] As of December 2010 approximately 70 cases had settled.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) soon took up the case on behalf of several defendants.[14] Kurt Opsahl, an EFF attorney, said, “Despite what Righthaven claims, it’s hard to interpret these lawsuits as anything else besides a way to bully Internet users into paying unnecessary settlements.”[15]

In April 2011, a federal judge unsealed the agreement between Righthaven and Stephens Media, revealing that Stephens media receives 50% of the proceeds of lawsuits (after deducting costs). In addition, an attorney for one of the defendants claims that the agreement provides only limited rights to the copyrights of Stephens Media, specifically, only the right to sue. Some defense attorneys argue that one must have complete ownership in order to have standing to sue, which may undermine the lawsuits related to the Review-Journal material.[17]

On June 14, 2011, a federal court ruled that Righthaven has no standing to sue for copyright infringement, on the grounds that the original parties retain the actual copyrights, and that Righthaven failed to disclose their financial connections to Stephens Media.[18] Among other sanctions imposed by Federal District Court Judge Roger Hunt, Righthaven was fined US$5,000 for the misrepresentation.[19]

Righthaven is bankrupt, and the legal model under which it was shaking down blogs and discussion sites was demolished by courts. However, that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of future copyright issues plaguing blogs or discussion sites such as RO. Righthaven lost in court because they did not have true ownership of the copyrighted material that was the object of their lawsuits. Though unlikely, unless an egregious violation situation arose, the actual owners of copyrighted material - e.g. newspapers and magazines, broadcast networks, and wire services - could sue (as the WashPost and LAT did with FR), and the reason for Righthaven’s defeat and bankruptcy would not be relevant.

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