CG AUTHORS ATTN: ***advertisement***/***keenspace_alert***

For discussions, announcements, non-technical questions and anything else comics-related or otherwise that doesn't fit in any of the other categories.
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Rkolter
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Post by Rkolter »

Here's a fun question... legality.
TOS wrote:2. Agreement -- COMIC GENESIS agrees to give the submitting CARTOONIST free webhosting and promotion. CARTOONIST agrees to place COMIC GENESIS' ad banners and promotional materials on CARTOONIST'S website in apropriate and proper locations. CARTOONIST also agrees to follow COMIC GENESIS' Acceptible Use Policy.
This would seem to state that the add banner and promotional materials will be placed where required by the acceptable use policy; this has historically included the ***advertisement*** banner, but could be read to include any and all promotional matierals.

However,
TOS wrote:1. Copyrights -- The CARTOONIST's material (the characters, site design, and strips of the CARTOONIST's cartoons/comic strips) is the intellectual property of the CARTOONIST who retains ownership of the Copyrights and Trademarks on such items.
This expressly states that the site design copyright is owned and controlled by the cartoonist and specifically does not give CG the right to alter the site design.

Therefore - is the automatic inclusion of the alert banner, which alters the site design without prior permission of the cartoonist, legal? I don't think so... here is why:
TOS wrote:7. Notices -- Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, notices or other communications required or permitted by this agreement or by law to be given to either party shall be in writing and shall be deemed given when personally delivered to the party to whom it is directed, or, in lieu of such personal service, when deposited in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, addressed to the party shown near its signature below, or to such change of address noticed in the manner provided in this section.
This states clearly that any notice or communication that needs to be provided to us regarding the TOS will be done via personal contact or United States Postal mail. This would include, "We have decided to make the ***keenspace_alert*** tag required - please add it." Note that having StrRedWolf contact us via forum is not considered personal contact.

I ran this by my uncle, who is a lawyer in Missouri, and he agreed - CG appears to be illegally altering the copywritten site layout of the websites it is hosting by automatically adding the tag.

However, if you want to fight it, there is this clause:
TOS wrote:5. Mediation/Arbitration -- The parties agree to mediate through an independent mediator selected by CARTOONIST any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement, or the breach thereof, the costs of mediation to be shared equally. If mediation does not resolve the entire controversy or claim, then the remainder shall be resolved by arbitration under the provisions of the California Arbitration Act, section 1280 et. seq. of the California Code of Civil Procedure, or any successor statute.
Which basically means the cartoonist gets to pick the mediator, both sides agree to split the costs, and if the mediator cannot resolve the dispute, then it goes to the California Arbitration Act, which I don't know a thing about.

My suggestion to anyone who does not want the alert automatically added would be to contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint and request mediation - they will do so for free.

I won't be... it's a small banner; I'm not disturbed by it. But I'm very, very uncomfortable with Chris just wanting it, and having it done. Granted he is truely all powerful within keenspot. But Keenspot is a company that has to follow the rules same as any other.
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Post by STrRedWolf »

Rkolter does have valid points, in which the TOS does put me and everyone else in a bind. If you do think this is objectionable, email me (my address is on the "Contact/Support" page) and Keenspot as a whole.

And yes, that is the new TOS/AUP. Sorry about not annoucing it earlier. I did pass it through the Wranglership as well as Ghastly here to see if there were any problems they would have (there were a few minor issues that were resolved).

Back to the alerts. Yes, as soon as I get a "spam an alert to authors" script working, this present alert will go. The holidays didn't do much good for me, and this week I'm going to be knee deep in catching up on things at $DAYJOB -- and as I said before, I'm only going to use it sparingly (aka rarely at all, and the FCBD/T-Shirts/etc get put in the Newsbox).

Please only put it on your indextemplate.html file. The adjusted ***advertisement*** tag will only spew an alert on your indextemplate.html (and that's only if ***keenspace_alert*** is missing). You do not want to annoy viewers. I surely don't.
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Post by CJBurgandy »

rkolter wrote:
TOS wrote:7. Notices -- Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, notices or other communications required or permitted by this agreement or by law to be given to either party shall be in writing and shall be deemed given when personally delivered to the party to whom it is directed, or, in lieu of such personal service, when deposited in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, addressed to the party shown near its signature below, or to such change of address noticed in the manner provided in this section.
This states clearly that any notice or communication that needs to be provided to us regarding the TOS will be done via personal contact or United States Postal mail. This would include, "We have decided to make the ***keenspace_alert*** tag required - please add it." Note that having StrRedWolf contact us via forum is not considered personal contact.

I ran this by my uncle, who is a lawyer in Missouri, and he agreed - CG appears to be illegally altering the copywritten site layout of the websites it is hosting by automatically adding the tag.

for the sake of being a smartass... doesn't this mean that when Keenspace was changed to Comicgenesis, we were supposed to be contacted via snail mail?
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Post by Stryker »

It would be much more easier to integrate if the table had not a fixed width. If there will be only text in it, why don't let each user decide the width of the box? The height will automatically adjust depending on the lenght of the text. In that way the alert could be inserted in the side columns or somwhere else without messing the layout.
Plus it should be great if it was not of that eyepunching electric blue. I mean, it could be grey or b/w or some equally neautral color (if not of customizable colors), so it could fit in every site without looking like crap and ruining everything.

ciao!

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Post by Rkolter »

cjburgandy wrote:
rkolter wrote:
TOS wrote:7. Notices -- Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, notices or other communications required or permitted by this agreement or by law to be given to either party shall be in writing and shall be deemed given when personally delivered to the party to whom it is directed, or, in lieu of such personal service, when deposited in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, addressed to the party shown near its signature below, or to such change of address noticed in the manner provided in this section.
This states clearly that any notice or communication that needs to be provided to us regarding the TOS will be done via personal contact or United States Postal mail. This would include, "We have decided to make the ***keenspace_alert*** tag required - please add it." Note that having StrRedWolf contact us via forum is not considered personal contact.

I ran this by my uncle, who is a lawyer in Missouri, and he agreed - CG appears to be illegally altering the copywritten site layout of the websites it is hosting by automatically adding the tag.
for the sake of being a smartass... doesn't this mean that when Keenspace was changed to Comicgenesis, we were supposed to be contacted via snail mail?
I didn't ask him about that. However, I did ask about the banner size change a while back that broke several peoples' sites (War in particular I remember he had to give the image of War a hair cut to fit the ad in). He thought that, at least on the surface, would have qualified.

StrRedWolf has offered us a way to address any concerns - That's a good enough first step for me; I'm not about to start rabble rousing. :)
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Post by ShineDog »

look, if this is for US and not for our readers, then why not put it on the siteadmin page/control panel or something?
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Post by Rkolter »

ShineDog wrote:look, if this is for US and not for our readers, then why not put it on the siteadmin page/control panel or something?
That's actually a heck of a good suggestion...
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Post by Komiyan »

rkolter wrote:
ShineDog wrote:look, if this is for US and not for our readers, then why not put it on the siteadmin page/control panel or something?
That's actually a heck of a good suggestion...
Yeah, I vote this. I'm not hugely against this thing, but if it's not necessary for our readers to look at, this'd make more sense.
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Post by RPin »

ShineDog has a point, but if that ain't possible, I guess it could at least be customizable to fit one's page design, seeing as it is the biggest complaint around.

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Post by Sincerely »

What about people who are still accessing our sites via .keenspace.com? Are links and bookmarks all over the internet going to spontaneously break at midnight on Saturday? Why does it feel like it's Y2K again?

If that's the case, this should be reworded:
CG ARTIST ALERT: .keenspace.com will go away at years end. If you're not a .comicgenesis.com or third party domain, please switch over now! Seeing this alert under the ads? You need to put in the keenspace_alert tag. Click the links for more details.
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Post by Risky »

This tag has been around forever and it used to be required. It pre-dates the new TOS anyhow, so I don't see the use in complaining. I approve of forcing it into the advertisement tag as a option vs. just deleting all the sites that were supposed to be using it and didn't.

However, it really should be worded toward the audience of the comics as well as the artists. I.E., it should mention that people need to update their bookmarks. I assume that "this.comicgenesis.com" will work still, no matter what subdomain people choose, so maybe that should be mentioned.

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Post by Rkolter »

Risky wrote:This tag has been around forever and it used to be required. It pre-dates the new TOS anyhow, so I don't see the use in complaining. I approve of forcing it into the advertisement tag as a option vs. just deleting all the sites that were supposed to be using it and didn't.
When? I've never heard hide nor tail of it since I started here in mid-2003. It's never been mentioned in the help boards when people ask what is required of them, and if it was in the Gear, I never saw it despite reading it throughly before starting my site...
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Post by Dave Against The Machine »

So I just need to put ***keenspace_alert*** somewere in the indextemplate?

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Post by Turnsky »

cjburgandy wrote:the only thing I really don't like about it is the blue clashes horribly with my pink layout. :lol:


oooo and does it need to be on every page, or can we get away with it just being on our index template?
the irony is that blue features heavily in my layout. :P
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Post by Muncho »

This really seems stupid, trying to contact us by placeing a banner thing on our site, I'm mean I only ever go to my site once every 2 weeks or so to check that the update worked.
I mean why not just have an email script or something. :(

Anyway if it must be required can i get a HTML version of it, some of us don't use autokeen.
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Post by Mercury Hat »

rkolter wrote:
Risky wrote:This tag has been around forever and it used to be required. It pre-dates the new TOS anyhow, so I don't see the use in complaining. I approve of forcing it into the advertisement tag as a option vs. just deleting all the sites that were supposed to be using it and didn't.
When? I've never heard hide nor tail of it since I started here in mid-2003. It's never been mentioned in the help boards when people ask what is required of them, and if it was in the Gear, I never saw it despite reading it throughly before starting my site...
It is an old tag, but searching the forum shows nothing about it being required. In fact, at one point it was putting out random code and gibberish and Kisai said to delete it.

That and Kelly once said it was going to be deprecated anyway.
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Post by Chris Crosby »

Hmm, I think there was a misunderstanding, Kelly. I didn't want these alerts to appear on the PUBLIC websites of CG members, only on their PRIVATE account pages. You know, the page where each CG comic's stat logs and site maintenance are located (which I assume each of you check regularly).

There's no reason CG visitors should be seeing these alerts, only CG members. They're aimed at them, not their readers. Please remove them immediately from the public sites, thanks.

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Post by STrRedWolf »

Chris Crosby wrote:Hmm, I think there was a misunderstanding, Kelly. I didn't want these alerts to appear on the PUBLIC websites of CG members, only on their PRIVATE account pages. You know, the page where each CG comic's stat logs and site maintenance are located (which I assume each of you check regularly).

There's no reason CG visitors should be seeing these alerts, only CG members. They're aimed at them, not their readers. Please remove them immediately from the public sites, thanks.
Oh. Yeah, there was.

Great. Now I have to crack Kisai's mods to PHPbb that makes SiteAdmin. In the meanwhile, I've canceled the alert. It should clear on the next update, and I'll be removing the additions to ***advertisement*** in a few minutes. Another thing to heap onto the stuff I have to get done for CG.
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Post by Chris Crosby »

STrRedWolf wrote:Oh. Yeah, there was.
There was what?
Great. Now I have to crack Kisai's mods to PHPbb that makes SiteAdmin... Another thing to heap onto the stuff I have to get done for CG.
If it's too much trouble and you've got more important things to do, don't worry about it. It's not a major issue. Like I've said, it would be nice to have an easy way to send notices to each ComicGen member in an unobtrusive way, but that doesn't have to be your top priority or anything.
In the meanwhile, I've canceled the alert.
Thanks, I appreciate it.

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Post by Risky »

Mercurious wrote:It is an old tag, but searching the forum shows nothing about it being required. In fact, at one point it was putting out random code and gibberish and Kisai said to delete it.

That and Kelly once said it was going to be deprecated anyway.
True... forget what I said.

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