Drug software giveaway...
kristoff at NET.BIO.NET
Thu Nov 21 21:49:27 EST 1996
WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS ON COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES IN THE BIOSCI/bionet
The BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups system is a public service which provides
research discussion forums for the community of biological scientists.
Commercial advertisements are not allowed on the newsgroups because
there is a high risk that the volume of resulting ads would drive away
readers who use their valuable time and participate in the newsgroups
solely for research purposes. While we do not distribute ads posted
to our moderated newsgroups, we unfortunately have no effective way to
regulate advertising on our unmoderated groups other than to publicly
chastise those who try to break our rules. We will publicly denounce
violations brought to our attention.
The BIOSCI project is a non-profit service which must now cover its
own costs of operation. Internet "spammers" who attempt to use the
newsgroups for free advertising are in effect stealing from us whether
or not their ads are for products of relevance to the biological
sciences. It is BIOSCI's effort and cash which maintains the system
(the central computer systems, archives, network connections and tech
support) that spammers attempt to exploit for commercial gain without
doing anything to support us in return.
The appropriate means of reaching our readership is to advertise on
the BIOSCI/bionet WWW pages. This is a high traffic Web site and
visitors to the site have the option of viewing the advertisements
instead of having them sent unsolicited to their personal mail files.
For details, please contact biosci-help at net.bio.net.
Commercial postings/activities on the BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups are in
general prohibited except as noted below. People at for-profit
organizations are free to read all postings made to the BIOSCI/bionet
newsgroups, but must ensure that their postings to the newsgroups do
not violate our guidelines.
Commercial organizations may post job openings on
EMPLOYMENT/bionet.jobs.offered free of charge. Please consult the
guidelines in the newsgroup charter on the WWW at
http://net.bio.net/bioarchives/EMPLOYMENT/CHARTER before posting your
BIOSCI readers without any financial connections to a company or a
product may discuss and/or post endorsements of a commercial product.
However, it is standard Internet practice to include in the posting a
disclaimer of any financial interest in the product/company.
Note that postings to newsgroups are subject to libel laws. BIOSCI
advises readers to think twice before taking potshots at products that
they do not like.
BIOSCI users often post general questions about problems that might be
solved through the use of a commercial product. It is *extremely
important*, however, that such general questions *not* be answered
publicly by people affiliated with the product or company that might
stand to gain a sale as a result. Private e-mail replies to the
poster of the question are permissible since they do not impact our
system by broadcasting to the entire newsgroup readership. For
example, user X may ask, "Is there a product that will allow me to
separate protein A from protein B given the following properties
...?", but, if user Y works at company Z which sells a product that
can accomplish this task, user Y does *NOT* have permission to respond
to the question publicly. Public responses can only be posted by
other scientists who might have experience in solving the problem in
question and who do not stand to gain financially by promoting the
product in question, i.e., they are not employees, consultants, or
connected to the company via other financial ties. As noted above,
postings endorsing commercial products should contain a customary
disclaimer stating the absence of financial ties of the poster to the
Commercial companies *may* respond to a public BIOSCI newsgroup if a
BIOSCI user asks a question directly about one of their products,
e.g., mentions it by name. The response should be limited to a factual
answer of the question posed and should avoid any hint of advertising
hype. Comparisons with competitors' products should be avoided
Finally, as a general rule, if you are unsure about the
appropriateness of your posting, before you post anything please send
a copy of what you propose to post to the BIOSCI adminstrator at
biosci-help at net.bio.net for review.
BIOSCI and its readership appreciate adherence to these policies by
our users in the commercial domain. Good corporate citizens who
assist us in providing this free service to biologists make a positive
impression on our readers. We will take action against people who
attempt to exploit our resources without providing support for BIOSCI.
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