This FAQ will hopefully acquaint you with our restrictions on the use of the IBMWR mailing list and website when it comes to advertising and commercial use. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and I will respond as quickly as possible. It may seem quite restrictive, but remember that this is a free forum for the free exchange of information and fellowship, and that not only do many/most members have to pay for their Internet e-mail, there is a large team of volunteers that spend a lot of time making sure the list is running properly.
Q: What the heck do you mean by 'Commercial Use?"
A: Commercial use is basically any use that gives or derives a financial benefit. Examples range from someone selling an extra oil filter o-ring to a fly-by-night company selling instructions on how to make $50,000 in one month.
Q: What the heck do you mean by 'Advertising?"
A: Advertising is basically any use that profers or requests a good or service. Examples range from asking for donations for a non-profit organization to announcing a new mail list or message board.
Q: Why should there be any restrictions on this type of use, after all it is easy just to hit the delete key.
A: This goes far deeper then the liberal use of the delete key to thin out Helmet Law and Synthetic v. Dino oil posts. The IBMWR mailing list & website are free for all who wish to partake and many people give generously in time and money to make sure the list stays that way. Taking advantage of that by trying to "free-ride" for personal or commercial benefit is abusive and incredibly disrespectful. Allowing unrestricted commercial or advertising access to the list would not only be a slap in the face to the volunteers, it would quickly lead to Usenet-type of flood of unrelated ads and in all likelihood significantly alter the free and open character of the IBMWR. Remember that the list is free and open, but abusers can and will be barred from participating.
Q: OK, so advertising and commercial use are restricted but not banned. What are the guidelines?
A: Glad you asked! I have listed several of the most common uses and whether or not they are permissible. Note that slack has been extended to people that contribute a great deal to the list. So far, the dealers that contribute the most have never had a need for it. As always, if you have a question, please ask! Please note that the BMWMOA list was set up to discuss the BMWMOA only, and no advertising in any form whatsoever is permitted.
Q: I am not happy to hear about all of these restrictions, I am online because I heard about what a great business opportunity it is.
A: And it still is, as long as you properly use the medium. First, get a website. Remember however that a badly written website can often do more harm than no website at all. Check the other websites out there so you can get a good idea of what you want BEFORE you hire someone to put a site together for you. Having reasonable expectations of what a site will do for you helps :) Second, send the address of your new website to search engines, or a free submittal service like Submit It!. Lastly, lurk a while before posting anything to see how others similarly situated that advantage of the Internet without abusing it. As always, feel free to contact the IBMWR List Administrators at any time should you have any doubt about the appropriateness of a post.
Q: I have this great idea for a product or service...would it be OK for me to subscribe so I could cull list members' e-mail addresses in order to send them Spam? I mean, I am not spamming the list, so that would be OK right?
A: No, that is not OK. The IBMWR has a trade right to the e-mail addresses specifically for that very reason. Believe it or not, this actually happened!
Q: So you are saying that if I want to sell anything I can't really come right out and say so, and that I will even have to contribute free information and advice to the list just to make a brief commercial mention in my sig file?
A: You are right sir! Advertising may be a necessary evil on TV and the Radio, but most of us must pay every month to have e-mail. There are places on the internet where you can advertise to your heart's content, but on the IBMWR list it is quite restricted, and heartily discouraged. Further, remember that no direct advertising in any form whatsoever is permitted on the BMWMOA list.
Q: Oh well, what are you going to do... Sue me?
A: Probably not. What we will do is take aggressive action not necessarily limited to making sure you no longer have access to this forum.
To inquire about this FAQ or any portions located herein, please contact Ted Verrill at firstname.lastname@example.org. ANY requests to reproduce IBMWR material should be addressed to Joe Senner at email@example.com.
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