Note: National Sierra Club web site policy takes precedence over Chapter policy and the National policy can be viewed on the web -- contact the chapter webmaster for the URL.
The restrictions below and the general policy shall be interpreted to favor free speech and the orderly and effective conduct of Sierra Club business. The purpose of Electronic Publications (EP), as with hard copy Printed Publications (HP), is to promote Sierra Club objectives and activities, to recruit new members, and to keep the members and the public informed of environmental and outings opportunities. This is accomplished by encouraging open and fair communication which is consistent with Sierra Club objectives. This document is divided into policy statements and operating procedures, in recognition that procedures must change rapidly to keep pace with the Internet and that policy must remain stable for long periods of time.
P1. Equivalence -- The policy for EP is the same as for Chapter and Chapter Entity newsletters, including policies for listings of outings, listing of leader and officer contact information, etc. Anything published in HP may be published in EP, and anything published in EP may be published in HP.
P2. Authority -- The Chapter Executive Committee, as advised by the Publications Administration Committee (or other body that the ExCom shall designate), has the overall responsibility for all Chapter and Chapter Entity Electronic Publications. The ExCom normally does not concern itself with day-to-day operations of EP other than at the Chapter level, but may over-rule a Chapter or Chapter Entity which does not abide by Chapter policy.
P3. Administration -- The Management Committee of each Chapter Entity is responsible for its respective entity EP, and shall operate EP under written rules or procedures. The Chapter ExCom will intervene only when the written rules or procedures of operation are in conflict with Chapter policy, or when those rules of operation are not being followed.
P4. Privacy -- Names and information such as postal addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers may be published in Electronic Publications (EP) unless the editor of the EP receives a request in writing to the contrary.
RULES OF OPERATION
R1. EP communications shall occur within the spirit of the Sierra Club code of conduct.
R2. To the extent it is possible, the Club reserves the right to remove anyone from participating in EP for behavior deemed to be unacceptable by the majority of the other participants in the same EP. The objections of a few shall not over-rule a vote of acceptance by the majority. Expression of a difference in opinion does not, in itself, constitute unacceptable behavior.
R3. Unacceptable behavior generally includes:
R4. Reported violations of this policy shall be handled in the following manner:
End of Angeles Chapter Electronic Publications Policy
Established September 24, 1996
Please see revisions to this policy below.
May 2, 1997 revision:
Conservation Postings on Chapter Electronic Publications
Conservation submissions to Angeles Chapter Electronic Publications must be consistent with existing Chapter and Sierra Club policy. They must be approved by a member of the Conservation Committee Management Committee.
Announcements of hearings do not need special approval unless they advocate specific positions.
Postings of the Conservation Committee Newsletter should not include any pending resolutions.
Alerts from the Home Lobbying Network, the National Sierra Club, the Sacramento Office or other Sierra Club staff do not need special approval.
End of revision.
Revised May 2, 1997
August 1, 1998 revision from National Sierra Club policy:
Political endorsements of any kind must not be placed on Chapter or Chapter
Entity web pages. Instead, the policy implemented by National Sierra Club
is to link to the National political web page on the
http://www.sierraclub.org/endorsements/ web site.
It is possible to add information to the National political web
page, but National Sierra Club has policies for that, and prior to adding
information you must have approval from the Angeles Chapter Political
End of revision.
Revised August 1, 1998
1999 revision from National Sierra Club policy:
SIERRA CLUB WEBSITE BUSINESS PRACTICES
OVERVIEW OF KEY CHANGES
o establishment of a Web Page Review Committee for each entity
o migration from non-Club sites to the Club's server, for both chapters
and Club-level entities and staff pages
o chapters using non-standard domain names will be strongly encouraged
o presentation and page structure of national pages must conform to
published standards; other entities are encouraged to follow these standards
o departments and entities will be asked to conduct and document an annual
review of the contents of their web pages
Webmasters are authorized by an entity excom and such authorization must be
reflected in excom meeting minutes. The excom must provide a letter or email
to the Club webmaster substantiating this authorization.
The webmaster will be automatically subscribed to appropriate email list(s) to
facilitate awareness of current administrative and technical issues.
NON-CLUB WEB SERVER SITE AUTHORIZATION.
All web pages with Club-wide content will be set up on a Club-owned web
server. To reduce risk to the Club, volunteer entities using non-Club web
servers must move their site to the Club's web servers. If there are material
technical functions required by an entity that cannot be met by the Club's web
servers, the Information Technology Committee may make an exception to this
Until the migration from non-Club servers to the Club's servers is accomplished,
the entity webmaster must provide proof of the web server owner's consent. This
can be accomplished in a number of ways. Contact the Club Webmaster for
details. At any time that a Club site is found to be on a non-Club server, it
will be required to comply with this policy.
HOSTING OTHER ORGANIZATION SITES.
The Club does not host sites for other organizations. The following is a
standard message that should be used in response to such a request:
"After careful consideration, the Sierra Club has determined that it will not
sponsor electronic mail, electronic mailing lists, web sites, or other
computer-related functions for other organizations. There are a variety of
reasons for this decision, but amongst the most important is that all such
activities carry a certain measure of risk and liability. As an organization, we
have a fiduciary responsibility to our members to incur such risks only in the
pursuit of our own organizational objectives."
The use of the domain names "sierraclub.org" and "sierraclub.ca" are encouraged
for branding purposes. Sub-domain names (e.g., "northstar.sierraclub.org") for
Chapters, GovComs and RCCs will be obtained from the Club's Internet Service
Provider (ISP) at no charge to the entity by the Information & Communication
Systems (ICS) department. Due to the large number of groups, sub-domain names
will not be obtained for Groups.
The standard sub-domain name format is chaptername.sierraclub.org and
chaptername.sierraclub.org/groupname. For chapters whose names do not reflect
the state name (i.e., Northstar chapter in Minnesota), both the chapter and
state sub-domain names will be obtained. Chapters which have their own domain
name (kssierra.org, sierraclubva.org) will be notified of the standard and its
advantages and be asked not to renew their existing domain names.
On an exception basis, domain names other than sierraclub.org may be requested
that allow direct access to a specific portion of the website. The use of
such domain names must be approved by the Club's webmaster and the ICS
department will register the domain names. These exceptions should be rare and
used only for truly compelling domain names that have general public
The appropriate department or entity excom is responsible for developing
content, keeping content current, removing obsolete content on a timely basis,
and conforming to all existing polices governing Club publications. Club-level
organization web page presentation and page structure must conform to Club
design standards. Other entities are strongly encouraged to adhere to the Club
Each entity will set up a Web Page Review Committee that is responsible to
review new content prior to posting to assure consistency with Club and entity
policy. In appropriate time-sensitive situations, this review may be performed
within 72 hours after posting.
Annually, department heads and entity excoms must review the contents of their
web pages and certify [link to certification form] that the review has been
LINKS FROM THE CLUB TO OTHERS.
Other than SIERRA and newsletter advertising, no commercial links are allowed
with the exception of those outlined in "COMMERCE", below. Informational links
to other sites must be driven by the Club's overall mission and relate
specifically to program content.
Links should not be made to any site that uses "referrer" pages that prevent use
of "back button" to return back to the Club.
LINKS FROM OTHERS TO THE CLUB.
While it is not possible to prevent other sites from linking to the Club's site,
on occasion the Club is asked if it "approves" of a link to our site. Such
requests should be directed to the appropriate department head or entity excom
who will approve or deny the request. There should be a compelling business
reason that is in the Club's overall interests to approve the request. The
department manager will notify the webmaster of any approved link. Approved
links will be tracked. This is appropriate as the Club does not want a
questionable site stating that there is an "authorized" link to the Club site.
Such an "authorized" link might imply some type of endorsement or relationship;
whereas an unauthorized link does not imply any relationship.
Advertising. Advertising is not permitted with the exception of SIERRA and
entity newsletters. Advertising requires prior authorization of the Corporate
Relations Task Force. In addition, each entity is responsible for tracking and
paying any unrelated business income (UBIT) taxes arising from such efforts.
Classified advertising is allowable only to the extent that classifieds
appear in entity newsletters that are published on the web.
Memberships and donations. Selling memberships and requesting donations
(future) are acceptable as long as the regulatory compliance and transaction
processing practices already established by the Office of Development are
Merchandise. Selling merchandise is acceptable as long as the entity maintains
the proper business and reseller licenses. The entity is also responsible
for collecting and remitting sales tax. Transactions must make use of "secure
server" technologies. An entity with the proper business and reseller licenses
may also engage a third-party to sell merchandise (including books) as long as
the entity ensures that the third-party has been approved by the Corporate
Relations Task Force, has the appropriate business and reseller licenses, and
collects and remits all taxes. An entity without business and reseller licenses
cannot engage a third-party.
Joint Ventures. Joint ventures are when an entity publicizes commercial goods
or services in return for a portion of proceeds from sales. Similar to the use
of third-parties for merchandise sales, joint ventures are allowable if the
third-party has been approved by the Corporate Relations Task Force, has the
appropriate business and reseller licenses, and collects and remits all taxes.
Sponsorships. The sponsorship of other organization activities and the
sponsorship of Club activities by other organizations must be approved by the
Marketing/Licensing Department and the Corporate Relations Task Force.
Licensing Club Marks. Other organizations may not use Club marks (name,
logo, etc) unless specifically authorized by the Marketing/Licensing Department.
Online Raffles and Auctions. Holding online raffles and auctions is prohibited.
Online raffles and auctions involve significant regulatory and tax issues that
have not been investigated, such as the need for auctioneers to hold state
Emerging Commercial Activities. Engaging in other emerging web-based commercial
activities is prohibited as these activities have not been analyzed and may
involve significant regulatory and tax compliance issues.
These restrictions apply to any web site with Sierra Club trademarks or trade
dress, except explicitly licensed third-party web sites.
The Federal Election Commission has determined that all political endorsements
for federal, state, and local elections published on publicly accessible sources
such as web sites must be accounted for as In-Kind PAC contributions.
Accordingly, all political endorsements must be evaluated by the Political Team
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for compliance with federal, state and local
laws prior to posting.
Sierra Club Lists and Other Public Forums
The Sierra Club does not review, screen or approve materials submitted to its
email Lists, chat rooms, or other public forums for copyright infringement. This
policy is necessary to ensure that the Club qualifies for protection from
liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, 17 U.S.C. � 512.
The Sierra Club List Participant Terms and Conditions, which is sent to each new
List participant and is referenced on List messages, explicitly informs List
participants that it is the List participant's sole responsibility to ensure
that the materials she or he posts to the List do not infringe or violate the
intellectual property rights, publicity, privacy or other legal rights of
The Sierra Club must follow all of the procedural requirements of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act in order to be protected from liability. Accordingly,
the Sierra Club will promptly remove materials posted by our visitors or
subscribers in the event a copyright owner provides proper notification
(complying with all statutory requirements) to our designated agent, Lou Barnes,
Director of Finance alleging that the posted materials constitute infringement,
and will promptly notify the forum participant who posted the allegedly
infringing materials, providing the opportunity for their response. In the event
the forum participant responds with proper counter notification (complying with
all statutory requirements), the Sierra Club will re-post the materials within
10-14 business days, unless the copyright owner files suit seeking a court order
against the forum participant. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is available
at the Copyright Office web site http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/.
This policy of not screening for infringement applies to all lists, whether or
not the List owner reviews, edits or approves content for other reasons
unrelated to infringement. Please note however that when a List owner authors
and posts his or her own message, the List owner is treated as a List
participant, and is responsible for clearing the content of such messages for
infringement. In that event, the List owner should follow the procedures
outlined below with respect to web site content.
Sierra Club Web Sites
The protections under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act described above apply
only where the copyrighted materials are posted to a web site, email list or
other online forum by third party visitors or subscribers. Sierra Club
webmasters and anyone else (whether staff or volunteer) who creates, selects or
compiles content for Sierra Club Web Sites are not covered by these provisions.
It is a commonly held but very mistaken belief that materials posted on the
internet are automatically in the public domain. This is not correct. As a
general rule, virtually all works of original authorship are protected by
copyright regardless of the manner of publication or distribution, including
online. Except under very limited circumstances constituting "fair use," you
must get the copyright owner's permission before reproducing all or part of a
Use of content on web sites may involve intellectual property rights and other
legal rights in addition to copyright. Accordingly, the following rules apply to
all content comprising the web site which is contributed or selected by
"Content" means any work of creative authorship, including but not limited to
newspaper articles and other literary works, artwork, cartoons, photographs,
graphics, trademarks, logos, audio clips, video clips, musical works, and
1. Obtain written permission:
For Content created specifically for the web site, such as graphics,
illustrations, logos, software: obtain a written assignment of all rights to the
work, including copyright, or a written license from the copyright owner
permitting use of the work on the site prior to posting such Content online. The
license must also allow limited noncommercial copying of the Content by our
visitors, as described in our Terms and Conditions of Use.
For Content obtained from other sites or publications, such as photographs,
newspaper articles, essays from other sites: contact the publisher and/or author
and obtain written permission to use the content prior to posting it online.
Copies of all such assignments and licenses must be submitted to the national
webmaster, who will keep them on permanent file.
2. Fair use without permission to criticize or comment on Content:
When the purpose of reproducing the Content is to criticize or comment on it,
and thus the copyright owner will not or is not expected to grant permission,
consider linking to the Content rather than reproducing it on our web site. Link
directly to the third party site - do not use frames.
If it is necessary to the commentary to reproduce the Content on our site
without permission ("unauthorized reproduction"), quote small excerpts - only as
much of the Content as necessary for the comments, and provide full attribution
to the original author and publisher. Submit all such unauthorized reproduction
to the national webmaster for approval prior to posting online. When in doubt,
the national webmaster will consult appropriate intellectual property counsel
prior to approving unauthorized reproduction.
3. Other entities' trademarks:
Content may refer to the trade names or brand names of other companies or
entities in a descriptive or factual way to identify that entity or its
products. However, other entities' trademarks, logos or logotypes (collectively
"trademarks") should not be reproduced without permission from that entity. In
the event reproduction of another entity's trademark is deemed necessary for
commentary and permission is not forthcoming, submit the planned use of the
trademark to the national webmaster for approval prior to posting online. When
in doubt, the national webmaster will consult appropriate intellectual property
counsel prior to approving unauthorized reproduction.
4. Defamation/Rights of Publicity and Privacy:
Untruthful Content which harms the reputation of a living person or company, or
criticizes their behavior, may subject the Club to liability for defamation or
trade libel. Any Content which discloses private embarrassing or confidential
facts about a person, whether or not true, may subject the Club to liability for
violation of privacy. Content which features famous people or celebrities in a
way that suggests their endorsement of the Club or its products and services
could give rise to liability for violation of publicity rights.
Accordingly, all references to or depictions of living individuals and companies
should be carefully reviewed and the truth of the reported facts or depiction
should be verified. Do not use the name or image of a private person without
permission unless you are reporting a public factual event. Obtain permission
from all famous persons, celebrities or companies whose image or name is used on
the web site, unless it is clearly used to truthfully describe or comment upon a
factual event rather than to suggest an endorsement.
When there is the slightest doubt about copyright, contact
TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
End of revision.
Revised August 1, 1998
Revision February 29, 2000
In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Chapter web sites must get a parents' consent before they can collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under 13. Any web site forms that collect personal information must have a notice on them that appears before the first field of the form stating that children under the age of 13 are not allowed to use the form.
End of Revision.
Revised February 29, 2000
Revision September 18, 2000
Fundraising may not be done on web sites in the form of automated transactions. Fundraising solicitation may be done on web sites in the form of "send check to the following address" however.
End of Revision.
Revised September 18, 2000
Revision July 30, 2001
New policy mandated from "National" requiring the
posting at the top of the page above activity/outing listings, of two Notices
regarding publicized activities and outings, on your web sites if you list
NOTICE: "In order to participate in a Sierra Club outing, you will need to sign a liability waiver. If you would like to read a copy of the waiver prior to attending the outing, please see http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/ ."
NOTICE: "In the interests of facilitating the logistics of some outings, it is customary that participants make voluntary carpooling arrangements. The Sierra Club does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel."
If there is any calendaring of non sierra club activities on your web site - you need to post the following disclaimer at the top of a separate page of non sierra club activities/outings that is not the same page as not on the same page as your page of sierra club activities and outings, prominently and in bold type:
"Non-Sierra Club Activities
Non-Sierra Club Activities are not sponsored nor administered by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club has no information about the planning of Non-Sierra Club Activities and makes no representations or warranties about the quality, safety, supervision or management of such activities. They are published only as a reader service because they may be of interest to the readers of this publication."
Then, each non sierra club outing or activity listed on the page must be clearly labeled "Non-Sierra Club Activity" above the description in bold type, and the name of the sponsoring entity or individual also needs to be clearly stated on the following line in bold type.
Additionally, it is required to always contact your entity outings chair before posting any non sierra club activities and outings on your web site, even while following the above policy, to make sure your outings chair knows about the publication of the non sierra club activity and that he/she has had a chance to review/edit the listing(s.)
End of Revision.
Revised July 30, 2001