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[Admin Note] RULES CLARIFICATION [commercial links policy] - Printable Version

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RULES CLARIFICATION [commercial links policy] - SuperSleeper - 11-07-2019

Howdy folks,

On the heels of our last rules revision in October, the Apnea Board staff members have found that we need to provide additional clarity to our recent rules change (concerning our commercial links policy).  

So, as of today (November 7, 2019)  Apnea Board Rule #5 has been revised to read:


Quote:5.   Links to commercial websites are not allowed in forum posts, member signatures or user profiles, unless they are links to knowledge-based informational books, journals, publications or videos (regardless of subscription or cost) directly related to CPAP or sleep apnea where the website is neither owned nor operated by a DME (Durable Medical Equipment supplier).

†  Prohibited links would include redirects, scam sites, blind links, sites owned or operated by a DME, or any web page, document or video that is designed to sell tangible products to end-users (including "product review" and similar pages with affiliate sale links).   It is not acceptable to bypass this rule by spelling out all or part of a web address like "Please visit my-online-store.com" or "Go to my-products-online-dot-com".   Business names and website addresses are prohibited in usernames and profile information.

While such commercial links are prohibited, a member may name any product or seller as long as no part of a link or website address is used.  Instead of posting external links, members are free to copy and paste non-commercial informational text or graphics directly into forum posts, thereby avoiding commercial links altogether [see Rule #13 for more information]

A member may post a direct link to a CPAP equipment manufacturer website in any forum, as long as the manufacturer does not sell equipment directly to patients on the same website domain.



In addition the following sections of our Commercial Links Policy has been re-written to read:


Quote:Commercial links are prohibited on the forums in order to maintain Apnea Board's educational status. This status allows us to legally distribute copyrighted Clinician Setup Manuals under the "Fair Use" sections of U.S. Copyright Law.

Definition of a commercial website: any website that has a "shop" or "store", a link to a shop or store, a link to another website to purchase their product, a "how to buy" button/link, a phone number to call/fax to purchase items, a commercial video utilizing these types of sales tools, or any other method of sales. Links to websites owned or operated by a DME are not allowed.   (See below for information on how to mention a DME website using our Supplier List).

and

Quote:For questionable links (or links that fall outside the scope of these rules), a determination of acceptability will be made by the Apnea Board Administrator(s) whose decision shall be final.


We've also updated our "Chart of Acceptable Links" located within that Commercial Links Policy post.


These updates are effective immediately.

While these updates have been done to provide further clarity, we suggest that all members re-read the Apnea Board Rules in their entirety so that you can see the updates in context:

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-Admin-Note-Apnea-Board-Rules

If anyone has any questions regarding these updates, feel free to reply in this thread.

Coffee


RE: RULES CLARIFICATION [commercial links policy] - SuperSleeper - 11-07-2019

Just to provide some general suggestions on how to keep within these rules:

Instead of linking to an Amazon page directly in a post (which is against the rules) I'd suggest simply posting something like "Search Amazon for the 'Wizbang Widget Model 451".  That way, you're telling someone how to get to the product page without a direct link to the commercial website.  Doing it that way is perfectly fine and is within the rules.

Additional examples might be something like "Do a Google search for the 'Wizbang Widget Model 451'".  Or "Search the Walmart website for 'Wizbang Widget Model 451'".

These are easy methods to tell members about commercial products in a way that does not violate the forum rules concerning commercial links.

Also, keep in mind that members are free to copy & paste full non-commercial articles or information directly into a post, as Rule #13 states:


Quote:13. Internet links sometimes change or are lost over time.  When posting a link to an off-site article, we encourage members to copy or quote either the full text or the relevant portions of that article into forum posts. Apnea Board is an educational website and re-posting the text of articles, manuals, news and information is deemed "Fair Use" under U.S. copyright law.



Thanks


RE: RULES CLARIFICATION [commercial links policy] - slowriter - 11-07-2019

What about (two examples I've gotten dinged on) youtube links, or links to reviews that include referral links?


RE: RULES CLARIFICATION [commercial links policy] - SuperSleeper - 11-07-2019

(11-07-2019, 03:18 PM)slowriter Wrote: What about (two examples I've gotten dinged on) youtube links, or links to reviews that include referral links?



†  Prohibited links would include redirects, scam sites, blind links, sites owned or operated by a DME, or any web page, document or video that is designed to sell tangible products to end-users (including "product review" and similar pages with affiliate sale links).   It is not acceptable to bypass this rule by spelling out all or part of a web address like "Please visit my-online-store.com" or "Go to my-products-online-dot-com".