Last updated: 22 March 1997
Rules for Dragonfire accounts
These rules are broken down into two major subsets. One set is the kind
you might expect to find at any service provider, listing in so-called
"legalese" the responsibilities of all account owners. However, the second
set, which is actually given first, is just as important: rather than
precise definitions of requirements and restrictions on use, they are a set
of guidelines, which you are expected to interpret with common sense rather
than take letter-for-letter. They should not be difficult to follow, but
if you do violate the rules, expect a warning at the least; for more
serious, or repeat, violations, your account will be terminated. If these
rules seem overly strict to some, that cannot be avoided; they are
necessary in order to maintain Dragonfire's good reputation and keep it
available as a resource for everyone.
(For those who care: The exact interpretation of these rules is at the
discretion of the Dragonfire administration, and may vary over time or
from case to case. Previous cases will be considered in this
interpretation, but shall in no way define these rules more strictly than
set out below.)
Content of published material:
- Copyrights. Don't break the copyright law. Don't, for example,
put up the entire text of a book without the author's permission
(and yes, you will be asked for a copy of that permission in such
cases). On the other hand, "fair use" (for example, a short quote
from a book for the purpose of commentary) is okay, provided you
cite the source appropriately. Note that graphics created by other
web page authors also fall under this category; if the page does
not expressly give permission for use of graphics, make sure you
ask the page's author for permission before taking those graphics.
Also, since it seems to be necessary, a reminder: Pirated
software is a clear violation of the copyright law and will
absolutely not be tolerated. Offenders should expect to lose their
accounts and face possible legal action. The Software
Publishers Association has
a site about piracy,
including, among other things, relevant laws and their application
to the Internet.
- Obscenity. This commonly includes so-called hardcore
pornography and child pornography. Not only are these not
permitted on Dragonfire, but they are also (in the United States,
at least, and quite probably elsewhere) illegal. If you're not
sure whether something might be considered "obscene", send
mail and ask -- it's far better than losing your account
because of a wrong guess. Links to such material are not permitted
On a related note, if you have something that's not obscene but
that is of an adult nature, or something that could be
considered "indecent", please indicate that in some way, possibly
with a "warning" entry page or a note next to a link.
Dragonfire's position on pornography in general: We
discourage pornographic sites, since they generate far more than
their fair share of traffic. We do not strictly prohibit such
sites provided they stay within the above guidelines, but we will
hold such sites strictly to those guidelines, and
violations thereof will almost certainly result in account
- Account-cracking software. Breaking into an account, no
matter what kind of account it may be or who it may belong
to, is like breaking into a house -- you're invading someone
else's private property. If we receive and verify any reports of
software available from your Dragonfire account being used to break
into other accounts, your account will be terminated immediately.
- Software "cracks." These are utilities or documentation on how
to obtain illegal access to (non-free) software; for example,
registration codes or programs that modify other programs to defeat
built-in protection against copying. While possession and
distribution of such files is not in itself illegal, their only use
(or at least, their main use) is illegal, and therefore
they are not allowed.
Note that the preceding points can be summarized as: "Material which is
illegal or whose only or primary use is for illegal activity is in no way
permitted on Dragonfire." This is the key point we look at when determining
whether accounts are in violation of these rules.
There are no hard-and-fast disk space quotas as with other Internet service
providers; you'll never see a "Disk quota exceeded" error here. But that
doesn't mean you can use all the space you want. We realize that some
people have more information to provide than others, but at the same time,
disk space is neither infinite nor free, and no one user should use up so
much space as to prevent others from having any at all. Therefore, all
accounts are by default limited to 25 megabytes of disk
usage. This is a soft limit, meaning that you can exceed it for short
periods of time without penalty. If you need additional disk space, we
will provide it for a one-time fee of US$5 per 5 megabytes.
Note that disk usage will be checked; consistently
exceeding 25 megabytes or whatever other quota may be in effect will
have consequences, up to and including loss of your account.
The short version: It's yours.
The long version: All material on your account is your responsibility,
no matter who put it there. If you give someone else your password and
(s)he breaks these rules, you're the one that gets in trouble. If someone
else steals or guesses your password, it's still your
responsibility -- though we may take a more lenient view depending on the
circumstances. This also applies to CGI scripts for Web sites which allow
anyone to post text to an HTML page, as well. And if Dragonfire gets in
trouble because of material on your account -- guess what? That's your
Dragonfire's User Support:
Dragonfire's user support department (E-mail:
email@example.com) is available to answer questions about
your account. However, there is also a FAQ (Frequently
Asked Questions list) and an introductory guide to
FTP. Dragonfire users are expected to read these documents
before contacting Dragonfire user support; Dragonfire reserves the
right to ignore any questions which are answered in the FAQ or FTP
guide. So save everyone time and read them.
If your account has World Wide Web access and you use CGI scripts or
programs, the source code for those programs must be available to us for
inspection at any time. See the relevant question in
the FAQ for an explanation. Failure to keep
current source available may result in anything from removal of the script
to termination of your account, depending on circumstances.
The "Good Citizen" Clause:
All Dragonfire users are expected not to engage in inappropriate or illegal
behavior, including (but not limited to) E-mail bombs, repeated harassing
E-mail messages in which the clear and only intent is harrassment, and
breaking into other systems. If the Dragonfire administration receives
what it considers reasonable evidence of any such actions, whether or
not such actions involved use of Dragonfire, the offending user's
account will be terminated. Note that we will make no attempts to
specifically seek out these actions; however, should we hear of them, they
will be dealt with. The purpose of this rule, as unusual as it may
seem, is to serve as a reminder that these actions are not acceptable in
By signing up for (that is, by requesting and paying for) an account
with Dragonfire Internet Services ("Dragonfire"), you agree to the
- You will follow all of Dragonfire's rules as laid out in this
document and any other documents this one may refer to. You will
also cooperate with the Dragonfire administration and any requests
it may make. Failure to do so is grounds for the immediate
termination of your account. If you believe that a request made by
the Dragonfire administration is unreasonable, send mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org within one week of the request
explaining why you consider it unreasonable.
- You will accept all responsibility, legal and otherwise, for all
material present on your account.
- Should Dragonfire become involved in legal proceedings as a result
of material present on your account or actions performed using
your account, you will pay all legal fees incurred by Dragonfire,
even if your account is terminated before said legal proceedings
- You will keep yourself informed of all rule changes upon due
notice of such changes. Modifications to this document or any
subdocuments will be indicated by a change in the "Last updated:"
line at the top of this document. Thirty days shall be considered
due notice for any rule changes.
- You will keep the Dragonfire administration informed as to an
E-mail address at which you can be reached, by sending an account
change request as described in the FAQ upon
any change in your E-mail address. Any account lacking a valid
E-mail address for 90 days, and any account whose owner does not
respond to a request for information within 90 days, shall be
considered abandoned and may be terminated at any time.
If the E-mail address you give is in the dragonfire.net
domain (e.g. email@example.com), then you must
provide an alternate method of contact: either an E-mail address
not in the dragonfire.net domain or a "snail-mail" (postal
- You will receive without complaint any E-mail sent from Dragonfire.
We will occasionally send messages to all of Dragonfire's users;
this is not a "mailing list" as the term is commonly applied to
the Internet, and you cannot "unsubscribe".
- Dragonfire has the right to delete your account at any time for any
reason with or without notice.
- Dragonfire has the right to delete any material in your account if:
- Your account is terminated.
- Your account exceeds your disk quota.
- The Dragonfire administration believes said material violates
Also read the rules regarding payment.
- 22 March 1997
- Removed restriction on commercial content.
- Revised section on disk usage.
- Removed restriction on multiple accounts.
- Added rules regarding payments.
- Changed "due notice" for rule changes from 7 days to 30 days.
- Revised requirement of a valid E-mail address for each account.
- 16 March 1997
- Added explicit notice that Dragonfire is allowed to delete accounts
for any reason.
- 3 March 1997
- Minor changes to the wording of the "Responsibility" section.
- Reworded introductory paragraphs.
- 1 March 1997
- Added notice of Dragonfire's position on general pornography.
- 28 February 1997
- Added requirement that users agree to receive all E-mail from
Dragonfire, and not complain about receiving such E-mail.
- 8 December 1996
- Added text noting that empty accounts with invalid E-mail addresses
will be considered abandoned.
- 18 November 1996
- Revised "Responsibility" section to add that responsibility for an
account belongs to the owner of the account even if the password is
stolen or guessed by someone else.
- 13 November 1996
- Added specific prohibition on software cracking utilities, and
clarified that the general wording of "material which is illegal,
or material whose [...] use is for illegal activity" is the key
point on which potential contant violations are judged.
- 11 November 1996
- Reworded obscenity rule to add that links from Dragonfire pages to
obscene material are not permitted.
- 6 November 1996
- Rewrote section about Dragonfire's right to delete material to be
more concise and to explicitly include disk quota violation as a
reason for deletion.
- Clarified reason for one-account-per-user limit.
- Made minor cosmetic changes throughout the text.
- 26 October 1996
- Clarified Dragonfire's right to delete material which violates the
rules whether or not the entire account is terminated.
- 24 October 1996
- Clarified that shareware (and freeware, etc.) are not considered
- 15 October 1996
- Revised and clarified requirement about maintaining valid contact
- 8 October 1996
- Added reminder about FAQ and FTP guide, and noted that Dragonfire
may choose to not answer questions which either of those documents
- 18 September 1996
- Clarified restrictions on content.
- 13 September 1996
- Clarified definition of "obscene."
- 11 September 1996
- Reinforced software piracy paragraph, and included a link to the
Software Publishers Agency's anti-piracy pages.
- 8 August 1996
- Added reminder that account data will be deleted upon termination
of an account.
- 16 July 1996
- Added paragraph to "Quantity" section disallowing multiple
- 5 July 1996
- Updated required contact information in "Legal addenda" section.
- 3 July 1996
- Clarified rules regarding obscenity.