Charter of uk.media.tv.sf.babylon5

(Not Moderated)

This Charter for uk.media.tv.sf.babylon5 has an unusual provenance. Originally just a section of the then current FAQ, it received a formal ammendment to its Spoiler Policy in December 1996, together with further formal additions in May 1998.

Whilst it is clear that the adoption of these formal ammendments serves also to establish the legitimacy of the whole, it must be said that the 1998 ammendments were so badly drafted as to render it almost impossible to determine where the additional texts were to be inserted, and what original texts they were intended to replace. The following, prepared by Robert Irvine with assistance from Charles Lindsey, represents the best interpratation that seems to be possible.

Purpose of the newsgroup

The purpose of uk.media.tv.sf.babylon5 is to facilitate discussion about the science fiction television programme Babylon 5 from a UK perspective. It was created as the American groups contained spoiler information from episodes yet to be seen in the UK.

Advertising and Binary Posting

Binary postings are FORBIDDEN.

Advertising is only acceptable when it is short, when it is relevant to the primary topic of the newsgroup (ie Babylon 5), & when what is advertised is reasonably available to the UK readership of the group.

Spoiler Policy

The matter of spoilers arises primarily because the episodes broadcast by Channel 4 in England, Scotland, & Northern Ireland need to remain 'protected' for the sake of the Welsh who do not get to see the programme on S4C for some time after the rest of the UK - typically between 1 & 2 weeks. It has generated such strong feelings in that past that it was felt necessary to include a section in this charter outlining the majority view on the subject.

Discussion of all B5 televisual material that has been broadcast by an analogue terrestrial UK broadcaster is encouraged. In the event that the material airs in one part of the UK and not another protection in the form of tagging & courtesy space - see below - must be used.

Discussion of B5 televisual material (eg episodes/films) that has not been transmitted by an analogue terrestrial broadcaster is prohibited, unless it has been released in the UK on commercial video. If the material has been released in this form, it may ONLY be discussed with the use of protection, in the form of tagging & courtesy space, as discussed below.

NOTE: In effect this specifically prohibits using material from illegal pirate videos as a source of information.
Non-Televisual (specifically printed) material that is commercially available throughout the UK may only be used as a REFERENCE. It is not to be used as the starting point of a discussion.
N.B. (i) A "commercially available" item is defined as an item that is published in the UK or one that is widely available in the UK through a number of companies or locales.

N.B. (ii) Any information which would act as a spoiler to unbroadcast episodes of the TV series is obviously banned.

N.B. (iii) Common sense must be used to decide which parts of the material are considered "REFERENCE" and therefore allowed. As a guide, large chunks of plotline are definitely not considered reference whereas minor details of characters (such as names) definitely are.

A REFERENCE is only acceptable when it is RELEVANT to an on-going discussion of the TV series, and is suitably protected, by including tagging & courtesy space for all such material; see below.

ANY Item which contains references to ANY B5 TV programme (for instance, the novelisation of any B5 TV Movie) which has not been transmitted by a terrestrial broadcaster is prohibited, unless it has been released in the UK on commercial video. If the material has been released in this form, it may ONLY be discussed with the use of protection, in the form of tagging & courtesy space.

Spoiler Protection

For your guidance, here are a couple of comments on what defines a spoiler: ALL other future episode titles may be freely discussed at any time, including but not limited to the titles of the spin-off TV movies/series.

Tagging and Courtesy space

In this section, courtesy space is defined as:
25 lines of text, where each line contains a single non-blank character and a carriage return, followed by a single ^L (page break character) where possible.
NOTE: courtesy space may be used at any time, and is wise to use when you go near the limits of the Charter to avoid upsetting anyone, and especially if you think that any member of the news group will find your post contentious.

Erring on the side of CAUTION is recommended under ALL circumstances.

Use of tagging:

A tag would be used by placing it as the *first* part of a subject line; for instance:
Subject: (S4C!) 404 Squids!
The brackets are important, as this clearly defines where the tag ends and the Subject: line begins.

The ratified set of tags is as follows:

This tag would be used if terrestrial transmitted material has not aired in Wales. This is a common situation if Channel Four is airing Babylon 5.
This tag would be used if any "Babylon 5" televisual material is broadcast on Channel Five. This is due to the limited reception of this terrestrial broadcaster in the UK.
This tag is proposed for a post containing any reference to material that is only available in the UK on commercial video.
This tag is proposed for a post containing a reference/ discussion of non-tv story material widely available in the UK. (NOTE this only allows CANON material).
This tag is proposed for items which can be defined as a "scenery" in the B5 Universe (for instance Micro Machines, Action Figures, models etc) and any non-story related merchandise that is not covered by any of the 3 tags above.

Newsgroups line

uk.media.tv.sf.babylon5	Discussion of Babylon-5 relevant to the UK