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Old 12-01-2012, 01:42 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469
Questions about TRF? Find the answers here!

If you have any questions about TRF, the Support & Feedback forum is the place to get answers. Before starting a thread to ask your question, please check to see if the question has already been answered in an existing thread or in our forum rules or FAQs. If you can't find the answer, you can start a thread or contact one of the moderators or admins. If you decide to start a thread, please make sure that the title is informative so that other members can easily identify the thread topic, and give as much detail as possible in your post.

Terms of Service, Rules and FAQs

The Terms of Service, Forum rules and member FAQ can be accessed by clicking the Terms of Service and Community Rules links on the blue bar at the bottom of any forum page and the FAQ link which is located on the blue bar towards the top of each page. Links are also provided in stickies in the Announcement and Member Introductions forums, as well as in the signatures of many of the forum moderators and admins.

There are two different sets of FAQs; the Member FAQ and the Board FAQ.
The Member FAQ relates to Forum issues, rules and guidelines.
The Board FAQ covers the technical or software side of the Forums including the always useful "how to...[do specific things]", all in some detail.

The Member FAQ is also posted in full later in this thread.
It contains information about many topics, including the following:
  • Changing your username
  • Merging accounts
  • Signatures
  • Avatars
  • User titles (how do I go from being a commoner to being a royal highness?)
  • Post counts
  • Polls
  • Problems with other members
  • Problems with moderators
  • Why posts are deleted
  • Criticism, speculation, and gossip
  • Photo posting
  • Posting of articles
  • Copyright

A set of Board FAQ about the software that runs the forum may be found by clicking on the FAQ link on the blue bar at the top of any forum page. This set of FAQ provides information on many technical topics, including:
  • How to start a thread
  • How to search the forum
  • Thread display and viewing options
  • Thread tools
  • The private message system
  • Your User Control Panel
  • Your profile page
  • Thread subscriptions
  • How to edit or delete a post

Contact Us

If you can't find answers from the FAQ or threads in this forum, and you want to ask a question privately rather than starting a thread, you can contact any member of the moderation team by private message. Please check out the Royal Forums Moderation and Admin Team thread in this forum for information about finding the best person to contact and the Help with Translating into English thread in this forum for a list of moderators who speak other languages, should you feel more comfortable communicating in a language other than English.

If you're having problems with forum access, are unable to use the private message system to contact us, or wish to enquire about advertising at the forum, you can use the Contact Us button at the bottom of any forum page to send a message to the Support Desk. You don't have to be logged in, or even a forum member, to contact the Support Desk.

Photo Posting

Because of the US copyright law, it's not permitted to post copyrighted photos directly to the threads unless you have permission in writing from the copyright holder. Details about our copyright policy are given in the Member FAQs (see post 6 of this thread).

For information on how to post photos (if you have copyright permission) or links to photos, please consult the Photo Posting and ImageShack Tutorial thread in this forum.


Member avatars should be 80x80 pixels. You can browse our galleries (accessible via the Edit Avatar link in your User Control Panel) and pick an avatar from there, you can create your own and upload it from your computer, or you can look through the avatar threads in some of the forums (such as here, here, and here) and help yourself to one of the avatars there. If you want to make your own avatar, please consult the Creating and Uploading Avatars thread in the Support & Feedback forum. If you'd like an avatar that you can't see in the galleries or threads, feel free to ask in the threads or PM one of the moderators. Rotating avatars (the ones that switch between two or more pictures) may not be uploadable from your computer; if you have problems adding one to your profile, please contact an admin, who can add it to the avatar galleries, and you should be able to add it to your profile from there.
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
Old 12-01-2012, 01:44 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469
The latest version of the forum software has some new features, particularly in the area of social networking, as you can see from your profile and your User CP.


This replaces the Buddy List from the previous version. You can add another member as a Contact via the Contacts & Friends link in your User CP or via the Friends box on their profile page. You can also choose to send a request to befriend that member. If they accept, you'll show up in the Friends box in each other's profiles. On the list of members online, your friends and contacts will have a + by their names.

Your User CP has a new option for private messages (accessed from the Edit Options link), where you can elect to receive PMs only from friends and contacts (as well as moderators and admins) rather than being able to receive PMs from the entire membership. This also applies to visitor messages.

Profile Comments (previously known as Visitor Messages)

You now have the option to post comments on other members' profile pages and to let other members post comments on your profile page. You can delete comments on your profile page; however, you can't delete or edit comments that you've left on other people's profiles. Please remember that profile comments are public and can be read by any member looking at the profile page where you've left the comment. If you wish to contact another member privately, you should use the Private Message feature. The forum rules about appropriate content, copyright, and spam also apply to profile comments.

To leave a profile comment for another member, go to their profile page and post directly into the box under the Profile Comments tab. If you leave a profile comment by mistake when you meant to send a PM, you can contact the recipient of the message or any member of the mod team and ask them to delete it.

If you want to view the entire conversation between yourself and another member, click the View Conversation button to the right of the message. If someone has left you a profile comment that you don't want to keep, you can delete it by clicking the Edit button and following the instructions for deletion. If someone is using the Profile Comments feature to leave threatening, harassing, stalking, or otherwise unwelcome comments on your profile, delete the offending comment(s) and contact an admin for assistance; admins can read deleted comments so there's no need to leave unwelcome comments simply because you're waiting for an admin to respond. If no admins are online and you think the matter is urgent, use the Report button to contact the admins by e-mail.

If you don't wish to allow people to leave profile comments, or if you only want to receive them from your friends and contacts, you can do this at your User CP (via the Edit Options link - the options for profile comments [still referred to as visitor messages in the User CP] are right under the ones for PMs).

Social Groups

This feature allows members to create groups where people with similar interests can chat among themselves. The groups can be public, in which case anyone can join and the messages are visible to anyone; invitation-only, in which case you have to be invited to join and the messages are visible only to group members, moderators, and admins; or moderated, in which case you have to apply for membership to a public group and the creator of the group has to approve your membership.

Anyone can start a group, and the topic doesn't have to be royalty related although it can be. So this is an opportunity for fans of a particular princess to get together to chat about her without being interrupted by haters of said princess, and it's an opportunity for the people who want to sit and tell each other how hot Pierre Casiraghi is to indulge their hormones to their hearts' content without getting into trouble for writing empty posts. The groups can also be used by people with similar non-royal interests and experiences to chat about a particular topic, and they can be used as support groups by people who want to chat in private but prefer the format of a forum rather than PMs.

The list of groups can be found here. You can also access the list in the Quick Links drop-down menu at the top of the page and also in your User CP, under Networking -> Social Groups. Under the list of groups is a link where you can create a group of your own. You can join a group by visiting the group and clicking the Join Group link at the top right.

Unlike threads, there's no subscription option for the groups, so you'll have to check from time to time to see if anyone has added messages; you won't be receiving e-mail notification of contributions to groups where you're a member. The social groups don't have a lot of features yet, and we'll probably see more features and functionality being added with later upgrades of the software.

The forum rules generally also apply to group message content. We're applying the no-bashing and no-fighting rule, the rule about obscene and vulgar content, and the copyright rule on posting of photos; the same criteria being used in the Ask BeatrixFan thread for medical and legal advice (i.e., please be careful about asking for help or advice on these topics since they're subjects where you should be consulting professionals) also apply to the groups. For most groups we're applying the English-only rule; however, groups for members from a particular country or region can include messages in that language. We prefer for foreign-language groups to have a moderator as a member, but as long as we don't get any complaints about the content, there shouldn't be any problems. For the moment we're allowing groups on religious and political topics, but if we start getting complaints about them, we might have to reconsider that decision. So go ahead and start up a group on a topic of interest, and enjoy!


This version of the software allows tags (short descriptions of the thread topic) to be added to the threads by the thread starter and the moderation team. The list of tags for each thread can be found in a box below the thread. Each tag is a link which, when clicked, leads to a list of other threads with the same tag, making it a very easy way to find related threads anywhere in the forum.

If you click the "Tags" link at the top of the box containing the tags, you'll be taken to a page that contains a "tag cloud": a list of the most popular tags, with the words in different sizes depending on the popularity of the tags.

The Search feature has been expanded to include a tag search. When you click on Tag Search in the drop-down menu, you're taken to a page with a search box; this page also contains the tag cloud. For good measure, the tag cloud also appears at the bottom of the Advanced Search page.
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
Old 12-01-2012, 01:47 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469

Are there any guidelines about what username I can have?

Our rules about prohibited content in posts (i.e., material that is obscene, sexually explicit, vulgar, threatening, harassing, or abusive, as well as material that is religious or political) applies to usernames as well as to posts. Prospective members with usernames falling in these categories can expect to have their membership applications declined. We also don't allow e-mail or website addresses as usernames, or usernames in nonstandard fonts such as Mandarin or Arabic. For ease of use, and because other members will want to call you by your username during conversations, it's helpful to have a name that isn't too long and sounds like a name rather than a serial number or random jumble of letters. We strongly recommend for your own safety that you don't use your real full name (first and last names). This forum can be read by anyone with internet access, whether their interest is in the royals or in finding out about our members. The more personal information you divulge, the easier it will be for people to find out enough about you to cause trouble for you.

I signed up with a username that should be available (it isn't in the Members list) but I'm getting an error message. What's happening?

Since we don't allow e-mail addresses, websites, or nonstandard fonts, your registration will not be successful if your username contains @, www, http, or characters/letters in nonstandard fonts (Greek, Mandarin, Japanese, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, etc). If your username contains any of these elements and you get an error message that your application didn't meet administrator standards, just change your username to avoid these characters and register again.

Can I change my username?

Minor changes (correction of typos, deletion of numbers or symbols after the name, addition of HRH, etc) may be made at any time. There are only a couple of situations where we allow members to make major changes to their usernames. If a username is a potential security risk (such as the member's full name), it can be changed at any time. There is also a 30-day window after joining when members can change their username if they decide they don't like the name they chose during the registration process. Members who joined more than 30 days ago may also make one change of username as long as their total post count is 50 or lower. Only one change is permitted per member. Anyone wishing to request a username change should contact an administrator by private message.

I had an account that I abandoned because I forgot my password. Now I've signed up with another account, what should I do about the old account?

Since we allow only one account per person, you can elect to have the old account frozen so you can't post or use the private message system, or you can have the two accounts merged. If the accounts are merged, all the posts from the old account will be transferred to the new account. If you know that you have an old account lying around, please contact one of the administrators to have the accounts merged (if you wish to have the posts from that account transferred to your present account) or to close out the old account (if you prefer to abandon the old account altogether).

Are there any rules about what I can put in my signature?

Your signature must be no longer than four lines of standard-size text (size 2), and it must be in English. The use of colour is permitted, but we do ask that the signature be easily legible. Bolding should be used sparingly. The forum rules covering appropriate content of posts also apply to signatures. We don't allow photos or other artwork in signatures, but hyperlinks are acceptable as long as the content of the linked website abides by our rules. Members of the moderation team and picture-of-the-month teams may have an extra line or two in their signatures (and may also occasionally use a larger type size) to link to the forum rules and FAQs and to advertise such things as the picture-of-the-month polls, the forum newsletter, the articles site, and the blog.

Are there any rules about what avatar I can have?

Avatars for regular members should be no larger than 80x80 pixels (moderators, administrators, Picture of the Month representatives, and Royal Bloggers have larger avatars). Avatars with a royalty-related theme are encouraged but not mandatory. Our rules about prohibited content in posts also apply to avatars; avatars considered by the moderators to be nonconforming (including avatars which mock, demean, or otherwise insult their subjects) will be removed. We have extensive avatar galleries for members who prefer not to use a custom avatar. If you don't find an avatar of your favourite royal in the galleries, you can contact a member of the moderation team to ask if an avatar can be added to the galleries for your use.
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
Old 12-01-2012, 01:54 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469
*MEMBERSHIP FAQ* (continued)

I've registered but I can't post. What's happening?

Once you register, the system automatically sends an e-mail to the e-mail address you specified when you signed up. That e-mail contains a link which you must click in order to activate your membership. Once you've clicked the link and activated your membership you will receive an e-mail welcoming you as a member, and you should be able to post. If you do not receive this e-mail by 48 hours after activating your membership, your application was probably not accepted.

My membership has been approved, but I'm having problems staying logged into the forum. Sometimes I can't log in at all, and sometimes I get logged out after a few minutes and lose the post I was in the middle of writing.

It is important to tick the 'Remember Me' box when logging in to the forum. 'Remember Me' sets the cookies in the computer which identify it to the TRF server, thereby authorising access to the site. This allows you to continue to be attached to the site whenever anything changes while you are logged in. This is especially important for AOL users. AOL utilises a constantly switching IP method of internet connection and navigation, and as soon as an IP switch occurs the website's server detects a changed connection. With cookies set, the server knows who you are and carries on as if nothing had happened. Without the cookies set (that is, no 'remember me' ticked), the server is unable to identify you. At the next mouse click, the login screen appears because the server needs to re-establish authorisation. This situation is common to many websites requiring a login ID and password, and is not TRF related.

Why can't I post messages in the threads or send private messages? I was able to do so yesterday.

If you've been posting but find yourself unable to do so, it probably means that your account has been suspended for some reason. When members are suspended for violating the forum rules, they should receive an e-mail from our e-mail account,, telling them why and for how long they've been suspended. If you are unable to post and haven't received an e-mail, you can use the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page to get in touch with one of the administrators.

I've changed the e-mail address associated with my account, and I can't post any more although I can send private messages. What's going on?

As a security measure, the system automatically places a block on your account when you change your e-mail address. The system also automatically sends out an activation e-mail to the new e-mail address, in the same way that it sends out an activation e-mail when you first register. You need to click the link in the activation e-mail in order to remove the block on your account. Once you've done that, you should be able to post again.

On my profile page it says I have three referrals. What does that mean?

When new members register, they can give the name of the existing member who referred them to the forum. Once they've done that, the referral will show up on the profile page of the referring member. In other words, the referral information shows how many people you've introduced to TRF as members.

Under my name it says Commoner. How do I get to be a Royal Highness?

The user title under your name indicates how many posts you've made. Our user title system is based on the following post counts:

Newbie: 10 or fewer posts
Commoner: 11 to 50 posts
Gentry: from 51 to 100 posts
Aristocracy: 101 to 250 posts
Nobility: 251 to 500 posts
Courtier: 501 to 1,000 posts
Serene Highness: 1,001 to 1,500 posts
Royal Highness: 1,501 to 2,000 posts
Heir Presumptive: 2,001 to 3,000 posts
Heir Apparent: 3,001 to 6,000 posts
Majesty: 6,001 to 10,000 posts
Imperial Majesty: 10,000 posts and above

Can I have a custom user title instead of one of the pre-set ones?

At present this isn't an option.
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
Old 12-01-2012, 01:54 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469

I want to buy or sell merchandise. Can I do that here?

No, we don't allow members to use the site for buying, selling, or trading or for the promotion of commercial enterprises. Nor do we allow solicitation of any sort, such as to donate to charities, sign petitions, engage in letter-writing campaigns, etc. You can post links to petitions or charities in your signature, but active solicitation is not permitted.

How can I let other members know about my website, blog, or discussion board?

Many of the forums have stickies where members can post links to royal-related websites, blogs, and discussion boards. Non-royal-related material may be discussed in Members' Corner. You can also post a link in your signature. Please do not use the threads, chat room, or private message system to advertise other websites, especially commercial ones, or to approach our members with invitations to join other forums. Please note that unsolicited invitations of this sort count as spamming, which is against the forum rules.

I think I have royal ancestors. Can you help me with research on my family tree?

Since this is a forum about royalty, not a genealogy resource, we are unable to provide this sort of help. However, there are threads in Members' Corner where members may request or offer help with research about ancestry, whether royal or not. Please note that The Royal Forums takes no responsibility for the accuracy or lack thereof of any information provided by members on this topic.

My post in Members' Corner was deleted by a moderator. I was only responding to a question about where I lived and how old I was. That isn't against the rules, is it?

While Members' Corner does contain light-hearted threads asking for personal information such as your favourite book or movie, whether you like to travel, what you're studying, and so on, please remember that not everyone using the internet is as harmless as they might appear. If you give detailed answers to enough of these questions over time, a person can build up quite a detailed database on you for reasons unconnected with a mutual interest in royalty. If moderators feel that a thread or post is asking for a dangerous amount of personal information, the posts in question will be deleted. It's very important to be sensible about protecting your privacy and security when participating in discussion forums. If you have any doubts about the intentions behind an apparently friendly personal question, don't hesitate to contact a member of the moderation team.

Another member is harassing me by private message or e-mail. What should I do?

Don't respond. Save the messages and forward them to an administrator with an explanation about the nature of the dispute. If your options are set so that you allow e-mails, you can change it in your profile so that e-mails from other members are blocked. Other members can't see your e-mail address if they send you an e-mail via the forum, but they can do so if you respond.

Another member is asking me for personal information in a private message or e-mail. We've chatted before and they seem to be friendly, but I don't know if it's safe to respond. What should I do?

Don't give them the information. Save the messages and forward them to an administrator with as much background information as you can remember. If you've posted personal information about yourself in any of the threads and would like to have it deleted, contact a member of the moderation team. And, of course, be careful about the amount of personal information you divulge in the future. Non-members as well as members can read the threads in this forum, and we have no way of knowing if a prospective or current member is more interested in our other members than in royalty. While the moderators are always looking out for suspicious-sounding posts, it's vital that our members take steps to protect themselves from people whose intentions are not as benign as they may appear.

When should I use the Report Post button?

If a post is in serious violation of forum rules and the forum moderators aren't online, you can use the Report Post button to send e-mails to alert the forum moderators of the problem. The Report Post button should not be used to send non-urgent messages.

I've been posting but my post count isn't increasing. Why not?

The post counter isn't operational in Members' Corner because Members' Corner is a general-topic chat forum that doesn't have to do with discussions about royalty. Posts made in the threads in that forum won't be added to your post count.

I noticed that my post count has decreased. What's going on?

If a dispute breaks out in a thread, a moderator may have to remove several posts to restore order to the thread, including posts made by people not involved in the dispute. Also, the moderation team clean up threads from time to time, deleting or merging empty or off-topic posts and posts that contain duplicate photos, broken links, and so on. Post counts decrease when posts are deleted for any of these reasons. It isn't our policy for moderators to inform posters whose posts they've deleted during routine clean-up. Unless your post count has decreased by a very large number, there's no need to be concerned.

I want to start a poll. How do I do that?

Moderators and administrators are the only members who can set up formal polls. Please contact a member of the moderation team to discuss your idea for a poll. Don't post informal polls; these will be deleted by one of the moderators.

I tried to edit one of my posts but the Edit button has disappeared. Why?

The Edit button is available for 48 hours after posting. After that, you need to contact one of the moderators or administrators if you want to edit your post.

I disagree with a moderator's decision or warning. How can I complain about it?

Don't argue with a moderator's decision in the thread; it isn't fair to the other posters who are trying to discuss the thread topic. If you wish to raise a general issue about forum moderation, you can do so by starting a thread in the Support and Feedback forum or by private message to the administrators. If you have a specific complaint about a particular moderator, please contact the moderator concerned or one or more of the administrators by private message to discuss the issue.

What is hotlinking, and why isn't it allowed?

Hotlinking is direct linking, using an [ IMG ] tag, to an image on someone else's website. If you right-click on an image and look at the properties, a hotlinked image will show the URL of the original website. Hotlinking an image uses up bandwidth belonging to the original website and is a form of theft. It's also bad netiquette. We require that our members post images by using hyperlinks or, if they have the required copyright permission, by using direct attachments or rehosting the image at an image-hosting site.

What about suspending or banning members?

If a member continuously breaks the rules or ignores moderator directives, they will first receive a number of official warnings, in which they will be advised of why their behaviour is unacceptable, and what they should do to comply to the rules. If the behaviour of the member in question does not change after these warnings, they will be suspended, meaning they can temporarily not post anything any more. A suspension can take anywhere between two weeks and two months. Members who refuse to modify their posting behaviour and continue to damage the Forums after a number of warnings and suspensions over a period of time leave the moderation team no option but to terminate their membership.These decisions are taken by the whole team, never by one person alone. Please note that banning members really is the last resort. It does not happen often that long-term members are banned.
The only exception to the above is when we discover spammers or banned members who have reregistered. These are banned (again) as soon as we notice them. Members who are here to play games or who engage in obscenities or harassment may also have their memberships terminated without notice.
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
Old 12-01-2012, 01:55 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469

English isn't my native language. Can I write my posts in my native language and use an online translator to translate them into English?

Online translators are a useful tool to enable non-English-speaking members to post in English. However, please be aware that online translators aren't sophisticated enough to provide easily intelligible English translations in many cases, and other non-native English speakers may have some difficulty in understanding these translations. If you're using an online translator, it's best if you keep your sentences simple and if you check the translated version and improve it as much as possible before posting it. If you're having problems expressing yourself in English, you can also contact one of the moderators, who may be able to put you in touch with a bilingual member to help you with your posts.

I started a thread the other day, and it's disappeared. What happened?

If the topic of your thread is being discussed in an existing thread, your thread was probably merged with the other thread. If your thread was in the wrong forum, it was probably moved to another forum or merged with an existing thread in the new forum. If the thread was inappropriate for any of our forums, it will have been deleted. Moderators don't always send messages to posters when they move, merge, split, or delete threads or when they move, edit, or delete posts. You can check whether the posts you made in the thread are still there by clicking on the "Find all posts by [your username]" link in your profile.

What are empty posts?

Empty posts are very short replies which have no appreciable informational content. Since these posts interrupt the flow of discussion, especially if there are large numbers of them, the moderators routinely remove them.

I used larger font and red type to emphasise something, and a moderator deleted all my formatting. Why can't I be the one to decide how my posts appear?

It's best to use the different fonts, sizes, and colours sparingly so that people can read your posts easily. If a moderator decides that your post is difficult to read or distracting or that the formatting makes the post appear aggressive or otherwise unhelpful to the thread, the moderator may adjust or delete the formatting.

Why aren't I allowed to criticise any of the royals? I thought freedom of speech was a right.

You are allowed to criticise royals, and you do have the right to freedom of speech; both positive and negative opinions about royals are welcome. However, this is a privately owned forum, and participation is contingent on accepting the Social Knowledge Terms of Service, which forbid the use of obscene, vulgar, threatening, abusive, or defamatory language, and the Community Rules, which also forbid unsubstantiated gossip, spamming, and empty posts. Therefore, it's important that you express your criticism carefully. Please note that name-calling and defamatory statements are not made acceptable by the addition of 'IMO' ('in my opinion') or similar expressions. If one of your posts has been removed by a moderator because of the content, it will have been removed because of how you expressed yourself, not simply because you were critical. You're welcome to reword your post to express your opinion within the limits set by our rules.

I posted an article about a wedding/piece of jewellery/fashion/new book or movie in the current-events thread, and it's disappeared. Nobody else has posted the article, so what happened?

We have separate royal-related forums for discussions about weddings, royal jewels, royal fashion, and royal-related media. Celebrity weddings, etc, should be discussed in Members' Corner, not in the royal-related threads. Before posting, please familiarise yourself with the layout of the forum so you know where to find things and where to post. You can also use the Search feature at the top of the page to search on keywords in order to check whether a topic is already being discussed.

I started a thread in one of the forums because the King of that country is making a state visit to another country and there wasn't a thread for it. My thread was deleted. Can't we talk about state visits?

When royals make state or official visits to other monarchies, the thread is started in the forum for the host country, not the forum for the visiting country. The only state-visit threads in the visiting-country forums are those for visits to republics or for visits to multiple countries.

I started a thread about a young royal who didn't have his own thread already, and my thread has disappeared. Why can't we talk about royal children?

You certainly can talk about royal children. However, since royal children generally don't have their own independent royal engagements or households, they don't have their own threads. You can find discussions about royal children in threads about their parents, which are entitled "Prince X and Princess Y and family," or in threads which include all underage children of Prince X and Princess Y." Once a young royal reaches 18 or has enough of an independent royal life to warrant a separate thread, the forum moderators will create one. In the meantime, threads started by members about royal children will be closed or merged into the family threads.

I received a message from a moderator saying that my post had been removed because it contained speculation. We don't know the royals and we get all our information second hand, so isn't it all speculation?

Our rule about speculation is intended to prevent tabloid-type flights of fancy which often slip into outright fantasy and sometimes even libel. While we realise that much of the information posted in the threads is based on reports in the media which we can't verify, we expect posters to base their statements on published reports rather than on wishful thinking or unsubstantiated hearsay. The forum moderators have the final say about whether posts are unacceptably speculative. Disagreements with moderator decisions must take place via private message, not by arguing in the threads and certainly not by reposting deleted material.

I'm a member of a royal family or a friend or associate of royalty. Why can't I talk about my inside information here?

Our rules about privacy include a rule protecting the privacy of royals. We have no way of verifying that any of our posters are really members, or friends and associates of members, of royal or noble houses, and we've had a lot of these claims over the years. Our rule requiring verifiable sources of discussion applies in these cases. Unverified claims or statements of connections to royalty may be deleted at the discretion of the moderators.

I'm the rightful King/Duke/Countess of Wherever, or the illegitimate child of a royal person, and I'm fighting to get my claim recognised. Can I talk about my claims here?

Since we have no way of confirming the identities of our posters, and since some of these claims are the subject of legal action, we prefer that discussions be based solely on information reported in reputable media outlets. Posts that do not meet this standard may be deleted.

My knowledge about the royals of Country X is based on having friends and relations who live there and who talk about their royals. Can I share that information in the threads even though it isn't published?

As long as the information is presented as the personal opinion of friends or relations, and is not used to contradict published news reports or claim that everyone in that country feels the same way, or as an excuse to attack the royals concerned, it's generally acceptable. Bear in mind that another member may have friends or relatives in that country who hold the opposite view. Also please note that personal anecdotes are usually not a good basis for discussion and should therefore be used sparingly. The forum moderators have the final say about whether such posts are appropriate, and comments and allegations which are deemed malicious, defamatory, or otherwise unhelpful to the discussion will be removed.

Several royals are deeply involved in political or religious issues. How can I discuss these issues without breaking the rule about no politics or religion?

We allow discussion of politics and religion only in association with the royal-related topic of the thread. Posts straying into general discussions of politics or religion will be removed by a moderator because experience has shown that these topics are too contentious for this forum. Comments considered to be inflammatory will be deleted at the discretion of the moderators. Threads and posts about politics and religion are not permitted in Members' Corner, where royals are not discussed. Please avoid turning Members' Corner threads into political or religious discussions even if the thread topic appears relevant.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:56 PM
Warren's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469

What do I need to do so that I can post copyrighted photos and articles?

In order to legally post copyrighted material, you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner. We will not be policing the site to ensure that members have permission to post their photos; however, if a copyright owner (a photo agency, photographer, publisher, etc) demands to see proof of the written permission, the poster will be expected to produce it. Failure to do so may result in legal action against the poster by the copyright owner and will result in deletion of the material and suspension or banning of the poster from this forum. The above applies to all copyrighted material including (but not limited to) photos and other artwork, videos, movies, screencaps, magazine and newspaper articles (both print and online), reviews, blog entries, e-mails, and posts at other forums. Press releases are generally exempt.

How can I find out who owns the copyright of a photo or article I want to post?

Books, magazines, newspapers, TV programmes, DVDs, photo agencies, etc., carry statements specifying the copyright information for their content. Copyright is usually held by the creator of the work (the photographer, author, or producer) and sometimes also by photo agencies and publishers of magazines, newspapers, and books. Sources such as eBay, google, yahoo, your or someone else's private collection of professional photos, and other discussion forums and search engines are not copyright owners. If you can't find the information you need, or if you think the material may be exempt from the permission requirement, you can contact a member of the moderation team for assistance.

I bought a copy of a magazine or newspaper and I want to post scans of some of the photos. I own my copy of the magazine, so do I still need permission from the magazine publisher to post the photos?

Yes. The copyright remains with the photographer or the publisher of the magazine or newspaper, and these photographs can only be posted in the threads at The Royal Forums if you have obtained written permission from the copyright holder. You may be required by the photographer or agency to provide proof of this permission in order to avoid legal action against you on their part, so it's important that you keep it somewhere safe and accessible. Our copyright rules and the US copyright law apply to these photos in the same way as to photos you find on the internet.

I've saved some photos from a photo agency onto my computer and added them to an album in my image-hosting account. Now they're in my account, do I still need to get permission from the photo agency to post them?

Yes. The copyright remains with the photographer and the agency, and these photographs can only be posted in the threads at The Royal Forums if you have obtained written permission from the copyright holder.

Can I post photos of magazine covers without getting permission? The covers are in plain view of anyone in the bookstore, so are they protected by copyright laws?

Magazine covers are protected by the same copyright laws as the rest of the content, and may not be posted without permission.

Do I need to say anything about the copyright of a photo or article that I've posted?

As stated in our rules, "By posting content on the Websites you warrant that you are the creator and owner of the posted content, or that you have obtained prior written consent to post said content from a third party owner. When posting content originating from any third party, you agree to conspicuously post the name of said third party adjacent to said posted content." When you post a copyrighted photo or a complete copyrighted article, you should add the statement "Posted with permission from {name of copyright holder}." Please note that lying about having obtained permission will result in a permanent ban from the forum and may also result in legal action against you by the copyright owner. Photos that aren't accompanied by the above statement will be deleted.

Can I post a link to a page of my album at a photo-hosting account instead of posting the photos directly in the threads?

Yes. In this case, you do not need to provide a statement about copyright permission in your post because the photos are not on the Royal Forums site. However, please note that the photo-hosting website will probably also have copyright rules, and you may be infringing those rules by storing copyrighted material.

Do I need to get permission to post links to photos on agency or magazine websites?

No. The photos themselves are still on the original website, so no permission is needed to post a link to that site.

I took some photos of a royal visit to my hometown. Do I own the copyright?

Yes. However, please add a note to your post identifying the photographs as being your own work.

Are really old photos copyrighted? If the copyright belongs to the photographer, and the photographer died 50 years ago, do I still need permission to post the photo? Surely copyright protection doesn't last for ever.

Copyright protection usually extends several decades beyond the lifetime of the photographer or author. However, photos and articles dating from the beginning of the First World War and earlier should no longer be subject to copyright restrictions and may be posted without permission.

I've found an interesting article in another language. Can I post a translation of the entire article?

It's a copyright violation to post translations of entire articles. You can post a link to the article, along with a short English summary, in your own words, of the article. If you find a full translation online, you can post a link to it. If you have your own website or blog and wish to post the translation there, you can add a link to it here. However, your provider will probably also have copyright rules, and you may be infringing those rules by storing copyrighted material.

If an article is copyrighted, does that mean I can't post even one or two sentences of it without having to get permission?

Under the fair-use provision of the US copyright law, small amounts of articles may be posted for the purpose of discussion without having to obtain permission from the copyright holder. As a rule of thumb, we're allowing no more than 20% of the text of an article (but not photos) to be posted, along with a link to the original. Ideally, only a very small amount of the article should be posted: just enough to give an idea of the topic of the article, which may then be read on the original website. When posting material from copyrighted articles, it's always better to post less than more.

We've been posting photos without all these restrictions in the past. Why are you changing the rules and making things so difficult?

Compared with the print media the internet is relatively new, and it's taken a while for laws to be updated to address internet-related issues. There's been something of a tradition of people expecting free access to material posted online. However, owners of copyrighted material have as much right to protect their property on the internet as they do in the print media, and photographers, writers, publishers, and photo agencies have every right to expect to be paid for the work they produce. Publishers are increasingly allowing only paying subscribers to access the majority of their content, and photo agencies are becoming more proactive in insisting that their photos not be posted on discussion boards, websites, or blogs unless the poster has paid them for the photos. Our new copyright rules were written in consultation with a lawyer.

Where can I find information about the copyright law and the fair-use provision?

These websites contain information about US copyright law. (pdf file) (pdf file)
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:24 PM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator in Memoriam
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,469
Alternative Search Method

The Search function which comes inbuilt as part of the Forum's vBulletin software leaves a lot to be desired.

The best alternative is Google where you can specify results from the Forums:

> Google Advanced Search
In the 'site or domain' field, type:

Another advantage of Google is that it allows searching on word strings, which vB doesn't.
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