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Policies on Contributors, Contributions, and Intellectual Property
Last modified at 1/22/2010 9:47 AM by Thad Lurie

Criteria governing contributor participation

The AHLA wiki is designed to be readable by all AHLA members, but only those who have registered with the AHLA website will be able to contribute to it. Contributors must be AHLA members in good standing. Contributors may submit anonymous contributions via email to editors [at] ahlawiki [dot] org. If the email is sent from an email address not associated with the AHLA member’s AHLA account, the prospective contributor must include his or her full name and telephone number so that AHLA membership can be verified. After membership verification and editorial review, the anonymous contribution will be posted to the Wiki by AHLA staff or a member of the Wiki leadership.

Although the default setting for new pages should be to allow all registered members to edit pages, due to the complex or controversial nature of some topics, content subject matter experts may—within reason—limit contributions on certain topics to preserve the integrity of the information appearing on a particular page or section of the site and institute a quality review process, including, but not limited to, pre-publication review of content.

If a page or section is not available for open editing, the page will typically include contact information for a content subject matter expert who may review or edit contributions prior to posting. In that case, prospective contributors shall first contact the subject matter expert responsible for each page or section for information about contribution policies for that particular page or section.

If a subject matter expert does not allow a prospective contributor to participate, the prospective contributor may appeal this decision to the chair of the Content committee. If the prospective contributor disagrees with this decision, the prospective contributor can appeal the decision to the chair of the Editorial Committee, but such an appeal will only be considered if the prospective contributor can offer substantial evidence that the prospective contributor's participation was denied in a manner that violates AHLA Wiki policies.

Incorporating and attributing external materials

Contributors should feel free to incorporate external materials to the extent permitted under the license under which those materials are made available to the public and are compatible with the copyright and licensing scheme used for the AHLA wiki itself.

For example, if a license strictly forbids reproduction or creation of derivative works without the express written permission of the author, a contributor must obtain such permission prior to submitting any contribution that constitutes a reproduction or derivative work of the original work, and submit evidence of this permission with the quoted material. Generally, a direct quote is “reproduction”, and paraphrasing constitutes a “derivative work.” If there are any doubts as to whether the contribution to the AHLA wiki constitutes a direct quotation or derivative work, please contact the original author from whose work the material is quoted or paraphrased.

Any direct quotations or paraphrasing of any works should be accompanied by an appropriate citation in the format described in the Citation and Formatting policy.

By making any contribution to the AHLA Wiki, each contributor attests that any contribution he or she makes to the site is compatible with U.S. copyright law and the license terms upon which any original works were made available to the contributor. By making a contribution to the AHLA wiki, each contributor acknowledges that the contributor alone shall be liable for any alleged copyright infringement, and that AHLA cannot and shall not be responsible for determining whether copyrighted works are lawfully incorporated into the wiki. AHLA will actively cooperate with any aggrieved copyright holder to address alleged infringement.

Copyright and Intellectual Property Policies

The AHLA wiki is a “collective work”. That is, all contributors retain copyright in their original contributions, however, AHLA shall own the copyright to the work as a whole. AHLA reserves all rights to the wiki as a collective work. Any reproduction or creation of a derivative work based upon the wiki shall be governed by U.S. copyright law.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing between a contributor and AHLA (i.e., signed by an individual or entity with legal authority to bind AHLA), to the maximum extent permitted by law, any unsolicited ideas, suggestions, or technical improvements made to the AHLA wiki by contributors shall become the property of AHLA, and AHLA shall reserve all rights to use and implement any such ideas, suggestions, or technical improvements, without any obligation to compensate the contributor, and with or without attribution to the contributor, at AHLA's option.

Contributions shall be attributed to contributors via the “History” function embedded in the AHLA Wiki software; as a general rule, attribution shall not appear in the text of a wiki entry itself. If contributors have made discrete and unique contributions to a page (for example, separate sections of the same page), to the extent feasible and consistent with other AHLA Wiki policies, each discrete contribution may be attributed to its author with such author’s consent.

Last Reviewed: November 24, 2009

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