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Those of you who've either been with us for a while, or who've mined deep into the historical seams of our back issues section, might recall that we used to have a chat mailing list.

The idea was to provide a "forum" where Critical Miss readers could discuss roleplaying, life, whatever, and in which we could join in, as and when we felt like it.

It was quite a laugh for a time, but then we had a little problem with someone posting the entire text of an article "lifted" from Pyramid, which is a pay-to-view site. What made it worse was that he'd even included the text which appears at the bottom of every Pyramid article:

"Copyright (c) 2002 by Steve Jackson Games. All rights reserved. Pyramid subscribers are permitted to read this article online, or download it and print out a single hardcopy for personal use. Copying this text to any other online system or BBS, or making more than one hardcopy, is strictly prohibited. So please don't. And if you encounter copies of this article elsewhere on the web, please report it to webmaster@sjgames.com."

Now I'm sure the person concerned did it with the best of intentions, but as you can imagine it put us in an awkward position, especially given the way in which UK law differs from US law. If you want to know what I mean, take a peek at this story...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_695000/695596.stm

...and laugh at how stupid we are.

Basically, under the UK law it seemed like we might be liable for the copyright infringement, since we might be deemed the publisher, and we couldn't plead ignorance of the violation as it basically contained a message at the bottom saying: "this has been stolen from me, if you find it, please contact me at..."

In the end, after an evening of trying to work out what our legal position was, which given that we're not lawyers wasn't that easy, we came to the conclusion that having a mailing list wasn't fun any more.

Our mission in life is to publish a magazine, not run a web portal.

So we shut down the chat mailing list. Which was a pity, but meant we could sleep nights without soiling the bedclothes when we dreamt of the shit that might be getting sent via *our* list.

And so the story ended, until one of our readers, Megan, made an interesting suggestion.

Basically, her idea was that she would set up a webforum on one of the various portal sites that offer free forums. We would publicise it, and perhaps use it as an venue where people could communicate with us, but she would administer it as an independent entity. (I.e. it's her forum not ours, but we'll hang around on it and join in threads, if and when we feel like it. Think of it as a fan site).

This way we get to have the fun of a forum, without any of the legal concerns or hassles.

It seemed like a great idea, so we said "go for it" and she did.

How To Get There

Just go to:

http://forums.delphiforums.com/criticalmiss/start

This will take you to the intro page, and it should be pretty self-explanatory from there.

And remember, if you have any questions or concerns, it's Meg's forum, so contact her on: serena@awaywiththepixies.com.

Will We Be There?

From time to time, yes. The forum does have a chat option, so if there's a demand for it, then perhaps we could even do some real-time Q & A sessions. Maybe. Who knows. Start a thread on the forum and discuss it if you like the idea.


What do you think of this article?

It ascended to heaven and walked with the gods.
It was very good.
It was pretty good.
It was okay.
It was a bit bad.
It was very bad.
It sucked, really, really badly.