Friday, June 1, 2012

Really? REALLY?

So, CAINE is a student organization at the University of Virginia.  Its website is  It has officers, including a treasurer, whose job it is to procure funding from the university so we can have materials for meeting activities as well as expanding our collection.

A few years back, we decided that our website really needed an overhaul.  After weighing our various options we ended up buying hosting and the domain name that we use today.  The main reason was that if we weren't hosted by the university, they had no say in the content of our website and we could be sovereign.

The first thing they took issue with was how we referred to ourselves.  They claimed that saying "UVa Comics and Anime Club" implied that we were affiliated with the university, most likely in an "official endorsement" sense.  They recommended that we change it to "Comics and Anime Club at UVa".  Fine, whatever, they were happy with that, so we changed it and went on with life.

Until yesterday.

Now, apparently, that's not enough.  It's no longer crystal clear that we carry no official endorsement from UVa.  To rectify this, they sent a huge wall of text of legalese that we are to copy, verbatim, onto our "front page".  This is essentially a non-affiliation notice.

Only problem: our "front page" is the forum index.  I imagine they'd want it immediately visible to visitors of the site, which means placing it near the top.  This would push our actual forum content down the page just far enough to confuse new visitors, who don't generally expect a forum to have 5 miles of legalese at the top of the page.  A new visitor is going to take one look at all that legalese, go "ok, whatever", and then look for whatever they actually wanted on the site and effectively ignore it.  So basically, this legalese is for the sole purpose of UVa stroking its giant cock.  Not on my face, thanks.  I'll keep my site clean of such things.

The funny thing is that part of the notice states that they "have no control over" us.  Which is exactly why we have our site hosted by someone other than them in the first place.  So if they have no control over us, then why are they suddenly allowed to dictate content that should appear on our website?

The answer: they're not.  At least, not on my watch.  Good luck, UVa, I'm not putting your jerkoff legalese on my site.  I did, however, change the reference so it says "Comics and Anime Club in Charlottesville".  Let's see Charlottesville send us a notice next.  I'm waiting.  Then I'll take a shit on it and send it back.  In a country that's as extremely litigous as ours is, SOMEONE has to stand up for common sense.

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