[RFC] Legal Settings Page

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Pony99CA
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[RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by Pony99CA »

With various laws being passed and people wanting phpBB to support them, I recommend having a Legal settings link on the General ACP tab to consolidate them. It could support the following items:
  • COPPA (U.S.) -- The COPPA settings on the User registration settings page would be moved here. You might include a link from that page to the new page with text saying something like "Jurisdiction-specific items, like COPPA, are configurable on the Legal settings page."
  • Cookie Notifications (EU) -- This settings for the cookie notification RFC would be configurable here.
  • Imprint page (Germany) -- The German imprint requirement could be configured here, possibly using a generalized Contact Information section to avoid duplication with COPPA (it could also provide the settings for the Contact page RFC).
  • Copyright/credit notice -- Instead of requiring an (admittedly simple) edit of a template or language file, we could store the board's copyright information here for editing. If the field is blank, no credit line would be displayed.
  • Terms of Service and Privacy Policy -- We could pull the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy text from the current language file into a new "legal" language file and allow editing here (similar to the FAQ Manager RFC).
This new page would provide a comprehensive solution to setting various pieces of information required by some jurisdictions.

Steve
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MichaelC
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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by MichaelC »

The page would be added under the Cookie Notifications RFC, then other items can be added to it and I'd say that each of the legal items being added should be in its own RFC.
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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by KnocksX »

I'm a lawyer, and I don't like this idea. It should be up to the owner of the website to include any necessary disclaimers and comply with the laws in his jurisdiction. If phpBB already provides the tools to create a new page within the forum, then that's plenty. Any required notices can be placed on that page.

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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by Pony99CA »

KnocksX wrote:I'm a lawyer, and I don't like this idea. It should be up to the owner of the website to include any necessary disclaimers and comply with the laws in his jurisdiction. If phpBB already provides the tools to create a new page within the forum, then that's plenty. Any required notices can be placed on that page.
First, this is not about adding a page to a forum; it's about adding a page to the ACP. Each legal setting would presumably have it's own Enable/Disable switch, just like COPPA, so the admin would be in complete control over what got displayed to users.

Second, as a lawyer, you understand precedent. phpBB set a precedent with including COPPA support built into the ACP. phpBB also has a copyright/credit notice and Terms & Conditions and a Privacy Policy built in.

Also, the Cookie Notification RFC settings have legal implications and the Contact Page RFC should (in my opinion) take the German Imprint law into account.

All this RFC is calling for is a common page to include these types of things on, suggesting why such a page is necessary (by showing all of the settings that could/should go on it) and providing a suggested implementation for those settings.

Requiring each admin to find an extension for a legal requirement seems burdensome. Requiring each admin to edit what is basically PHP code (the language files are a PHP array) to update the Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy seems crazy. :)

Steve
Last edited by Pony99CA on Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by Pony99CA »

Unknown Bliss wrote:The page would be added under the Cookie Notifications RFC, then other items can be added to it and I'd say that each of the legal items being added should be in its own RFC.
I understand, but I disagree. I want a comprehensive solution to displaying legal settings, but creating a separate RFC for each item would impede that. If you don't think that something belongs on this page, or think that something else does, I'd prefer bringing it up here.

If we decide that such a page is a good idea, then maybe we can decide whether each item needs an RFC, but let's not put the cart before the horse. If you choose to open separate tickets for each item that may go on this page, that's a developers choice and it doesn't matter to me.

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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by KnocksX »

Seeing how I just started a proposal to eliminate the copyright notice, I'm obviously not going to support rooting it in the ACP, not to mention that "precedent" means something decided by a court which must be followed. Nothing that was done previously must be followed; in fact large portions will be ripped out and dismantled in 4.0. ;)
Last edited by KnocksX on Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by AmigoJack »

That's not robust enough at all: once the DBMS is out of order the site owner is doomed. Creating a cache to rely on (which should never expire) is better, but for me it still wouldn't be robust enough.

If phpBB wants to be as robust/smart as now, it should render a full HTML site out of the ACP data once things change there, so that HTML site doesn't rely on anything else (neither the DBMS, nor PHP). That being said, it must render multiple sites for each language installed (each one linking to all other language versions for future reference - who knows which other nations require this later) and also one of all styles (themes) must be chosen.

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Pony99CA
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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by Pony99CA »

KnocksX wrote:Seeing how I just started a proposal to eliminate the copyright notice, I'm obviously not going to support rooting it in the ACP[....]
First, you started a proposal to simplify it, not eliminate it. ;)

Second, why not have it in the ACP? Then each board admin could freely change it as they felt necessary, including eliminating it, without having to edit code to do it. Your proposal could be used to set the default setting for the field.

So I'm still wondering what problem you have with a Legal Settings page. The only downside is as AmigoJack pointed out -- if the database or PHP is down, this information wouldn't be displayed. Of course, your board wouldn't be working, either, so you would probably have bigger issues. :)
KnocksX wrote:[...]not to mention that "precedent" means something decided by a court which must be followed. Nothing that was done previously must be followed; in fact large portions will be ripped out and dismantled in 4.0. ;)
Not being a lawyer, I was using the common definition of precedent:
something done or said that may serve as an example or rule to authorize or justify a subsequent act of the same or an analogous kind
That's similar to what you cited in your proposal -- saying that Microsoft, NBC and ABC were simplifying or eliminating their copyright statements as an argument to get phpBB to simplify theirs.

Also, while the infrastructure will be ripped out in 4.0, do we have any idea how much the user experience will change? Is there even a proof-of-concept UI?

Anyway, this is an RFC for 3.x, not 4.0. But, even when phpBB 4.0 comes out (years from now), I suspect that we'll still have legal requirements on Web sites -- and probably more than we do today. :(

Steve
Last edited by Pony99CA on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by KnocksX »

Pony99CA wrote: First, you started a proposal to simplify it, not elimiinate it. ;)
The proposal is to eliminate the copyright notice and thus simplify the footer notice. I have corrected the title of that topic to reflect the contents of the proposal better.
Second, why not have it in the ACP? Then each board admin could freely change it as they felt necessary, including eliminating it, without having to edit code to do it. Your proposal could be used to set the default setting for the field.
Because phpBB's copyright notice has no business being in the footer of other people's websites. As discussed in the other topic, it's antiquated and misleading to visitors. The copyright of the site is with its publisher, not with the company that coded the forum software. Yes, vBulletin has a copyright notice on other people's sites, and vBulletin is wrong. They are owned by a private equity firm that loves to sue people. We are not them.
I was using the common definition of precedent:
You brought up that word in the legal context and thus received the appropriate definition.

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Pony99CA
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Re: [RFC] Legal Settings Page

Post by Pony99CA »

KnocksX wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:Second, why not have it in the ACP? Then each board admin could freely change it as they felt necessary, including eliminating it, without having to edit code to do it. Your proposal could be used to set the default setting for the field.
Because phpBB's copyright notice has no business being in the footer of other people's websites. As discussed in the other topic, it's antiquated and misleading to visitors. The copyright of the site is with its publisher, not with the company that coded the forum software.
So call it a "credit line" and allow that to be edited here. Board owners could add their copyright notice if they chose, right?

But, ignoring that one feature for the moment, what's your objection to the rest of the proposal?

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