Hindering Backchannels Rule

A nontrivial number of interesting collaborative FLOSS legal endeavors have been operated in a relatively nontransparent and methodologically suboptimal manner. The following norms of project participation are designed to discourage this tendency. These norms shall be known informally as the “Hindering Backchannels Rule” :

  1. Contributions in the form of word-processing documents (even if in a free/open standard format), "redlined" or otherwise, are unacceptable and will be deleted immediately.

  2. No private mailing lists (including but not limited to those governed by the so-called Chatham House Rule) will be used by this project. Public archiving of mailing lists used by this project is strongly encouraged; however, archives are not mandatory and partial archiving is permitted.

  3. Except in extraordinary cases, private telephone calls, private teleconferences, private in-person meetings, and private email communications shall not be used to discuss substantive development of this project. Should such private communications nevertheless occur, participants in such communications are expected to publish summaries of any relevant discussions in a manner or medium accessible to the general net public.

  4. Contributing by informal suggestions or proposals made in a posting to the project mailing list is welcome. However, suggestions or proposals that are made in the form of top-posted replies to quoted earlier mailing list postings by others are strongly discouraged.

  5. Criticisms of, or proposed changes to, the Hindering Backchannels Rule are welcome, though such criticisms or proposals must themselves comply with the Hindering Backchannels Rule as it exists at the time the criticism or proposal is made.