Policy:No legal threats

Green check.svg.png Official BattleTechWiki Policy
This page documents an official BattleTechWiki policy, a widely accepted standard that should normally be followed by all Editors. Any edit to it should reflect consensus. Consider discussing potential changes on the talk page first.


Nutshell.png This page in a nutshell: Do not make threats or claims of legal action on BattleTechWiki. If you have a dispute with the community or its members, involve an Administrator. A polite report of a legal problem, such as defamation or copyright infringement, is not threatening and will be acted on quickly. If you do choose to take legal action, please refrain from editing until it is resolved and note that your user IP or account may be blocked.


Do not make legal threats on BattleTechWiki.

You should always first attempt to resolve disputes by addressing the problem with a BattleTechWiki administrator.

If you must take legal action, we cannot prevent you from doing so. However, we require that you do not edit BattleTechWiki until the legal matter has been resolved to ensure that all legal processes happen via proper legal channels. You should instead contact the person or people involved directly. If your issue involves BattleTechWiki itself, you should contact BattleTechWiki's founder, Nic Jansma.

If you make legal threats, you may be blocked from editing so that the matter is not exacerbated through other than legal channels. Users who make legal threats will typically be blocked from editing indefinitely, while legal threats are outstanding.

What a legal threat isn't[edit]

A polite, coherent complaint in cases of copyright infringement or attacks is not a "legal threat".

If you are the owner of copyrighted material which has been inappropriately added to BattleTechWiki, a clear statement about whether it is licensed for such use is welcome and appropriate. You may contact the team of administrators or contact the founder, Nic Jansma.

It is BattleTechWiki policy to delete libelous material when it has been identified. If you believe that you are the subject of a libelous statement on BattleTechWiki, please contact the administrators.

Background to the policy[edit]

Rationale for the policy[edit]

Making legal threats is uncivil and causes a number of serious problems:

  • It severely inhibits free editing of pages, a concept that is absolutely necessary to ensure that BattleTechWiki remains neutral. Without this freedom, we risk one side of a dispute intimidating the other, thus causing a systemic bias in our articles.
  • It creates bad feelings and a lack of trust amongst the community, damaging our ability to proceed quickly and efficiently with an assumption of mutual good faith.
  • You may damage your reputation on BattleTechWiki.

Attempting to resolve disputes by approaching the administrators or the founder will often lead to a solution without resorting to the blunt tool of the law. If the dispute resolution procedures do not resolve your problem, and you then choose to take legal action, you do so in the knowledge that you took all reasonable steps to resolve the situation amicably.

Withdrawal of legal threat[edit]

The BattleTechWiki community has a long-standing general principle that (almost) anyone is capable of reform. Accordingly, statements made in anger or misjudgement should not always be held against people for the rest of their lives once genuinely and credibly withdrawn. This policy removes the editor for specific reasons, to prevent damage or deterioration, not just because "it's a legal threat": -

  1. It reduces scope for escalation of a bad situation,
  2. It reduces stress and administrative burden on the wiki,
  3. It reduces disruption to articles and the editorial environment,
  4. It prevents the difficult situation where a person is both seeking to be collaborative partner and also setting themselves up as litigatious adversary (in general those two roles are mutually exclusive).

If these conflicts are in fact resolved (or a consensus is reached to test if they are resolved), then in fact there may be no current issue to protect the project against.