Change in our Tethering policy (and our approach to some other content)


  1. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    The tethering policy that we have held here at AF for a long time has now been lifted, as well as our approach to some potentially illegal content. After a long period of discussion between administration and the moderators, we're doing what we feel is best for the Android community and AF in general.

    While we as a forum do NOT endorse nor encourage illegal or immoral activity (such as tethering against your TOS, call recording against state law, altering key phone identifiers against carrier policy, etc) - we will no longer blindly ban all conversations relating to such discussions on a site-wide basis. There are so many grey areas that it's simply impossible to continuously determine what is and isn't acceptable in a consistent manner without stifling conversation and muzzling freedom of speech. While AndroidForums.com technically "owns" the content posted on the site, each user is responsible for the lawfulness of their posts and we take no responsibility for what a user chooses to post or ask here.

    We will no longer target tethering or other breach-of-TOS conversations on AF. Android related actions that may be illegal in some states (recording phone calls is the best example here) will also be left alone. We will, however, continue to target piracy, copyright infringement, and endorsement of hate crimes, etc etc.

    Please know that any information posted here is ours to do what we wish with - including providing account information tied to threads/posts if a court or law enforcement agencies were to ask for it. (Not that we expect that to ever happen) We will, under our sole discretion, comply with law enforcement requests for certain data should we be approached. It will be up to the end user to ensure what they do here remains within the boundaries of the law and agreements they make with carriers, and they will accept ultimate responsibility for any consequences for a breach.

    Much like YouTube's policies, we will assume our users are acting within the boundaries of the law, will investigate situations where we're notified of illegal material, and will cooperate with 3rd parties who request we take down information that is shared illegaly. With that said, we still reserve the right to remove any content for any reason we see fit (this is a privately owned site, after all).

    To those who are against this: Please understand we cannot please everyone, and this is what we feel is best for the community and the site. Please simply avoid any threads that you don't agree with.

    Our staff will not aide in helping users find or create information that is actually illegal. Illegal vs against TOS are two different things and each situation will be taken on a case by case basis. The information may reside on the site - but it will be up to the members to find it or point each other to it. Staff will absolutely not take part in this, and can lose their badge for doing so. (For the record, tethering is not considered illegal.)

    In using this site you are agreeing that you understand and will comply with the terms stated above. The site's terms of service, to which all members must agree, have been updated to reflect this change. All site stickies concerning this will be updated or removed shortly.

    Thank you.

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  2. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    I think this is good. What may be against a state law, may be legal where I am and vice versa. It cant be policed and its unfair to sensor things that are not illegal for other members.
    Bradden, Nor3X, OutOfPhase and 2 others like this.
  3. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ~Play Nice~ Moderator

    I had no problem with the old policy, this is nice. I have tethered against the TOS, only for the curiosity factor of it. I actually did it with a VZW netbook with unlimited 3G access, how ironic. Anyway, this new policy seems consistent with what I have seen with the posts on the site. Generally to keep it legal and honest. I am a parent and want nothing less from my children than I do from the forum posters. Kudos to the owner, admins, mods, guides, and any others involve for having a great community.
  4. 350X

    350X Well-Known Member

    Well you can't be locking tethering threads [like mine that was posted today in LG OV section] if your going to allow and have rooting and breaking threads and forum section.

    Using tethering on my OV, which is a built in stock function, doing no root or mods, just downloading an app from the built in market. is legal.

    and "Here's something to consider. According to the Privacy Policy that ships on every Android phone, 3rd party apps don't violate the TOS. They can follow their own rules. As far as I know this includes GingerBreak, PDANet, FoxFi etc."

    which means makes it all legal.

    locking threads about tethering is messed up.

    unlock my thread plz. Ive gone above and beyond to only do what my stock phone can physically do with out rooting or breaking.

    http://androidforums.com/lg-optimus-v/490497-virgin-ov-2-2-2-wifi-hotspot-tethering.html
    ChazzMatt likes this.
  5. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    The action on your thread was taken before the policy change, and per your request, it's now re-opened.

    No need for further frustrations on legalities, per Phases' post, tethering isn't illegal and is up to you and your carrier to sort out.
    Nor3X, twospirits, novox77 and 7 others like this.
  6. Tim K

    Tim K Well-Known Member Contributor

    Make sure you guys have registered a DMCA takedown agent. Just to be safe. As a service provider you are 'immune' to copyright lawsuits as long as you have a registered DMCA agent and respond to takedowns appropriately....and some other stuff. But the registered agent is a critical piece.
  7. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    I'm just glad the policy is now clear!! :)
    twospirits, OfTheDamned and EarlyMon like this.
  8. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    This is great news. Thank you for actually listening to your members and adopting a very balanced, common sense policy. Glad to see AF removing its foot from a slippery slope.
    twospirits, OfTheDamned and EarlyMon like this.
  9. ninedragons

    ninedragons Member

    Well said! A forum as big as AF can't monitor every single post, and as you said, there are gray areas, and every AF member needs to take account, and personal responsibility of their posts, and the content and context of therein.
    twospirits, OfTheDamned and EarlyMon like this.
  10. Mr. Orange 645

    Mr. Orange 645 Well-Known Member

    As I've said before, this community is the best Modded forums I have ever been apart of, and I'm a member at several. Thanks to the staff here for all you do.
  11. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Well-Known Member

    I am glad to see that this subject has been clarified. Thanks for the heads up, Phases.

    This forum has always made policies clear and concise, which is something that I highly value. Keep up the great work.
    twospirits, Nor3X and EarlyMon like this.
  12. Nor3X

    Nor3X Active Member

    Awesome,:) after I joined, here, it gets better and better every day...

    Hey everybody, come to the dark side, we have cookies and milk here!!!

    Anybody????

    I could give you Darth Vader's personal number...for [size=+1]free[/size]!!! Listen....[size=+1]free[/size]. Repeat...[size=+1]free[/size]. Use it in the sentence..... Damn.....it's really hard to be a darksider these days.....:( ..nahh just kidding:D:D:D

    ==================================================================================================

    Really nice changes, guys, it makes everything, a lot simpler - to everyone.

    Peace out, guys:cool:
    twospirits, EarlyMon and Frisco like this.
  13. Dark Penguin

    Dark Penguin Active Member

    I've tethered in the past against my TOS, but desisted when I learned it wasn't allowed. Still, I applaud the change on the premise that merely discussing something isn't the same thing as doing it, or even conspiring to do so.
    ChazzMatt and EarlyMon like this.
  14. n4zty

    n4zty Well-Known Member

    UNLEASHING fair knowledge.....very POWERFUL! WOOOT!
    EarlyMon likes this.
  15. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ # Moderator

    My hat is off to Rob and Phases. Although I complied with the more restrictive policy, it did bother me and frankly I found myself spending less time here for fear of a slip of the tongue. This is huge IMO and has seriously renewed my desire to contribute regularly again. Thanks for standing up for internet FOS.
  16. amazin1988

    amazin1988 Well-Known Member

    Ummmmm I new to this so what's so wrong about tethering just wanted to know
  17. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    nothing ...

    just that the major / most usa carriers do not allow you to do it.. it is in their contract that you signed.. you must pay them a monthly fee to do it.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  18. TRS-80

    TRS-80 Well-Known Member

    Amen, and about time! I have thought that a laissez-faire attitude toward tethering was the wisest course of action for a long time now. Glad to see that the powers that be have now arrived at the same conclusion! The site will be better off now because of this decision. Cheers!
    EarlyMon and Frisco like this.
  19. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

    Kind of says it all, right there. ^ ;)
  20. Team420

    Team420 Well-Known Member

    Thats not entirely true... I can only speak for sprint cuz thats who I use, but there is nothing in the TOS that says anything about tethering.. In fact, sprint has no issue with tethering at all, it is an option on the phone to tether a laptop or whatever via usb, if you use their wireless tether app, they charge you $X/mo, but it does not say in the TOS that you cannot download a 3rd party app to do so, just that they charge for their app...
    EarlyMon likes this.
  21. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    Sorry, late to this conversation...

    I'm comfortable with these changes. It makes staff jobs easier to no longer be de facto enforcers of the carriers' policies, and having a lighter touch probably makes the place friendlier for our visitors as well.

    US-centric side note: There is no freedom of speech issue, as that's a concept that applies only to government censorship. There is no Constitutional right for anybody to be able to say anything they want in someone else's private venue (such as AF).
    Seanette likes this.
  22. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

    Quite true, that ^.

    In addition, online forums are not little democracies, even though some say they are. :D

    If we were to superimpose the "lifestyle" or culture of a successful forum cluster, such as AF, on a country or state or city, etc, that place would be seen as quite the restrictive environment, especially with regard to maintaining order, but also in how the "streets" etc are kept tidy and so on. ;)

    Bickering and other unsavory or disruptive behaviors out in the real world are common, for example; no laws broken. Here that stuff is shut down as quickly as possible so productive discourse can continue, or just joking around a bit can continue with no little verbal slap fights erupting. :D
    BlueBiker likes this.
  23. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    Yep, Wild West at some forums, make sure to wear your flame-reta rdant suit. Yeehaw! :rolleyes:
  24. swc2001

    swc2001 Well-Known Member

    Well Looks like I can come back to Android Forums full time again.
    After the Tethering ban I didnt come here too often. Nor did alot of my buds.

    Thank you for reversing the decision.
    I can once again call this home.
  25. Seanette

    Seanette Well-Known Member

    Stupid question alert from the puzzled newbie: is there a glossary around here? I'm not sure what "tethering" even is. ;)

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