This Member Code of Conduct (“Member Code”) will serve as a code of conduct for Authors Guild (“AG”) members. It is intended to encourage AG members to behave in a manner in accordance with the goals of the AG, which are to:
- Supply information to its members regarding their joint professional interests and matters affecting those interests;
- Suggest, initiate, and carry out actions on behalf of its members' joint professional interests; and
- Protect and promote the professional interests of creators of literary material.
To help the AG accomplish these goals in a constructive and supportive manner, AG members agree to:
- Support the preservation and enforcement of authorial and intellectual property rights.
- Treat fellow members, AG staff, directors, volunteers, program participants, and others with respect.
Observe and adhere to the AG's Constitution, policies (including but not limited to the AG’s Anti-Harassment Policy and its Policy Regarding Discriminatory and Harassing Posts and other rules.
The principles of this Member Code are expressed in broad statements to provide a framework of conduct; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations, and the AG may use its discretion to determine if and how the Member Code applies to specific conduct.
An AG member may be subject to disciplinary action if the actions of such member are determined to constitute one or more of the following:
- Intentionally making false or misleading oral or written statements about membership status or about one’s qualifications for membership status (including but not limited to falsely claiming authorship of works).
- Intentionally making false or misleading oral or written statements about the AG where such statements are injurious to the AG, its reputation, or its purposes.
- Unauthorized use of another member's intellectual property, including but not limited to such other member's name (including pseudonyms), logo, trademarks or service marks, and/or copyrighted works, except where such use falls under the accepted legal interpretation of “fair use”.
- Unauthorized use of AG property, including but not limited to funds or money, the AG's name, logo, other trademarks or service marks, copyrighted information, and membership listings.
- Recommending author services on AG online forums or Communities or through any other AG resource for which the poster receives a commission or other fees, while failing to disclose the commissions or fees.
- Violating the Terms of Service of the AG Communities, including but not limited to “trolling”, abusing or harassing AG staff, other AG members or their beliefs; this may be cause for disciplinary action, including expulsion from the Communities.
- Violating the AG’s Constitution, its Sexual Harassment Policy, or Policy Regarding Discriminatory and Harassing Posts, or other policies.
- To the extent not otherwise addressed above, repeatedly or intentionally engaging in conduct injurious to the AG, its members or its purposes.
- Harassing, bullying, or otherwise failing to treat fellow members, AG staff, directors, volunteers, program participants, and others with respect.
- To the extent not otherwise addressed above, repeatedly or intentionally engaging in conduct with the intent of harming a member's career, reputation, or wellbeing. Specifically excluded from this section are exchanges of business information, true statements, personal disagreements, and honest discussions of books, social media posts, or marketing materials.
Violations of this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, which may include prohibiting the member from taking part in an AG event or taking advantage of an AG benefit (such as the AG online forums and Communities, member websites or profiles). Members will be removed from membership only for failure to pay dues within the grace period (in which event they may be reinstated upon payment) and failure to meet qualifications for membership. The AG, AG members, and others who have been harmed by the member shall retain the right to assert any legal claims they may have, whether or not disciplinary action is taken.
This Code of Conduct may be amended at any time on notice to the members.