Title 3 of the AIN Code
This page, about the AIN Code, is outdated. Please refer to the Alliance Charter.
Title 3 of the AIN Code (abbreviated 3 A.I.N.C.) is the third official title of the Code of Laws of the Alliance of Independent Nations. It contains all current laws that cover member conduct, including rules, punishment, and disciplinary procedures. As such, it replaced the forum rules when it was passed on 27 June 2014.
Section 1: General Rules
Members of the Alliance of Independent Nations forums will be required to adhere to the following rules. Ignorance of these rules may not be used to excuse violations thereof.
1. Members must be at least 13 years of age when registering on these forums.
2. Members must abide by all laws passed by the Senate.
3. Members may not post malicious links.
4. Members should represent the union on other sites with proper conduct.
- a. Proper conduct includes, but is not limited to: showing respect for other members and their opinions, helping new members, offering constructive criticism, and any behavior which may be classified as selfless, considerate, helpful or creative.
- b. Improper conduct includes, but is not limited to: reacting to a member's out-of-character behavior with in-character consequences, destructive or unconstructive criticism, rudeness, needless threats and ultimatums, selfish acts that lead to wider consequences for others, and ignorance.
5. Members may not make posts that target another member.
- a. Targeting a member includes, but is not limited to: flaming, jokes at a member's expense, discrimination based on race/sex/religion/creed/sexual orientation etc., defamation of any kind, or taking moderative or administrative action against a member due to a personal dispute (henceforth referred to as “abuse of moderator/administrator powers”, or other reasonable variations thereof).
6. Members may not spam threads.
- a. Spam includes, but is not limited to: off-topic posting, redundant posting, and posting that does not advance the conversation in a meaningful way.
7. Members are expected to show proper conduct on the forums.
- a. In addition to the definitions given in clause 4(a) also applying in this section, excessive profanity is prohibited.
8. Members may not share personal information of other members.
9. Members may not impersonate fellow members of these forums elsewhere.
10. Members may not advertise real-life products of any type on these forums without consent.
11. Members may not plagiarize.
12. Members may not cheat in union events.
13. Members must follow all instructions, orders, etc. given by a forum moderator or administrator.
- a. Exceptions may be granted if a sufficiently good reason is given.
- b. The mod/admin team shall decide if a reason is good enough to justify granting an exception.
14. Members may not commit criminal damage.
- a. Criminal damage consists of defacing, destroying, or making unauthorized edits to union property, including (but not limited to) the AIN website, forums, wiki, or laws.
15. Members under no circumstances may register two accounts or share account information.
16. All distribution and promotion of so-called “modpacks” (unauthorized compilations of SimCity 4 plugins) shall be prohibited, and no links to modpacks or sites which host them shall be posted.
17. Members may not post two (2) or more messages in the same thread (hereafter referred to as “double-posting”) unless:
- a. at least one (1) other member posts a message between the first and subsequent posts,
- b. at least twenty-four (24) hours has elapsed between the first and subsequent posts,
- c. the member in question is double-posting in one of his own city journal threads, or
- d. the member in question is double-posting in order to reserve posts in another thread which he started.
18. Members must identify all roleplay in their posts by formatting it with the [roleplay] bbcode tags.
- a. Non-roleplay text may be formatted at the member’s discretion, provided that he does not use the [roleplay] tags to format such text.
19. Members may not glorify Nazism in their posts, regardless of whether it is in roleplay or not.
- a. Glorification of Nazism consists of: denying the Holocaust; displaying any Nazi symbols anywhere on the forums, wiki, or chatrooms except in a way that mocks Nazism; displaying a non-joke image of Adolf Hitler anywhere on the forums, wiki, or chatrooms; using Nazism or any part of its ideology in the formation of national identity; and any speech that favors Nazism.
- b. This rule does not prohibit open discussion about the facts of World War II, any reference to Nazi Germany in an historical context or as part of national histories (including the use of images of World War II to illustrate said history), or chatroom games such as “Wiki Hitler”.
20. Members may not apply to join any other union for any reason without first applying for dual membership, as described in 1 A.I.N.C. §4; and membership in three (3) or more unions is strictly prohibited.
Section 2: Punishments for Specific Violations
Offenses to these rules will be placed into four classes: A, B, C and Negotiable. Classes of each offense will be determined by the Executive Council, as described in paragraph 5.5 of this Title.
1. Class A offenses are severe offenses causing distress, major disrepute or direct/intentional damage to a member or the union.
- a. The following violations of the rules shall be considered Class A offenses: Registering multiple forum accounts, sharing account information, flaming, defamation, discrimination, sharing other members' personal information, impersonation of another member, cheating in union events, criminal damage, glorification of Nazism, and disloyalty (as defined in 1 A.I.N.C. §4.1(b)).
- b. Punishment for a Class A offense is a minimum one (1)-year ban; the maximum punishment is a permanent ban and withdrawal of a member’s membership; and the maximum punishment shall be reserved for only the most severe offenses, and shall require a unanimous vote of the Executive Council.
2. Class B offenses are less serious offenses causing a degree of irritation, some disrepute or indirect damage to a member or the union.
- a. The following violations shall be considered Class B offenses: Posting malicious links, making jokes at another member's expense, abuse of moderator/administrator powers, serious spamming, plagiarism, refusal to obey instructions, and revealing sensitive AIN information to non-members.
- b. Punishment for a Class B offense shall consist of a one (1)- to fourteen (14)-day ban. Two (2) Class B offenses within a period of 365 consecutive days will result in Class A action being taken.
3. Class C offenses are misdemeanors which cause minor annoyance to a user or a refusal to obey union standards.
- a. The following violations shall be considered Class C offenses: Spamming, excessive profanity, advertising real-life products without prior consent, illegal voting (as defined in 2 A.I.N.C. §1.4), illegally applying to another union, and membership in three or more unions.
- b. Users who commit a Class C offense shall receive an official warning; further Class C offenses shall be punished with a thirty (30)-minute to six (6)-hour ban. Three (3) Class C offenses within a period of 365 consecutive days will result in Class B action being taken.
4. Negotiable offenses are minor incidents which admins will ask a member to correct.
- a. The following shall be considered negotiable offenses: Violations of most union laws, oversized images, overuse of emoticons, inappropriate banners, double-posting, and failure to properly format roleplay text.
- b. Users who commit a negotiable offense shall receive an informal warning. Five (5) negotiable offenses within a period of 365 consecutive days will result in Class C action being taken.
Administrators and moderators reserve the right to arbitrate all offenses. The Executive Council shall determine the exact punishment to impose, as described in paragraph 5.5.
Section 3: Chatrooms
The rules contained in section 1 shall also apply, whenever possible, to any and all chatrooms established by or for the AIN, and to any chatrooms which a non-member may reasonably assume to be affiliated with the AIN, whether those chatrooms are created on Skype, IRC, or any website or other instant messaging client.
1. In addition to the above rules, if any member present in a chatroom is uncomfortable with or offended by the topic under discussion at any time, or with the way a discussion is going, he may state his discomfort with (or offense at) that topic, after which all public discussion of that topic must cease immediately.
2. All AIN forum administrators and moderators shall be authorities in all AIN-affiliated chatrooms, and shall have power to enforce these rules, and to discipline any member who refuses to comply with these rules.
3. Punishment of offenses committed in a chatroom shall be at the discretion of the administrators and moderators present in that chatroom, and may include warnings for first and second offenses, temporary removal from the chatroom after a third offense, or any more severe punishment deemed appropriate for subsequent offenses. All punishments for chatroom offenses may be appealed to the Executive Council unless specified otherwise.
Section 4: Good Standing and Statute of Limitations
1. A member shall be in good standing in the Alliance if he has no violations of these rules on his record.
2. Violations shall automatically be removed from a member's record after a fixed period of time has passed since his punishment began, the length of that period depending on the classification of his offense as follows:
- a. Negotiable offenses shall not be entered into a member's record for any period of time.
- b. Class C offenses shall be removed one (1) to three (3) months after punishment began.
- c. Class B offenses shall be removed four (4) to six (6) months after punishment began.
- d. Class A offenses shall be removed no less than one (1) year after punishment began, and in some cases may never be removed, except by a vote of the Executive Council.
3. Abuse of moderator/administrator powers shall never be removed from a member's record, but after six months, it shall only serve to disqualify that member from ever again serving as a moderator or administrator.
4. The above statutes of limitations shall serve as absolute upper and lower limits for their respective categories of offense. The Executive Council may, at its discretion, impose shorter or longer time limits on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all relevant circumstances, as long as the time limit imposed abides by the above clauses.
Section 5: Disciplinary Hearings
All users of the AIN forums and chatrooms who are accused of committing a Class A or B offense, as defined in section 2 of this Title, shall be entitled to a fair and speedy trial. Such trials shall be referred to as “disciplinary hearings” and shall proceed as described in this section.
1. Except as specified otherwise in this section or when voluntarily waived, all users accused of a Class A or B offense shall have the following rights as part of the disciplinary hearing process:
- a. The right to know the charges against them;
- b. The right to choose an advocate for the hearing, or to serve as their own advocate;
- c. The right to lodge objections with the Committee of Trustees against any executive, staff member, or Trustee whom they have reason to believe has a conflict of interest which would prevent them from being impartial during the hearing;
- d. The right to offer testimony in their own defense, and to refuse to testify against themselves if no truthful alternatives exist;
- e. The right to know what verdict has been rendered on their case, and what sentence has been handed down no less than 48 hours before it goes into effect; and
- f. The right to file an appeal before the Committee of Trustees if they believe the verdict or sentence against them is in error or unreasonable.
2. If any user accuses another user of a Class A or B offense, and the accused does not admit guilt, the Executive Council shall, at its earliest possible convenience, begin an investigation into the accusations to determine their truth or falsity.
- a. The President of the Alliance may conduct such investigations himself, or he may appoint a moderator to conduct them on a case-by-case basis, whichever he deems most appropriate for the specific case. This investigator shall also serve as the prosecutor during the hearing.
- b. The President shall be prohibited from conducting an investigation if he lacks the available time necessary to conduct the investigation in a timely manner.
- c. If the accused has reason to believe that the President has a conflict of interest which would prevent him from being impartial during the hearing, he shall lodge an objection with the Committee of Trustees. If the Trustees then determine that the accused’s objections are valid, the president shall be prohibited from both serving directly as prosecutor and selecting an alternate prosecutor, such selection falling instead to the rest of the Executive Council.
- d. All such investigations shall attempt to determine the course of events that led to the accusations, as well as the circumstances under which those events occurred.
- e. Investigations should last no longer than necessary to gather all relevant facts, so that the disciplinary hearing will not be delayed unnecessarily.
3. Users accused of such offenses may choose to defend themselves (serving as their own advocate), or to select an advocate from among the union’s moderators or the Committee of Trustees.
- a. This advocate shall communicate with the accused to keep him informed of the results of the investigation, to plan his defense at the hearing, and to inform him of the verdict once the hearing is concluded.
- b. The advocate shall not be the staff member who is serving as prosecutor.
- c. It shall primarily be the advocate’s responsibility to present the accused’s defense at the hearing, although the accused may also testify on his own behalf if he so chooses.
4. Disciplinary hearings shall take place once the investigation has concluded.
- a. Hearings shall take place in a new private forum, to be named the “Disciplinary Court”, to which the jury, prosecutor, advocate, and defendant shall be given access before a hearing begins.
- b. The President shall preside over all hearings (unless he is the defendant or the prosecutor), and the Executive Council shall serve as the jury (excluding any administrators who are defendants, or who are serving in other roles in the case at hand).
- c. If the accused has reason to believe that any members of the Executive Council have a conflict of interest which would prevent them from being impartial during the hearing, he shall lodge an objection with the Committee of Trustees. If the Trustees then determine that the accused’s objections are valid, those executives against whom the objection was lodged shall be prohibited from serving on the jury for that hearing, and an equal number of moderators and/or non-executive Trustees shall be appointed to take their place on the jury.
- d. The prosecutor shall first present his findings. The advocate and/or defendant shall then present the accused’s defense. The jury shall then deliberate, based on the testimony presented, and once they have finished deliberating they shall cast votes to determine the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
- e. A majority “guilty” vote by the jury shall be sufficient to convict the defendant.
5. If the accused is convicted of any of the offenses of which he was accused, the Executive Council shall determine how to punish the offender, in accordance with section 2 of this Title.
- a. The offender’s disciplinary history with the AIN, his contributions to the union, and his defense shall be considered when determining the exact sentence, e.g. to decide the precise length of a ban or of the statute of limitations (subject to the restrictions in section 4 of this Title).
- b. All sentences shall be decided by a majority vote among the Executive Council and shall go into effect no less than 48 hours after said vote concludes.
- c. The offender may request that his sentence be delayed by up to seven (7) days if time constraints prevent him from requesting an appeal within 48 hours of the sentence being decided.
- d. If the offender commits any further violations of the rules in section 1 of this Title, his right to an appeal shall be void, and his punishment shall begin immediately.
6. Members who have been convicted in a disciplinary hearing may, at their discretion, choose to appeal their verdict or sentence to the Committee of Trustees before their sentence goes into effect. Appeal hearings shall proceed in the same manner as disciplinary hearings, with the following differences:
- a. The President shall not serve as judge if he is the defendant or serving in another role in the case at hand.
- b. The jury shall be the Committee of Trustees, excluding any Trustees who are defendants or are serving in other roles in the case at hand.
- c. The offender’s advocate shall present his argument for overturning the Executive Council’s decision and specify whether the offender is appealing the verdict or the sentence. The defendant may offer testimony on his own behalf, as during disciplinary hearings.
- d. The jury shall vote whether to uphold or overturn the original decision, a majority vote for either option being sufficient.
- e. Decisions to uphold the Executive Council’s decision may not be further appealed.
- f. If the Committee of Trustees votes to overturn the sentence (but not the verdict), the Executive Council must reduce the sentence by at least one full class level (e.g. reducing a Class A sentence to a Class B sentence). Such reductions may, themselves, be appealed if the offender so chooses.
- g. If the Committee of Trustees votes to overturn the verdict, the defendant shall be acquitted of the charges against him, and shall not be tried again on the same charges.
7. A disciplinary hearing shall still continue for any union member who resigns from the AIN before it is concluded, as if said member had not resigned. The sentence handed down for any offenses of which he is convicted shall still be implemented, and the member’s record shall reflect said offenses in accordance with section 4 of this Title.
8. A summary of each hearing shall be posted in a public forum as a notice to all members immediately after a case concludes. The same shall be true of each appellate hearing.
- a. Summaries shall include: opening statements, summaries of the arguments for and against the charges, closing statements, and the results of all votes on verdicts, sentencing, and appeals.
- b. Summaries shall be crafted with care, so as to avoid presenting any bias toward or against any of the members involved in the hearing.
Section 6: Past Punishments
1. All permanent bans handed down before 27 June 2014 shall be reviewed by the Executive Council to determine whether they should be upheld or terminated. If any bans are terminated as a result of this review process, the Executive Council shall determine whether or not to place each person subject to those bans on the union blacklist, in accordance with the regulations in 1 A.I.N.C. §5.
- a. Permanent bans for spamming shall be exempt from this paragraph.
2. Except as part of the process in paragraph 1, the Executive Council shall not vote to terminate any sentence it previously handed down, whether before or after 27 June 2014, if it is still in effect.
Dual Membership Reform Act (§1.20, additions to §2)