WWW Virtual Library Bylaws

The current location of this document is http://vlib.org/admin/SepBylaws

(The Vlib Constitution)

Art. I: Membership

  1. Membership will be open to any person or entity maintaining a comprehensive and annotated catalog of best on-line resources available for a specific subject domain.
  2. Membership will only be granted to persons or entities willing to avoid unnecessary replication of other people's on-line work and to further the WWWVL objectives.
  3. Application procedure:
    1. Applications for membership of the VL shall be submitted (by sending an email message indicating the URL of the document that would potentially be included in the WWWVL) in the first instance to the secretary, who will determine whether the applicant complies with agreed-upon requirements. The secretary may:
      1. reject an application, subject to appeal by the applicant to the full council (see Art. I.4.b).
      2. inform the applicant of errors or inadequacies in the application and request that the site be amended and resubmitted.
      3. pass the application to the council, with a recommendation that it be approved, or request debate on any aspect of the application. If the recommendation is for approval, the council will have one week to register an objection before the application is sent to the full membership for approval. If objections are raised, the council will vote on the application within one month; a simple majority is required to either reject the application or send the application to the full membership. An objection can only be raised by a member of the WWWVL.
    2. A candidate whose application has been rejected without a vote from the membership and who wants to appeal to the membership needs to find a member willing to relay his/her appeal to the wwwvlannounce mailing list. As soon as the appeal has been relayed, the council will start a vote for the membership to accept or reject the application. The result of the vote by the membership will be final.
    3. Once approved by the council, the new site shall be given a trial membership, added to the database and catalog, and announced on the wwwvlannounce mailing list.
    4. Members shall have one month to raise objections or propose changes to the new site, to which the applicant must respond. If no objections are raised within one month, the applicant shall be made a full VL member.
    5. If objections are raised, the applicant can make changes to the proposed VL entry to get the objections removed by those who raised them. If any objection is maintained after the one month period, or at least for two weeks after it has been raised, whichever comes last, the council shall put the application to a vote of the full membership.
  4. The council shall have the right to recommend that a site's membership of the VL be terminated. The recommendation will be announced on the wwwvlannounce mailing list and, if an objection is raised by any member in good standing, including the member about to be expelled, within the four weeks that follow the announcement, a vote shall be organized to decide on the matter. If no objection is raised, or if the vote recommends termination, the council shall remove that member from the membership list.
  5. Members shall have the right to remove any of their sites that are listed in the WWWVL catalogue, at any time, without any restrictions. Members who withdraw all their sites from the WWWVL catalogue will have their membership automatically terminated.

Art. II. Decisions on implementing the Constitution, Bylaws or any rules or Code made under them.

  1. If the Council becomes aware of a suspected breach of the Constitution, Bylaws or any rules or Code made under them by a member or a member site, it shall appoint a Reporting Officer (RO). The RO shall write to the member in question detailing the perceived breach and inviting the member's response. The RO and the member will work together to try and resolve any problem amicably and constructively. If the matter is in the RO's opinion resolved satisfactorily, he will report this to the Council forthwith. If after three weeks the RO and the member have failed to agree a solution and/or if an agreed solution has failed to be implemented, the RO shall advise the member that the Council shall be asked to decide on the matter. The RO will draw up a report for the Council. This will be copied to the member who will have ten days to submit a response to the matter or matters in the report. The Council may then decide:

    In the latter case,

    Any requested action must be implemented within seven days, after which period the Council will decide whether there remains a breach and if so it will decide as above.

  2. In the case of a dispute between two (or more) members who cover the same subject matter, the RO shall attempt to mediate between the two parties. If the RO believes that the mediation attempt has failed, the RO shall make a report to the Council. Both (or all) members involved will be sent a copy of the report and invited to submit their responses, which having been submitted will be copied to the other party. The Council will then decide on the matter.
  3. The Council may decide that there are grounds for expulsion, the council shall send a last warning to the infringing member. If the member site does not comply with the ruling within one month of being informed of it, the council will pronounce the expulsion. The Council may otherwise decide to submit the expulsion to the vote of the membership.
  4. The council may also impose temporary sanctions, including but not limited to: removal of the site from the catalogue until the site is in compliance with council rulings, or suspension of privileges to post to the mailing lists or to use common member services.
  5. A member may appeal a ruling by submitting an initiative proposal (Art. VIII of the WWWVL constitution), within two months of the ruling. If the member has been expelled, that member must contact a current member to submit the initiative, and shall then be invited by the council to be temporarily added to the WWWVL list to be able to debate the issue.
  6. The council is empowered to take appropriate action to defend the integrity of the WWWVL, in cases where a former members is continuing to display the WWWVL name or logo, or any other unauthorised use of the name and logo.
  7. If a member wishes to challenge the result of a vote, that member can do so by sending a message to the wwwvl mailing list. The council shall then point out the URL where the votes are listed and shall require the "challenger" to indicate which listed votes are incorrect and to publicly (i.e. on the wwwvl mailing list) provide the proof thereof. Based on the challenger's information and the opinion expressed by the other members, the council shall decide whether to accept the challenger's arguments and to update the results accordingly, or to reject the challenger's arguments. The council's decision shall be expressed publicly (i.e. on the wwwvl mailing list) and shall be considered final.

Art. III. Arbitration

Any disputes arising with respect to or in connection with the Constitution, Bylaws or any rules or Code made under them shall be finally decided by one or more arbitrators in accordance with the Rules of arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Geneva. Unless otherwise agreed, the language of the arbitration shall be English. Notwithstanding the generality of the above, the following disputes are specifically covered by this article:

Last update: Aug. 9, 2000 at 19:12 (GMT+1:00) (the US east coast is GMT-5:00, i.e. 6 hours earlier)
(Links, style and html-coding updated during the first quarter of 2005. Wording remains unaltered.)
March 14th 2005: Title ('h1') corrected to "Bylaws" (had read "Constitution", the 'head-title' remains as before). (Hyperlink added to the actual Constitution, but that does not form part of the formal wording of the Bylaws.)