The House Rules which appear below are for the following learner and teacher websites:
The House Rules are divided into two sections. Violation of any of the rules in the first section is likely to lead to the immediate suspension of your account and could lead to legal action being taken against you by the authorities or an aggrieved party. Be aware that in exceptional circumstances the British Council or BBC could be legally obliged to reveal your registration information and/or IP address to the authorities.
1. Keep your contributions civil, tasteful and relevant. Please:
- Do not post messages that are unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, homophobic or racially offensive.
- No defamatory comments. A defamatory comment is one that is capable of damaging the reputation of a person or organisation. If successfully sued you could be held liable for considerable damages and costs.
- Do not incite people to commit any crime, including incitement of racial hatred.
- Do not post content which you've copied from someone else and don't own the copyright.
Although breaking one of the house rules below is less likely to land you in court, the rules are still important for your own safety, the safety of others and to avoid causing offence. Violation of these rules may result in suspension of your membership.
- No swearing. Please don't use profanities or other words which might offend other users.
- No spamming or flooding. Don't repost the same message, or very similar messages, more than once.
- No personal information. It is not acceptable to publicise your or anyone else's contact details including address, place of employment, name of educational establishment, telephone or mobile number, email address, etc. This is for your own safety and that of everyone who uses this service.
- Keep your posts relevant. Comments added to a particular article, activity, poll or other content should be connected to the topic of the content. Posts which aren't relevant lower the value of the debate for everyone and may be removed.
- No advertising, promotion of products or services. If the editors feel that your content is overtly commercial or for promotional purposes it may be removed.
- Post in English only. Posts containing languages other than English may be removed. Common greetings and salutations in languages other than English may be acceptable.
- No capital letters. This is internet shorthand for raising your voice. You can make your point perfectly well in lower case so please take the caps lock off.
- No impersonating. Impersonating someone (including other members) is unacceptable.
- No inappropriate usernames (vulgar, offensive, etc).
- Abusing the complaints system. Please don't abuse the complaints system. It exists to enable visitors to alert the moderators about content which breaks the above rules. Please contact us to alert us to multiple postings, spelling mistakes and so on. Anyone who abuses the complaints system repeatedly may have their account suspended.
2. Copyright and the law
You own the copyright in your postings, articles and pictures, but you also agree to grant the British Council and BBC a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicenseable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to any such work worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content, consistent with privacy restrictions set forth in the British Council’s and BBC's privacy policies.
If you do not wish to grant such rights to the British Council and the BBC, it is suggested that you do not submit your contribution to this site.
By submitting your contribution to this site, you also warrant that such contribution is:
- your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to the British Council and BBC for all the purposes specified above
- is not defamatory
- does not infringe any law
You also agree to indemnify the British Council and BBC against all legal fees, damages and other expenses that may be incurred by the British Council and BBC as a result of your breach of the above warranty.
You also agree to waive any moral rights in your contribution for the purposes of its submission to and publication on the British Council and BBC site and the other purposes specified above.
You may not post any defamatory or illegal material of any nature. This includes text, graphics, video, and/or audio. Posting a message with the intention of committing or condoning an illegal act is strictly prohibited.
You may not violate, plagiarise, or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights.
If there is any conflict between these Terms and Conditions and/or specific terms appearing elsewhere on this site relating to specific material then the latter shall prevail.
About your privacy
If you register with us, our registration process requires you to supply us with your email details, but we will only use this information to validate your access to the discussions and for other service administration purposes. However, from time to time we also contact a small number of contributors to ask them to participate in focus groups or to provide feedback. The British Council and BBC comply with the 1998 Data Protection Act.
The materials on these sites are designed for non-native speakers who are either learners of English or teachers of English working predominantly in secondary education in state schools around the world.
You must be aged 14 and over to become a member of LearnEnglish or 16 and over to become a member of TeachingEnglish and anyone under age will not be allowed to submit comments, blogs or interact on these sites.
Children aged 13 and under can become a member of LearnEnglish Kids. We want LearnEnglish Kids to be a fun, safe place for kids. To make sure it's a safe place children are not allowed to publish personal information or contact details on the site and we read all comments before we publish them. If any comments break the house rules, we will not publish them.
Violation of any of the rules above may lead to your membership account being temporarily suspended or terminated. The British Council and the BBC additionally reserve the right to suspend or terminate any membership account at any time and at its sole discretion. While suspended, returning to the site by creating another account will constitute a further offence and will result in your account being closed permanently. The British Council and the BBC reserve the right to delete any posting, at any time, for any reason, and is under no obligation to publish any work submitted.