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Code of Conduct

  • Group rules

    I trust that everyone abides to the general RPR rules. Please treat this group as a publicly accessible space (meaning everything has to be PG-13 rated) and treat each other with kindness! Additionally, please observe the following rule additions:
    1. Please respect each other's creations. Unsolicited criticism or expressing outright dislike for others' styles is discouraged.
    2. You are encouraged to provide supportive feedback!
    3. Everyone is welcome to try and help solve code issues and puzzles. We're all here to learn from each other!
    4. Sometimes we don't know how to fix something and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with stepping back and letting someone else take over. :)
    5. We take copyright very seriously. This means we insist that you use only assets (e.g. backgrounds, accent graphics etc.) that you have permission to use. Please check out our free resources if you need something specific!
  • Copying or stealing styles

    The copying of styles is a very tricky subject, one we try to approach with care and understanding. This is our position on the matter:

    CSS coding cannot be copyrighted.
    The nature of CSS coding is such that, inevitably, the same code must be used to achieve certain effects across all styles. We're all manipulating the same HTML box setup, which means that many stylesheets look incredibly similar in setup even if we try to create very unique looks.

    A lot of the time, we also rely on code snippets found (and freely shared with us) on tutorial sites. This makes it exceptionally difficult to label code as being stolen.

    Designs can be copyrighted, but only to a certain extent.
    Where the CSS coding is very difficult to claim ownership of, the designs themselves are a little less ambiguous. Styles that were designed with custom made graphics for example cannot have those graphics used by others without permission. Where it starts to get tricky is when assets are publicly available, and when we run into technical limitations that make design elements similar across styles.

    We cannot consider it stealing when someone uses the same background image, when that background image is an obtainable stock image (whether free or paid). We also cannot consider it stealing when design elements have to be in specific positions because the code won't allow us to effectively manipulate it otherwise.

    Does this mean styles can never be stolen?
    I don't think it's that cut and dry. Obviously, it's possible to copy a custom Epic stylesheet and only edit the background image and colors without permission. That is not okay, no matter whether the code can be copyrighted or not. It's still considered stealing someone's hard work of designing and coding this particular style, and we strongly frown upon this and the RPR moderators do take action against this.

    I also believe that if someone copies a stylesheet and then makes significant modifications to it to the point where it's no longer a one-on-one copy of the original style, that it's considered transformative work and becomes a standalone creation inspired by the original as opposed to being theft.

    My bottom line in all of this is that I expect people to ask permission before they take someone else's work, and to make enough changes that the style becomes its own work of art independent of the original source. Kim has made it exceptionally easy to start off modifying an existing official RPR style (where you are allowed to only modify fonts and colors without changing anything else, because she consents to Official Styles being used that way!), and we should encourage people to make full use of this feature. It's one of the best ways to learn and share creativity with one another.

    We should also be kind and help each other reach our full creative potential by sharing our knowledge and helping each other find our own signature style and pushing past our boundaries to try something new. Educating people on what makes a style no longer a copy, but its own standalone creation, is our end goal to help achieve this.

    So... Just be kind and decent to one another. There's no need to steal anything when there are so many people willing to help you achieve the style of your dreams!