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B5-Review-L Information

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 @@@@@    @@@   @@@@@@@             Introduction to and
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  @@@@@@  @@@      @@@@             Babylon 5 Reviews Electronic Forum
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  @@@@@@@@@@@@      @@@@            by Michael S. Shappe, moderator
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  @@@@@@@@@@@@      @@@@            FAQ Copyright 1994 Michael Scott Shappe
 @@@      @@@@      @@@@@           See complete legalese at end of FAQ
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(ASCIIgram Logo by Troy Rutter <;)

First Edition, Version 1.2
22 August 1994
Welcome to the Babylon 5 Reviews Electronic Forum.

This file will answer many of the frequently asked questions about the
forum. If you have a question about the forum which you do not see
here but think should be, please send your questions to me at

Here is the list of questions. A '+' in the first column means the
question is new to this version. A '!' means that the answer to that
question has changed in some non-trivial way (spelling and grammar
changes are not usually flagged).

General questions:
! 1] What is the Babylon 5 Reviews Electronic Forum.

Joining the forum:
  2] How do I subscribe to the mailing list?

Archive questions:
  3] Where is the archive kept?
  4] How to I retrieve a file from the archive?
  5] Why can't I reach the archive via
  6] Can I set up an archive that's reachable via MFRM?

Submission questions:
! 7] What sort of article is acceptable?
! 8] What sort of material ISN'T acceptable?
  9] How do I submit material to the forum?
 10] Will my submission be edited at all? 
!11] Where does my article go when it's been accepted?

The Vorlon Print:
 12] Who owns what gets posted?
 13] Why does it matter who owns it?
 14] FAQ legalese

This file is in digest format. Some newsreaders will automatically
'burst' it (how nice of them :-), some won't. Either way, this should
be fairly legible.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 1] What is the Babylon 5 Reviews Electronic Forum

The Babylon 5 Reviews Electronic Forum (hereafter called merely 'the
forum') exists as a noise-free outlet for reviews of materials
pertaining to the _Babylon 5_ television series. This categroy
includes but is not limited to television programs, novels and
novelizations, comic books, games and parodies.

One way to perceive this list is as a kind of edited electronic
fanzine.  This forum exists for CRITICAL opinion features written
by and for fans of the series connected to electronic networks.

In addition, as per a recent opinion poll, this forum has been 
expanded to include informational postings as well. The moderator 
will put out periodic compiliations of information, entitled 
_The Babylon 5 Times_.

This mailing list may or may not someday become tied to a newsgroup,
as TREK-REVIEW-L is. We'll burn that bridge after we've crossed it... :-)


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 2] How do I subscribe to the mailing list?

The mailing list is managed by a package called 'Unix-ListProcessor'. The
server address is ''. Create a mailfile for this
address with a single line in the BODY of the mailfile:

SUBSCRIBE B5-REVIEW-L Firstname Lastname

DO NOT send requests to
DO NOT send requests to B5-REVIEW-L-REQUEST. They'll bounce. There's
                no such address.

For more information on commands you can send Listserver, send the


NOTE: ListProcessor expects to see nothing but commands. Don't sign your
mail to ListProcessor.

In particular, QUICKMAIL users must be certain to use a BLANK form --
by blank, I mean that the form must contain absolutely nothing but a
subject box and a body-text box. There must be no extraneous graphics
or text on the form, or Listserver will spit your request back to you.

If you are having difficulty joining the list, send me mail, along
with a copy of whatever came back to you from ListProcessor.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 3] Where is the archive kept?

The archives will be kept by the moderator on his own development machine, They will be available only via an
electronic-mail based server on that machine.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 4] How do I retrieve a file from the archive?

All communications retrieving files from the archives should be sent to Sending them to LISTSERV will result in
an error; sending them to me or to the list address will simply be ignored.

The body of your message should be structured thus:


Most common commands are INDEX, SEND and HELP.

The get a complete list of what's kept in the archive, use:


This index will include all articles from both TREK-REVIEW-L and

To get an index just of B5 articles, send the command:


You can search the list of archived files based on title or
review author, since it is by those criteria files are named. For

INDEX mss1
INDEX the-gathering

To retrieve a file listed in that index, send the command:

SEND filename

where 'filename' is, of course, the name of the file you want; for example:

SEND b5.the-gathering.mss1

Please don't send me religious complaints about bundling the B5 and Trek
stuff together. It's the easiest way for ME to manage things right now.
This may change. Stay tuned :-)


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject:  5] Why can't I reach the archive via 

I *might* consider putting up an AnonFTP or Gopher server to the archives,
but I need to get real work done on this machine. The last thing I need,
to be frank, is lots of Gopher or FTP requests bogging my machine down. I could
set up such servers, with limits on how many people could be on at a time,
but that might make them relatively useless (have you tried getting into

So, for now, E-mail is it.

For that matter, if mail-retrieval turns out to put too high a load on
the system, the archive could go away entirely, so use it sparingly.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject:  6] Can I set up an archive that's reachable via 

No. Not without contacting each of the individual authors of each
article and asking THEIR permission. Unless an author has explicitly
placed their article in the Public Domain, they hold all legal
distribution rights beyond those granted myself by submitting to the
forum (see the last two questions in this FAQ for more information).


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject:  7] What sort of article is acceptable?

There are two categories of acceptable submission: review and editorial.

'REVIEW' is defined as a CRITICAL essay about a specific work of 
_Babylon 5_ lore. Submissions of the form, 'I thought that "Sinclair 
Spontaneously Combusts" was the greatest thing since sliced bread' or, 
similarly, 'I thought  that "Ivanova Does Deneb" sucked rocks' are not 

'EDITORIAL' is defined as a CRITICAL essay about some more general
_Babylon 5_ topic. Again, this cannot be an unsubstantiated opinion
piece, but should rather be a piece of CRITICAL prose.

'COMMENT' is defined as a CRITICAL response to a review or editorial.
This is not a discussion list; however, CRITICAL responses to reviews
sent to the list address which the moderator believes to be of general
interest will be bundled together and published in digest format as a
'letter column'.

In addition, if you have some piece of verified INFORMATION that 
you think the moderator may not have seen, you are encouraged to 
send it along.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject:  8] What sort of article ISN'T acceptable?

This is not a discussion forum. Period. If you have a conflicting
opinion with a review and feel you can back it up in a manner that
will result in a critical discussion of the topic, then by all means
submit it as a review. If you just want to tell the author your own 
opinion, send it to the author.

Although informational postings are now being sent out as well as
opinion pieces, this is still not a forum for verbatim press releases
and press articles. The main reason for this is time constraint: it is,
believe it or not, much easier and faster for me to write my own
distillation of the verified news than to go over, approve. get permissions
for and repost individual submissions.

The forum is not for the redistribution of commercially published
reviews, with or without permission. It is for the posting of comments
for and by members of the various electronic networks that make up or
exchange information with The Internet and USENET.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject:  9] How do I submit material to the forum?

Submissions to the forum should be sent to The submitter will receive a brief note
acknowledging receipt and informing hir whether or not the article has
been accepted. If an article is rejected, the moderator will give the
reasons for the rejection.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 10] Will my submission be edited at all?

Not in any substantial way, no. However, the subject line in the
header of your message may be edited to make it more clear what the
article contains.

In particular, if your subject already makes it clear that the article is
a spoiler-review (e.g. 'Elmo's Spoiler Review: "Londo Gets a Haircut"'), I
probably won't change it at all, except, perhaps, to correct spelling
mistakes in the episode title, if present. 

Where editing IS done, the following format will be used:

Subject: Keywords: Title

Keywords are special markers that describe the contents.
Keywords include:
Types of reviewed material:
        Episode -- for a television episode
        Novel   -- for a B5 novel (assuming such ever comes to pass)
        Graphic -- for a comic book or graphic novel (ibid)
Types of articles:
        Review    -- for a critical review
        Editorial -- for a more general critical opinion piece
        Spoiler   -- to denote plot details for stories less than
                     four months old. When used alone, implies 
                     'Episode Spoiler'
        Information -- An informational posting.

'Title' will be the original Subject line.

No other edits will be made to your post, however.

This scheme is deliberately 'looser' and less elaborate than the scheme for
the Trek Review Forum; not because _Babylon 5_ is less deserving, but
simply because the 'world' of _Babylon 5_ is, as yet, much simpler.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 11] Where does my article go when it's been accepted?

When a submission has been accepted, it will be posted as soon as
possible to

As of right now, I have no plans to crosspost articles to any other
forum, including As long as the B5 Reviews Forum is
distributed only in electronic mail, there's not much point in having
the moderator post to newsgroups as well. If a '' newsgroup
is created, that may change things...

I *will* crosspost an article to '' if a user has no other
posting access to USENET, and would like their article posted there.

Finally, all submissions will be archived unless otherwise requested.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 12] Who owns what gets posted? or "The Vorlon Print"

Submitting work to the forum constitutes consent for the moderator to
distribute the submission should it prove acceptable.

Submission without additional instruction to the contrary
implies consent to have the article archived in an electronically
retrievable fashion. An author wishing to better control future
distribution of an article may request that a submission not be

Beyond these conditions, ownership of an article reverts immediately
back to the author upon publication. The moderator claims no ownership
or distribution rights beyond those above.

As such, the moderator will not, under any circumstances, reprint a
review without the author's permission unless the original attempt at
distribution failed for technological reasons.

Authors who wish to explicitly place their work in the public domain
should say so in their postings. Under the Berne Convention, all
creative works are AUTOMATICALLY Copyrighted by default (this is a
change from the older rules, in which public domain was the default,
but many people don't realize this).

If you plan to post to the forum, you may want to keep a copy of this
portion of the FAQ for future reference.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 13] Why does it matter who owns it?

I consider this forum to be a form of electronic publication, with
myself as editor-in-chief and publisher. Therefore, I intend to act as
if I am subject to all of the same responsibilities and protections as
a paper publication. Those responsibilities include protecting both
myself and those who submit work to be published.

I think it's fairly safe to say that few people who post reviews to
the net are hoping to make money some day off of their reviews; however, that
doesn't mean that they want anyone ELSE making money off of their
work, and that, in the end, is the essence of copyright protection -- the
right to copy and to profit from copies of one's work.

In this case, the copyright is not necessarily there to prevent
redistribution, but to make sure that if someone actively plagiarizes
a review without crediting the proper author, action can be taken.

For similar reasons, an explicit copyright statement for this file appears
below. People who dislike legalese may stop here, unless they really want
or need to know... 

The legalese for this FAQ will always be the last entry.


Date: Wed, 22 Aug 1994 14:21:07 EST
Subject: 14] FAQ legalese

[Based on Piero Serini's wording]

This FAQ is Copyright 1994 by Michael Scott Shappe. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to use, copy and distribute this FAQ, or parts thereof,
by electronic means for any non-profit purpose is hereby granted,
provided that both the above Copyright notice and this permission
notice appear in all copies of the FAQ itself, and that proper
credit is given for any excerpts. Any other format or
purpose for distribution requires permission of the author.

Reproducing this FAQ or parts thereof by any means implies full 
agreement to the above non-profit-use clause, unless upon explicit
prior written permission of the author.

Although I haven't seen it written anywhere, _Babylon 5_ is assumed to be a
trademark of Babylonian Productions, Inc; no infringement on that trademark
is intendend, either by the FAQ or the list it represents.


It could be worse. This statement COULD require the reader to spend a week
here in Ithaca with only a T-shirt and shorts... it was -5 this

Michael Shappe


End of Babylon 5 Reviews Electronic Forum FAQ

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