APEX - Association for Positive Ethical eXchange

APEX MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

Please note: APEX is a private ethical association and we reserve the right to refuse membership if the staff feels that our ethics would be compromised in any way we deem unbecoming to the nature of our goals. While we would like to have as many members as we can, APEX realizes that there are those websites whose owners will choose not to follow the ethics that we espouse toward. It is your choice. We feel that as a group of individuals joining together, with the same common purpose, that we can set a standard for all who subscribe to this organization and unite the web world wide with an accreditation of honesty in ethical practices. A world brotherhood for one common purpose.

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MEMBERSHIP DOCUMENTATION

For full information please download the APEX Membership Requirements .PDF file in the upper right facing APEX Members and Guests Library APEX Information section of this page. To download: Right click on the relevant link and go to menu item “Save target as” to save the file to your hard drive.

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APEX IS INTERNATIONAL. CAN I HAVE MY WEBSITE IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

In case the website is written in the member's native language other than the English Language, the APEX member website must include a full English version of the web site. An online translation service will not be accepted.

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IF MY WEBSITE IS ACCEPTED AS AN APEX MEMBER, CAN I DISPLAY THE APEX BADGE ON ANY OR ALL OF MY WEBSITES?

No. APEX membership is granted to the web site, not to the webmaster. If you wish to display the APEX badge on more than one web site, you must make a separate application for each additional site.

Clarification question - I have a Wildlife website that includes an Award Program. Am I able to apply for an APEX Membership for just the Award Program?
Answer - The website must, to be an APEX Member site, have its own URL, its own e-mail address and its own welcoming - entrance page. Please refer to our examples below.

Example One
(a) http://www.mywebsite.com/
(b) http://www.mywebsite.com/myawardprogram.htm
(c) http://www.mywebsite.com/wildlife.htm

In example one, Membership would apply to (a) if examples similar to (b) and (c) exist.

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Example Two
(a) http://www.mywebsite.com/ ( Wildlife )
(b) http://www.mywebsite.com/music.htm ( Music )

In example two, if the second entry vanished from the internet, the first entry would remain as the APEX member name and URL.

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YOU ARE JUDGING ETHICS BUT IS DESIGN TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AND WHAT WILL BE EVALUATED?

(1) The text has to be readable against the background.
(2) The navigation has to be user friendly.
(3) A quick and easy way of being contacted by your visitors, users and/or customers is required.
(4) Your visitors must not be forced to download plug-ins or other programs in order to be able to view your site.

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DO I NEED A PRIVACY POLICY OR ITS EQUIVALENT (TOS) TERMS OF SERVICE OR (TOU) TERMS OF USE AND WHAT INFORMATION MUST I INCLUDE?

Yes - A Privacy Policy/Statement or its equivalent (TOS) Terms of Service or (TOU) Terms of Use is required to be displayed within all APEX Member websites. If no personal data of any type is collected your site must contain a statement that says similar to this:

• Whenever personal data of any type is collected, a privacy policy must be defined in detail, outlining how the site intends to use and display gathered information.
• Whenever cookies are used by the website, this must be stated in the Privacy Policy, describing for what purpose the cookies are used.
• Whenever third-party resources are used (including, but not limited to, guest books and forums), a warning must be issued. If the third-party resource deals with personal information differently than your site, this must be stated in your site's Privacy Policy. (For example, “If you are going to sign my guest book, be aware that this service provider may use your email for marketing purposes”)
• Whenever cookies are used by third-party resources, this must be stated in your site's Privacy Policy.
• Whenever personal data from children below 13 years old is collected, this must be clearly stated in your site's Privacy Policy. Your site must strictly follow and enforce COPPA or similar regulations, whatever is applicable in the country where your site is based.

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I ACCEPT CREDIT CARD. WHAT DO I HAVE TO STATE?

Whenever payments by credit card are accepted it must be clearly stated if the transaction is being done in a secure location or not.

MY WEBSITE SELLS GOODS OR INFORMATION. WHAT DO I HAVE TO STATE?

(a) Whenever the site provides ways of buying any product or service, a fully detailed description of the transaction procedure must be available either onsite or by email request.
(b) Whenever the site provides information considered of professional scope (e.g.. medical, law, psychology, financial) credentials must be provided or a clear and visible disclaimer must be present before any information is presented.

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I DECLARE THAT MY WEBSITE IS A “CHILD-SAFE” SITE. IS THAT ENOUGH?

If you declare your site as “child-safe” you must have a corresponding PICS label (meta tag) or Content Rating and/or Classification by a certified independent organization and it must be present in the site's entrance page. If used, the PICS label (meta-tag) must at all times reflect accurately the content it describes.

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MY WEBSITE HAS SOME PHOTOGRAPHS OR POTENTIALLY DISTURBING MATERIAL AND MAY DISPLAY OR LINK TO CONTENT WHICH MIGHT BE DISTURBING TO SOME PEOPLE. WHAT CAN I DO?

(a) Whenever potentially disturbing material, whether included in a general, artistic, scientific, educational or medical context, is present, and whether this be in a private, business, moderated chat room, online gambling, forum or blog website, content rating using a PICS label (meta-tag) is mandatory. This label (meta-tag) must at all times reflect accurately the content it describes and must be present in the site's entrance page.
(b) Whenever links to websites with potentially disturbing or dangerous material, such being of a general, artistic, scientific, educational or medical context are provided, whether this be in a private, business, moderated chat room, online gambling, forum or blog website a warning must be issued next to the link itself.
(c) Site visitors must not be forced to download plug-ins or other programs in order to be able to view and or participate in the whole of any web site.
(d) Registration is considered by APEX to be a forced download.

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DO I NEED A COPYRIGHT POLICY/STATEMENT OR ITS EQUIVALENT (TOS) TERMS OF SERVICE OR (TOU) TERMS OF USE AND WHAT INFORMATION MUST I INCLUDE?

Yes - a Copyright Policy/Statement or its equivalent (TOS) Terms of Service or (TOU) Terms of Use is required to be displayed within all APEX Member websites.

IT IS NOT MANDATORY TO DISPLAY OUR APEX COPYRIGHT STATEMENT IN SIMPLIFIED FORM.

Our Copyright Statement in a simplified form:

Members may create their own Copyright Statements however if the APEX Copyright Statement in Simplified Form is displayed the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License must be displayed below or above any exact copy of the APEX Copyright Statement in Simplified Form as follows:

(You are welcome to use the following copyright statement on your site as shown with graphic and links.)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Image © Creative Commons. Link opens in a new window.

The Copyright Criteria shown (above/below) is owned by the Association for Positive Ethical eXchange and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

The APEX Copyright example or prototype is intended for two reasons:

(a) It may be adopted by those Members who do not have a copyright statement of their own.
(b) It serves as a model for what a copyright statement already developed by a Member should and should not contain. A very careful differentiation between a copyright statement and the use of the copyright symbol © which does not suffice.

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All content within this APEX member website is clearly identified as either theirs, "ours" or mine. There are permissions on file or citations for everything which would fall under "theirs and ours." There is no in-between, with the possible exception of material in the public domain or Fair Use Doctrine and in that case a citation, rather than an assertion. Access the following link to determine whether your web site needs to display Permissions of Use for APEX Membership purposes.

No one is expected to change a copyright statement they presently have on their websites. However a statement of copyright is more than just a statement, for it is factual representation of ownership, permissions and citations of all content within an APEX members website. As such, copyright as defined by APEX is not subject to individual interpretation, rather is a statement of fact supported by content of a members website.

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The “ours” example: I download a PSP tube. The author states that I can use “their” tube with alteration. My creation becomes “ours.” But wait a minute, what if the original PSP tube included graphics for which the author did not have permission on file to include in the tube? Then my citation from the PSP tube website does in fact absolve me of copyright infringement. Or does it? Take Disney characters in the tube . . . I should have known better, so I am culpable or did not carry out “due diligence.”

An APEX owners website which includes something to the effect: That “no copyright infringement is intended - let me know and I will remove” displays clearly an admission that permissions are not on file or citations are not included.

For full information please download the APEX Simplified Copyright Statement and License Sample .PDF file in the upper right facing APEX Members and Guests Library APEX Information section of this page. To download: Right click on the relevant link and go to menu item “Save target as ” to save the file to your hard drive.

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Collective works contributions clarification example: Our hypothetical copyright statement includes the following:

All content on this web site is copyright as a collective work under (insert country) copyright laws and (insert website title) owns the copyright to all selection, arrangement, co-ordination and enhancement of web site content. In addition, all artworks and illustrations displayed from the (insert website title) are protected by copyright and may not be copied or otherwise reproduced without written permission.

Comment to the above: As is the case with all published works, a contribution, such as any pictorial or graphic work, to a collective work may appear with its own notice of copyright. However, the law does provide that a single notice covering the collective work as a whole can defeat the defense of “innocent infringement.”

The “collective work” categorization is simply another way of saying in effect . . . if you find a copyright infringement, we (the website owner/s) will remove the infringement.

APEX Directors and staff do not purport to be copyright legal experts but we do provide Members and applicants with clear guidance in the form of a copyright model.

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DO I HAVE TO COMPLY WITH WHAT I STATE ON MY WEBSITE?

The website must be fully compliant with any single item of any set of rules, criteria, code of conduct, code of ethics, certifications and/or credentials present in it.

IF I DISPLAY THE CODE OF ETHICS ( CoE ) IN MY WEBSITE ARE THERE ANY LEGAL REQUIREMENTS I SHOULD MEET?

IT IS NOT MANDATORY TO DISPLAY THE CODE OF ETHICS ( CoE. )

The Code of Ethics ( CoE ) was originally created to address ethical matters within website award programs but can be adapted for use within any website as under the terms of the License all users of the Code of Ethics ( CoE ) remain free to remix, tweak, translate, redistribute and build upon their individual Code of Ethics ( CoE ) documents non-commercially producing new CoE documents based on the original Code of Ethics ( CoE. )

However, all new works based on the original Code of Ethics (CoE) must carry the same License so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature - credited and Licensed under identical terms as may be seen in the License sample provided below.

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HOW DOES APEX DECIDE WHETHER THE CODE OF ETHICS ( CoE ) CREATIVE LICENSE SHOULD BE DISPLAYED?

(a) The display of 20% or more of the identical content of the original 'stripped' Code of Ethics ( CoE ) content means the Creative Commons License must be displayed.
(b) The display of 19.99% or less of the identical content of the original 'stripped' Code of Ethics ( CoE ) content means the Creative Commons License does not need to be displayed.

Word Definition - Our use of the word 'stripped' means words such as I, WE, NAME/S, AND, OR, CO-OWNERS, MY, OUR, WEB SITE, MYSELF, OURSELVES, YOUR and TITLE within our sample text version copy of the original Code of Ethics (CoE) have been removed.

If a website owner has chosen or chooses to display 20% or more of the identical content of the original 'stripped' Code of Ethics ( CoE ) content even though it has been remixed, tweaked and/or translated (for ones own use) it is required that the Creative Commons License (as follows) be displayed at the bottom of Code of Ethics ( CoE ) documents:

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CODE OF ETHICS ( CoE ) CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE SAMPLE

Creative Commons License. Image © Creative Commons. Link opens in a new window.

The Code of Ethics ( CoE ) is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike License.

LINKING AND FURTHER INFORMATION

(a) The Code of Ethics ( CoE ) document may not be covered by any Copyright.
(b) You are welcome to use the displayed License at the bottom of your Code of Ethics ( CoE ) document as shown with graphic and links.
(c) The URL to be linked to the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike United States License image is: ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ )
(d) If you wish to read the License prior to use please access this link Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike United States License.

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RELEVANT DOWLOADS -

(a) You may download a choice of relevant .jpg and .png Creative Commons License images from here.
(b) You may also download a sample text version of the original Code of Ethics ( CoE ) from here. You are free to create your own Code of Ethics using the sample text file provided. ( WinZip or WinRAR are required to open the compressed files. )

For full information please download the CoE Requirements and License Sample .PDF file in the upper right facing APEX Members and Guests Library APEX Information section of this page. To download: Right click on the relevant link and go to menu item “Save target as ” to save the file to your hard drive.

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WHAT TYPES OF WEBSITES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED?

APEX will not accept for membership nor associate with any individual or group of individuals operating a website that has the following or which directly links to websites which have the following, as content:

(a) Sexually explicit text, images and/or photographs which are not clearly artistic or educational in nature as determined by the current Membership Committee.
(b) Foul language which is not clearly artistic or educational in nature as determined by the current Membership Committee.
(c) Text or images which discriminate against a religion, gender, race, political affiliation or any other social, physical or psychological trait or affiliation as determined by the current Membership Committee.
(d) Illegal activities, textual or visual depictions of illegal activities or incitement to commit illegal acts as determined by the current Membership Committee.
(e) Text or images of human/or animal abuse which are not clearly artistic or educational in nature as determined by the current Membership Committee.

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