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Piano Education Page Site Policies

 

by John M. Zeigler
Piano Education Page Editor-in-Chief
Rio Rancho, NM USA

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o the extent possible, we run The Piano Education Page according to a consistent and fair set of policies which respect the rights and privacy of both our visitors and contributing authors, while maintaining the integrity of the site. Our policies cover how we handle our e-mail interactions with visitors, choose sites to link, and determine what appears on The Piano Education Page ("PEP"), among others. This article discusses The Piano Education Page policies in these and a number of other important areas.

 

 

Access

Everything on The Piano Education Page is available for reading on the Internet by any interested party, anywhere in the world. We make no charge of any sort for accessing PEP or reading its materials, nor do we receive remuneration of any sort for running the site. We do not ask that any visitor provide us with private information to activate a "membership" in order to access The Piano Education Page.

We have no direct control over the operation or maintenance schedules of the server. Thus, occasionally the site may be inaccessible for short periods due to maintenance work. If you find the site to be down for some reason, just try again later. Although the server operator houses PEP, The Piano Education Page is not a part of that server operator.  Neither the server operator nor the space donor are responsible for the content of PEP, nor are we responsible for the content of other sites on the server.

Since PEP is a non-profit, non-commercial site, we almost never have problems with visitor behavior on the site. However, visitors who abuse their access to PEP may be banned, either temporarily or permanently, from accessing it. Abuse of the site may be considered to include repeated attempts to breach security on the site, repeated spamming, repeated misbehavior in the Forums (as defined in the Terms and Conditions of Service, Forum Policies and Forum Help), sending abusive e-mail repeatedly and any other inappropriate behavior repeated after warning from the Editor-in-Chief or owner of the site. Such behavior has characterized only the tiniest fraction of one percent of PEP's visitors, so these issues should not affect the overwhelming majority of visitors to the site.

Correspondence

Every constituent page of PEP has one or more links that visitors can click to ask questions, offer comments and make suggestions by e-mail. We try to answer all e-mail within two days of receipt, although, in rare circumstances (e.g., questions requiring us to do research), it may take a little longer. Since our answers to e-mail are inherently personalized in nature, nothing said in e-mail responses is to be construed as representing or superseding site policy. E-mail responses simply depict the views of the responder in regard to the particular question(s) asked. Note that we cannot, and will not, do research for student term papers, provide free piano lessons by e-mail, supply copies of sheet music, or answer questions outside our expertise. All e-mails sent to PEP become the property of the PEP copyright holder.

All the talented educators that work with the site are unpaid volunteers who donate their time to help our visitors. They deserve at least minimal consideration and respect in correspondence. While we very rarely get rude, abusive, lewd, threatening or offensive e-mail, we will not respond to such e-mail, as it has no place on the Internet. If an e-mail is particularly abusive, rude or threatening, we will forward a copy of it to the ISP from which it originated. The ISP can then take whatever action it deems appropriate for its users who violate the ISP's terms of service in sending such e-mail.

Privacy

Since we founded the site in 1995, we have exchanged well over 20,000 e-mails with visitors. While these e-mail addresses could constitute a useful and highly targeted mailing list, we do not collect, have not sold and do not sell lists of e-mail addresses. Thus, our visitors can feel confident that their correspondence with us will not become a source of "spam" (unsolicited bulk sales e-mail). We advise our visitors to exercise caution with other sites that collect "membership" information or require "registration" to obtain any meaningful access to the site. These sites often employ that information to create mailing lists for resale to spammers and direct mailers. Even those that do not overtly sell that information may use it in other ways, such as directing advertising to you, that you might choose to forego, if given the opportunity.

Visitors' comments are valuable in helping us choose new topics for the site. Although we will often paraphrase parts of our responses to visitors' e-mail in our articles, we do not quote the visitor's questions, per se. In those few sections of the site where do quote e-mail, we do so only after seeking permission. Similarly, we do not reveal full names, full mail or e-mail addresses on the site. Of course, given that Internet e-mail is inherently insecure unless encrypted, we cannot guarantee that such information cannot be obtained by other unscrupulous parties from e-mails sent to us. All e-mails sent to us and all posts on the Forums become the property of The Piano Education Page copyright holder.

We are particularly sensitive to the privacy and safety of children. For that reason, we do not ask for full names or addresses of children who send us questions, nor do we divulge their full names, e-mail or postal addresses. Even when children reveal this information to us unbidden, we hold it in strict confidentiality. Minors may use the PEP Forums. While the Forums are not one of the "infamous" chat rooms, we still caution parents and kids not to reveal personal information like full names and addresses in posts, since the information revealed on the Board is inherently public. Because we are concerned about the "over-merchandising" of children in today's society, we have specifically excluded the use of ads of any sort on any of PEP's pages directed toward children.

The Web server on which PEP resides, as with virtually all other servers on the Internet, maintains a log file which records such things as the date and time of access, IP address of the accessing computer, accessing server name, pages accessed and so forth. We can, and occasionally do, analyze this log file to help us determine what pages most interest our visitors and what type of server they access the site from. This information is analyzed in aggregate only to help us understand how we might improve the site, identify error-causing pages and, generally speaking, maintain and run the site. NO specific identification information for any visitor is recorded or requested by PEP. PEP does not use "spyware" to track visitors' movements around the site or the Web.

"Cookies" (small text files placed on accessing computers by most web sites) are not used anyplace in PEP content, with the exception of the Forums. There, cookies are used only as a convenience for the visitor so that members of the Forums don't have to remember their log-on information each time they visit. Each visitor to the Board is given the opportunity at log-on to remove these cookies and log on manually each time he or she visits the Forums, if he or she so chooses. The Forums is the only part of the more than 1000 pages of PEP that requires registration of any sort.

Advertisers on PEP may include tracking cookies or use "web beacons" (tiny, transparent images that are loaded from the advertiser's server, thereby providing general site visit information) in their ads to collect information about those who see their ads. We have no direct control over the content of ads served by third parties (e.g. Google) and don't control their use of tracking cookies or web beacons.  Information gleaned from cookie use by advertisers is not shared with or used by PEP or its owner(s). Such cookies are not destructive to your computer, but programs like Ad-Aware (free) and most antivirus programs (e.g. AVG Free) can detect and remove these cookies, if you desire to do so. You can also find them manually and remove them, if you wish. Most browsers can be set up to refuse cookies entirely or to accept them only from sites from which you need them. In Firefox, for example, you can find the settings in Tools, Privacy, Cookies. Since cookies are used for many useful purposes, you may not want to turn them off entirely, but to allow them selectively.

Content

We strive to make The Piano Education Page educational, interesting, and family-friendly. Our motivations are strictly educational. The content of the site reflects those motivations.

We work hard to give our visitors a wide range of views and information about piano education. We do not attempt to censor the opinions of our contributing authors in any way, even though we may disagree with some of them. Where we have opinion pieces on The Piano Education Page (e.g., interviews), we edit them as little as possible, if at all, so that they are appropriate for a general audience which can include small children, parents and teachers of the piano.

Parents can feel confident that The Piano Education Page will be suitable for their children. Of course, we cannot guarantee the content of sites we link, since other sites change their content from time to time. Nonetheless, we examine all sites when we first link them to make sure that their content is appropriate for children, as well as adults, at the time we link them.

Because we want PEP to be known for its family-safe content, we have registered the site with The Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA).  ICRA is an international, non-profit organization of internet leaders working to develop a safer internet.

Forums

The Piano Education Page Forums are intended as a place for those interested in the piano to exchange ideas and learn from others. Although registration with a valid e-mail address is required to post to or reply to most topics on the Board, information stored on the Board is not used by us for purposes other than the legitimate ones of the operation of the Board. When a new user registers, he or she must agree to the terms of use of the Board, presented at the time of registration, as well as this policy statement. Board policies are set by PEP's Editor-in-Chief. Modifications to the policies, when they occur, may be announced here, on the Board or both. For reference, a copy of the current set of Forums policies is available in the Forums Help. All posts to the Forums become the property of The Piano Education Page copyright holder.

By their very nature, posts to a Forums become public information. The user assumes all risks for the use of the Board and the posting of any kind of personal information there. Posts must be in keeping with good taste and must not contain inappropriate language, libelous statements or personal attacks. Any post found to be not in keeping with these rules may be removed at any time without recourse for the poster. We do not warrant the accuracy of information or statements posted on the Board. We do not assume responsibility for the statements on the Forums of those individuals not affiliated with The Piano Education Page.

Endorsements

The Piano Education Page is a strictly non-profit, public service site. We do not endorse products, companies, service providers or Web sites. The mere fact that a review of a given product is positive in tone should not be taken as an endorsement of that product or a warranty of merchantability by The Piano Education Page, its sponsors, or copyright holder. Similarly, provision of a link on PEP does not imply an endorsement of any product, service, or opinion offered on the linked site.

In like fashion, we deplore the increasingly common (and dishonest!) practice of misusing the name of a popular site (e.g., in the invisible meta-tags found in some pages' source code and used by search engines) as a means of redirecting visitors to an unrelated (usually commercial) site, a practice known as "squatting." We have even had a case where a commercial site copied our site name word-for-word as its own site title!  In passing, we note that the same site also collects "membership" information. We forced that site to clarify its name, as it constituted an infringement of our copyrights. We also removed all links to that company's other sites and reviews of its products from The Piano Education Page.

If you come across a site which is using our name inappropriately in a title or in meta-tags, please let us know by e-mail, so that we can correct the possible misimpressions created by the dishonesty of others. The Piano Education Page is, in no way, associated with these sites and is not responsible for their "content".

Reviews

As service to our visitors, we review many piano teaching and learning materials. We do not accept payment or any other form of compensation for reviewing these products. We purchase many of the products we review and others are provided to us by the manufacturers. When we review software, music and other learning aids, our reviews constitute the honest, individual opinions of the reviewers, based on their own extensive experience using the product in a teaching studio environment. Reviewers are qualified piano teachers, educators or computer experts, depending on the nature of the item reviewed, in all cases. Each reviewer is consulted about possible conflicts of interest before we send the materials for review. The evaluation typically takes three months after we receive the item. Note that the provision of items for review on The Piano Education Page does not obligate us to actually perform a review, although the overwhelming majority of items submitted with advance notice are reviewed.

The reviewer evaluates the material according to our established review criteria (available to the public from links on the Review and Submission Procedures page) and prepares a draft review, which is then edited by our Editor-in-Chief. In cases where a software program receives a rating of 3 notes or less, we make an effort to have the program reviewed by a second reviewer in a different state so as to be as fair as possible to lower-ranked programs and materials. Once editing is complete, the text of the edited review is e-mailed to our contact at the manufacturer or publisher for factual accuracy checking within two business days. To learn more about how we carry out reviews, consult our page, Review and Submission Procedures. To inquire about submitting materials for review, contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Links

We provide several hundred links from The Piano Education Page to other sites on the Web as a service to our visitors. We do not sell links or provide them for any other considerations. Other sites may link The Piano Education Page without our explicit permission, though we are always happy to have other site owners notify us of links to The Piano Education Page. While we are honored to be linked by other sites on the Web, we do not "exchange" links in consideration of a link on another site ("reciprocal links"). Requests for reciprocal links are ignored routinely. Provision of a link on PEP does not imply an endorsement of any product, service, or opinion offered on the linked site. Links may appear on our Links pages or in other pages or articles, as appropriate.

Our single most important criterion for choosing to link a site is educational value. What we mean by this is that the prospective link site has to provide a significant amount of useful educational material free to any visitor.  Sites which simply sell educational materials do not meet the criterion of being educational. Commercial sites will only be linked if they have educational value beyond the commercial content. Generally, sites which we link are those which are related to music education in some way, although we link other educational sites to provide a well-rounded group of links. Requests for "reciprocal links" with sites that are not educational and/or have nothing to do with music or music education will not be answered or honored.

We may refuse to link "educational" sites which build commercial mailing lists by demanding that the visitor become a "member" and which make obtrusive demands for excessive personal information to activate the "membership." Any site which uses "membership" registration must certify to us in writing that they do not sell their "member" lists to bulk mailers or e-mailers and do not use such information to direct advertising to "members" and must have a written privacy policy on the site, publicly accessible to all visitors, which states the same things before we will consider providing a link to that site. Sites which require the user to accept "cookies" (small text files written to the visitor's hard disk which allow the site to track the visitor's visits) in order to provide meaningful access to the site will not be linked.

The third criterion we apply is that of content. We provide links to a fairly broad range of music and music-related sites, as well as a selection of educational sites of potential interest to families. Any site we link must be appropriate in language and content for an audience which includes children. Another way of saying this is that the tone of the site must be "family-friendly", even if some of the site content might be beyond the complete comprehension of the youngest visitors. We expect the sites we link to have actual content. Generally, we will not link sites which are simply collections of links to other sites unless the links are exceptionally well organized, carefully selected, well-described, attractively presented, or have some other attribute which other link-only sites do not possess.

The fourth criterion we apply is one of factual accuracy. We would certainly not reject a site that happens to have one or two minor and unintentional factual errors. However, if we find the site to be grossly inaccurate based on our own knowledge, or, worse yet, to make claims which are intentionally denigrating or even libelous to others, we will not provide a link. Note that the criterion of factual accuracy does not mean that we will refuse to provide a link to a site with which we simply disagree. We have often linked sites which have at least some content with which we disagree.

We require that sites linked on The Piano Education Page be free of political, religious, or racist views. We don't wish to stifle free speech in any way, but we do not believe that such views are a useful part of education in music. Sites which we judge to espouse such views, either directly or indirectly, will not be linked.

Any site linked on The Piano Education Page must clearly identify the responsible party or author and have a means of contacting them, by e-mail at a minimum. Without an identification of the author and a means of contact, it becomes impossible for the visitor to ask questions. Such sites cannot be viewed as truly educational.

Web sites linked on The Piano Education Page must not obviously infringe copyrights of others. Although we make no claims to being able to police all the copyrights in the world, any site which we believe to have infringed the copyright of another will not be linked. In practice, what this means is that sites which copy, verbatim or nearly so, copyrighted information, music or graphics without proper attribution will be adjudged to be unsuitable for linking. Such a policy is necessary in light of some recent interpretations of U.S. copyright law by the courts.

Although we provided a list of piano teacher web site links for over ten years, the number of these sites has grown to the point that there are simply too many to link and keep the site links up-to-date in a reasonable amount of time. We will only provide a link to a piano teacher site if the site has educational material on it which can be used by a general audience of people who may not be clients or prospective clients of the studio. The educational material must be on a separate page (i.e. different URL) from the home page or pages describing the studio. Provision of such a link will be entirely at our discretion.

We will not link any site in which the suggester of the link fails to disclose a financial connection to the site being suggested. We have had to implement such a policy due to a rash of examples where an "unbiased visitor" to PEP suggests (often anonymously or pseudonymously) a site, whereupon our evaluation of the site (usually commercial in nature) discloses that the suggester is directly connected with and gains financial benefit from the site. We encourage commercial site owners to submit their sites to us if they meet our criteria, so long as they disclose to us their connection to the site.

Sites which we link must be updated on a reasonably frequent basis. While we certainly realize that every site can't be updated every month, we often see sites or parts of sites where the links and/or content are ten or more years old and much of the site is non-working. The Internet is simply too dynamic for us to provide links to sites which are rarely, if ever, updated.

Our decisions regarding provision of links will be made entirely at our discretion. We examine all suggested sites prior to linking them to assure that they meet these criteria. Once a site is linked, we cannot and do not take responsibility if changes to the site made after our evaluation cause it to violate one or more of our link criteria. Sites which, upon reexamination, are found to no longer meet our criteria for linking will be removed from our links list. We check links by computer with every upgrade, replacing or removing those which have changed or disappeared, but do not reexamine every linked site. If you find a site linked on PEP which you believe now violates one or more of these criteria, please send an e-mail to Dr. Zeigler, indicating the site and URL, so that we can reevaluate it.

To suggest a link to your or any other site, please send e-mail to Dr. Zeigler only. A link request sent to other members of the PEP staff will receive a delayed or no response. Requests for links sent to multiple members of the staff are routinely denied, as such multiple requests waste time and bandwidth. Link requests must be signed with the name of the requester; those requests signed only with an organization name or with no name will be denied. If your site is linked on PEP and its URL changes, please notify us of the new URL.

Authoring

Most of our articles are written by Dr. Zeigler and/or other members of the editorial staff. Nonetheless, we value and seek out the opinions and expertise of many other artists and educators. Although most of our articles by outside educators are written in response to invitations from us, we encourage others to contact us about contributing articles to the site, if they have something valuable or unique to say to a worldwide audience of students, educators and fans of the piano.

All articles and interviews appearing on the site are subject to editing by the Editor-in-Chief. In particular, any comments judged to be potentially libelous, defamatory or slanderous will be removed in the editing process. We will also remove any content that we judge to be overly commercial in nature. All decisions as to the suitability of articles for publication on The Piano Education Page are made by the Editor-in-Chief and are final.

Submission of an article or interview to the site is in no way to be construed as constituting acceptance or conferring an obligation for publication of that article or interview on the site. All articles are donated to the site; authors receive no reimbursement or honorarium of any kind for their writings. Authorship of articles written by individuals other than Dr. Zeigler and/or Ms. Ostromencki is generally acknowledged with the article itself. A list of contributing authors and editors can be found on our Credits page. 

Title and copyrights to any article appearing on The Piano Education Page are understood to be transferred to the copyright holder of The Piano Education Page. We do not accept for publication on PEP articles which have been previously published or which are substantially the same as previously published articles, as this might violate the copyrights of the original publisher. We do not allow republication of articles written for PEP, as republication would violate our copyrights. By submission of material for publication on PEP, the author is indicating that the article is original, of his own creation, has not been previously published in whole or in part, and that he agrees to transfer copyright to the copyright holder of The Piano Education Page, should the article be published on PEP. These copyright provisions are similar to those governing just about any other publication, print or online.

Contributing authors may cite their articles and/or position as contributing authors to the site on a curriculum vitae, for example, so long as they correctly portray their contributions. Authors who incorrectly represent their contributions to the site may be subject to removal of their articles and/or severing of their connection to the site. All authors must agree to abide by all PEP site policies. Prospective authors should read our page, Information for Piano Education Page Authors, for additional information on writing for the site.

Copyrights

The overwhelming majority of the material on The Piano Education Page is original to the site. PEP is copyrighted in the U.S. and most foreign countries and, as such, cannot be indiscriminately copied or reproduced without risk of very large civil penalties, including paying our attorney costs for any infringement action. We enforce our registered copyrights on the site vigorously, both to protect the integrity of the site as an educational, non-commercial resource and to preserve our legal rights as authors.

The main exception to the overwhelmingly original nature of the content of PEP is found in the MIDI files linked on The Audition Room page and also referenced on our Listening List and Composer Resource page. The MIDI sequences are prepared by other authors, generally not associated with PEP. We have identified the authors of the MIDI sequences on The Audition Room page, where known. In fact, we have restored correct authorship to several of the MIDI files where that information had been lost. Upon request by the author, we will remove any of that author's MIDI sequences from the site.

Just as we expect our visitors to respect our copyrights, we respect the copyrights of others.  We ask that our visitors who download MIDI files from our site not pass those files on to others unless they maintain a record of authorship with the files, just as we have done. We provide these MIDI sequences for educational purposes only, with the specific stipulation that they are for personal, non-commercial use. 

Reprinting

The Piano Education Page represents literally thousands of hours of work by many talented individuals. In keeping with the educational goals of PEP, we allow any visitor to make a single, personal use hard copy of any part or parts of PEP royalty-free. You need not request our permission to make a single hard copy of part or all of the content of PEP for your own personal, non-commercial use. Copying or reprinting PEP in whole or in part in any other circumstance without advance permission from us is absolutely forbidden.

Teachers often ask us if they can reproduce multiple copies of parts of PEP for use in educational settings. Again, we generally allow limited, royalty-free, educational-use reprinting of parts of PEP, subject to certain conditions and limitations. If you would like to use hard copies of PEP with your students, consult our page Reprinting from The Piano Education Page for instructions and conditions.

Updates

We make an effort to upgrade and update the site approximately monthly, although we may update slightly sooner or later, depending upon the amount of new content we have ready at a given time. We do not guarantee that the monthly schedule will be followed at all times. Generally speaking, when we agree to provide a link or include an article on the site, it will appear in the next regular update, although we may delay links or articles to complete evaluation or editing, respectively.

Policy Changes

As necessity dictates, we will update this policy. The version of the policy appearing on the site is to be considered the governing authority on matters appearing in it. Matters not explicitly covered in the policy, in documents referenced by it, or by other statements on the site will be evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief on an individual basis. His decisions on such matters are final.

Advertising

Advertising appearing on the site is provided by advertisers or their agents. We do not control content of ads nor do we endorse it, although we have tried to ensure that advertising is relevant to our visitors. We accept only ads which are consistent with our educational mission for piano and music. Those interested in advertising on PEP may contact us for details. Visitors to the site should note that, while ads may appear from a given company, they are not, in any way, connected with reviews of materials that may be provided by that company.

Legitimate non-profit organizations (e.g. those with 501(c)3 status) whose activities are centered in piano or music may be permitted to advertise free of charge on PEP, subject to the availability of space and approval of the Editor-in-Chief. All such ads must be supplied in ready format (usually a URL on the organization web site) by the organization and must be "family-friendly" in content.

Affiliated Sites

The policies of The Piano Education Page en Español are to be construed to be the same as those indicated in this document, in the absence of any separate policies found on that site. Where policies are explicitly described on that site, those described policies supersede overlapping policies in this document for the purposes of that site only. Policies for affiliated sites in areas not covered in separate policy documents are assumed to be those described in this policy.

Trademarks

Throughout the site, we use trademarked names to identify products and/or services of various companies. These trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Our use of such trademarks on PEP is strictly for the necessary purpose of identification of these products and/or services and does not constitute an endorsement of the product or carry an implication that such names are not trademarked. In most cases, the owner of the trademark, if known to us, is clear from the context.

Terms and Conditions

The Piano Education Page is a completely non-profit, public service site, available for reading by anyone with an Internet connection. Visitors to the site must agree to these site policies and to assume any and all risks associated with their use of the site. If you do not agree to the site policies, terms and disclaimer found in this document, please leave the site now.

Disclaimer

While we endeavor to ensure the accuracy of factual statements made on the site, we do not guarantee or warrant the accuracy of all statements on the site. We specifically disclaim responsibility for any inaccuracies which may be present on the site, either by error or omission. We will endeavor to correct any demonstrated inaccuracies which visitors might bring to our attention. Opinions offered are those of the interviewee, reviewer or author and do not necessarily represent those of the staff, sponsors, or copyright holders of The Piano Education Page. We disclaim responsibility for policies of sites not affiliated with The Piano Education Page. We also disclaim responsibility for the actions of individuals not associated with the site, even if those actions are claimed to be predicated on information obtained from The Piano Education Page.  

 
 
 
 
Page created: 11/14/98
Last updated: 01/30/15
 
Site Policies Credits About Feedback Reprinting
     

Reprinting from the Piano Education Page The Piano Education Page, Op. 10, No. 1, http://pianoeducation.org
© Copyright 1995-2016 John M. Zeigler. All rights reserved.