LOPSA Policies/Hosted mailing lists

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Hosted mailing lists

Policy approved by the Board via electronic mail on 22 November 2005:

Policy amended on 28 November 2005.

Purpose and scope

To advance the mission of the Association, LOPSA shall offer its members hosting services for electronic mailing lists of interest to the system administration community. Such lists are offered in order to to

  • further LOPSA's mission to serve the public;
  • advance the state of the profession of system administration;
  • increase LOPSA's visibility in the system administration community.

This policy applies only to mailing lists created under the guidelines of this policy. This policy does not apply to official LOPSA mailing lists, including Board mailing lists.

List creation

Any LOPSA member in good standing may apply for a hosted mailing list. The application shall be made available to members on the LOPSA website.


The application for a hosted mailing list shall require the applicant to supply the following characteristics of the mailing list, as described elsewhere in this policy:

  1. Requested address
  2. Moderator addresses
  3. Descriptive name
  4. Purpose
  5. Subscription policy
  6. Moderation policy
  7. Archival policy

The application shall also require the applicant to agree to the obligations and responsibilities of moderating a hosted list (the Terms of Agreement), as outlined in this policy.

Applications must be approved by one of:

  1. the President;
  2. any individual invested by the Board with the power to approve such applications; or
  3. the Board acting as a whole.

The approver may modify parts of the application to conform with LOPSA policies, naming conventions, or for other purposes. The applicant may decline to proceed with the creation of a list under a modified application, or may appeal such modification to the Board. If an application is denied, it may be appealed to the Board. In no case shall an application's modification or denial be appealed to any person or body other than the Board.


The application shall specify the address requested for the mailing list. Addresses shall be in the domain @lists.lopsa.org.

In order for the application to be approved, the address must be unique (i.e., not in use by an existing LOPSA hosted mailing list) and descriptive of the list's purpose.

Use of the characters lopsa in the left-hand-side of a mailing list's requested address must be reasonably justified in the application.

Moderator addresses

The applicant shall supply the addresses of at least two LOPSA members (including him or herself) to serve as moderators of the list. All moderators must agree to abide by the Terms of Agreement.

Descriptive name

The application shall specify a descriptive name for the hosted mailing list. This name shall briefly describe the purpose of the mailing list in a manner understandable to the casual reader.

Mailing list purpose

The application shall describe the purpose of the mailing list. The purpose should serve to justify the need for the list, explain how the list furthers LOPSA's mission, and describe to potential subscribers the likely content of the list.

Subscription policy

The application shall specify one of the following subscription policies:

The mailing list is visible in the directory, and anyone can subscribe.
The mailing list is visible in the directory to LOPSA members, and only LOPSA members can subscribe.
The mailing list is not visible in the directory, and requires moderator approval of subscriptions.

The applicant must justify requests for private lists, and specify the criteria that will be used for approving subscriptions. Applications for private lists will not be approved without reasonable justification and objective criteria. For example, a list consisting of the maintainers of a software project or the attendees of a meeting are reasonable candidates for a private list. Self-governing subscription policies, for example subscribers voting on new list invitations, may also be acceptable with reasonable justification. In no case shall the applicant exercise arbitrary control over a subscriber list.

An Open or Members-only subscription policy shall not be construed to deny the moderator the right to ban subscribers who abuse list policy.

Moderation policy

The application shall specify whether the list allows for open posting or is moderated. Requests for moderated lists must be reasonably justified.

An open-posting policy shall not be construed to deny the moderator the right to moderate posts from non-subscribers, or to moderate posts from subscribers who have abused list policy.

Archival policy

The application shall specify whether archives of list posts are requested, and whether the public or just subscribers should have access to the archives.

Archives may be expired on a schedule as necessary. List moderators shall be given prior notice of such expiry.


LOPSA is in no way responsible for the content of hosted mailing lists. It is the responsibility of the list moderator(s) to ensure that hosted lists are not used for illegitimate purposes. LOPSA reserves the right to take action if made aware of improper conduct on hosted lists.


A hosted list may be terminated under any of the following circumstances:

  • The moderators cease performing list maintenance duties;
  • The moderators are no longer LOPSA members in good standing;
  • In the determination of the Executive Director (appealable to the Board), the list is no longer serving its approved purpose; or
  • The list traffic becomes too great for LOPSA's resources.

LOPSA shall work with the subscribers of such lists to prevent termination if possible (for example, by transferring moderation to other members in good standing) or to transition lists gracefully to a more appropriate service.

Lists may also be terminated at the moderators' request. Notice shall be sent to the mailing list warning of pending list termination. If other LOPSA members volunteer to be new moderators, LOPSA may work with such volunteers to preserve the mailing list.

Mailings from LOPSA

From time to time, LOPSA may send mail about LOPSA activities to hosted mailing list subscribers. Such mail may be sent via the mailing lists, or directly to list subscribers.

LOPSA may from time to time send mail to hosted mailing list subscribers on behalf of third parties. Such mail will be sent directly to list subscribers, and subscribers will be provided with a means of opting out of such third-party mailings.


Posts to hosted mailing lists may have a LOPSA-approved footer appended of no more than four 77-character lines. This footer shall only be used to publicize LOPSA and LOPSA activities.


LOPSA or its members shall not share the subscriber list of any hosted mailing list or any addresses contained therein with any third party. The subscriber list of a hosted mailing list shall not be made available to the public without permission; at the moderator's option, the subscriber list may be made available to other subscribers or to LOPSA members.

Moderators must agree not to share the subscriber list or any addresses contained therein with any third party. For lists in which the subscriber list is visible to other subscribers, subscribers must be notified at the time of subscription (e.g., via the list's welcome message) that they must not share the subscriber list or any addresses contained therein with any third party.

Terms of Agreement

This policy shall be used as the basis for Terms of Agreement, to be provided to hosted list moderators at time of application, any time the Terms change, and on request.