The agreed rules as of 10/10/98 (amended 30/09/07, 18/09/2010, 14/09/2013, 12/10/2013) are as follows.
Bear in mind this isn’t a legal document - it's really for our own guidance (and prospective new members). We intend to deal with specific problems in detail as they arise. Ultimately, everything is covered by Clause One and the dispute clauses.
Rules of Association
Elections & Voting
Section I: Rules of Association
I.1 - The Mad Hatters Club ("The Club") is a not-for-profit partnership (un-incorporated body) formed for the sole purpose of sharing the costs of running a hosted Internet server. Membership is limited to a maximum of 15. Members agree to abide by these rules in good faith and in the understanding that any consequential loss is not covered. The Club cannot and does not make any guarantee of service.
I. 2 - Once these rules are accepted, they may only be changed by a two-thirds majority of ALL members, either at an EGM or via the Mad Hatters mailing list ("The List"). However, THIS rule may not be changed without the agreement of ALL members.
I. 3 - All members are equal. All make an equal one-off payment for hardware (depreciated over five calendar years). All members pay an equal share of bandwidth costs, starting from the year beginning October 10th ("The Club Year").
I. 4 - All payments are Club Yearly (or part-Club Yearly for new members) from start of service in advance. All members must be aged 18 years or over.
I. 5 - Payment of the appropriate membership fee to the Club or its nominated persons signifies membership.
I. 6 - No moneys are refundable at any time or for any reason. An exception to this being on dissolution of the Club, whereupon any surplus funds left unused are to be returned to members equally.
I. 7 - The Club will maintain a surplus for use in emergencies such as equipment failure.
I. 8 - The Club may not impose any financial penalty (other than loss of moneys paid in advance) upon any member in respect of a disciplinary matter.
I. 9 - Equipment judged by simple majority to be unwanted by the Club will be donated to, or sold for, charity.
I. 10 - All members must have a working email address and keep the rest of the Club apprised of all address changes. All Club communication will be by email except as noted below, and any message sent to the last known email address of any member will be considered to have reached him/her within 72 hours.
I. 11 - DELETED
I. 12 - All members must agree to have the following details displayed on a web page accessible to all members of the Club: their full name, email address.
I. 13 - Members may use their share of Club resources however they see fit, provided they do not willfully perform any activity that jeopardizes the future of the Club or that abuses the rights of any other Club member, the determination of such behavior being covered by Clause IV 1.
I. 14 - All members are entitled to an equal share of the available bandwidth, disk space and processor cycles. Any of the said resources not used by its 'owner' may be taken advantage of by the other members. Should these limits be exceeded, the Club will take appropriate action to rectify this (see IV. 1).
I. 15 - Members may use their share of the server for profit, and create user accounts for non-members provided that in doing so they do not use more than their share of the server or otherwise put themselves in dispute of the Club. A Member’s share of the server is not transferable and will be forfeited if membership is terminated for any reason. Replacement members will be invited to fill any vacancy on a first come first served basis. Such replacement members will be required to pay the full Annual Subscription, regardless of when in the Hatters Year they join.
I. 16 - All members have the right to use the root account, but disclosure of the root password to any non-member is forbidden. The root password will be changed frequently at members’ discretion.
I. 17 - All FTP access must be by "guest account." FTP access to any area of the server outside members’ own areas is forbidden. Remote terminal access must be restricted to paying members only.
I. 18 - Should any member wish to leave the Club, they must give one calendar month’s notice.
I. 19 - Annual subscriptions will be payable 30 days from date of invoice. Any member who has not paid the Annual Subscription by this date will be deemed to have resigned from the club and their membership, together with all files and data associated with their use of the server, will be deleted and terminated forthwith.
Section II: Elections & Voting
II. 1 - The Club shall elect officers by simple majority vote. Votes must be cast by over a period of seven days.
II. 2 - The Treasurer shall be responsible for the administration of all funds, payments, tax and related matters on behalf of the Club. The Treasurer must be a signatory to the Club’s bank account.
II. 3 - One or more Nominated Signatories must counter-sign all outgoing cheques from the Club’s bank account.
II. 4 - The Secretary shall be responsible for making and maintaining member records, minutes of meetings, the administration of elections, Club communications and all related matters on behalf of the Club.
II. 5 - DELETED
II. 6 - New members shall be elected by vote, either by a quorum at an EGM, or by simple majority vote on the List. In the latter case, the method of voting shall be the same as II. 1. Reasonable time must be allowed for existing members to ask prospective members any questions before voting begins.
Section III: Meetings
III. 1 - Day-to-day Club business can be handled via the List. Extraordinary matters require a real meeting of real people.
III. 2 - The Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be convened by the Secretary as a ‘real world’ meeting. A quorum of 50% of the total Club membership (rounded down) shall be present before the business of the AGM can be conducted.
III. 3 - Any two members may call a ‘Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)’ meeting. Such meetings will be held at the Mad Hatter Hotel, Stamford St. London or at some other venue as agreed by simple majority of the Club via the List. An ‘EGM’ meeting will require a quorum of 30% of the total Club membership (rounded down) to be able to conduct the business of the Club.
III. 4 - Meetings will commence at or after 1830 hrs British time if held during Monday to Friday, or between 1400 and 1830 if held on a weekend or bank holiday. All meetings should finish by 2200. Meetings must be announced at least 14 days in advance, and those calling it should be prepared to be flexible with regard to the time.
III. 5 - If a meeting is called because of a dispute, the meeting must be at a time suitable for the 'defendant' to attend. However, if the defendant fails to attend at the agreed time, or can not agree a time within 14 days of the initially proposed time, the meeting can proceed without him/her.
Section IV: Disputes
IV. 1 - Disputes between individual members, or between a member and the Club, including (but not limited to) differences in interpretation of these rules, should initially be attempted to be resolved amicably via the List. When this proves impossible, a majority decision by the members attending a face-to-face meeting is binding.
IV. 2 - Expulsion from the Club can only be made by a two-thirds majority of members attending a face-to-face meeting.
IV. 3 - If more than one such decision goes against any particular member in any one Club Year, he/she may be expelled from the Club.