General Purpose and Policy:
The general purpose of Novi.org (“the Site”) is to serve as a centralized source for information and news about the City of Novi, its residents, schools, businesses, and community organizations; and to promote the economic welfare, tourism, and industry of the City. Content across all sections of the Site will be posted by the City. To the extent that the City welcomes suggestions from non-government actors for content to be featured on the Site, the Site is intended to function as a non-public forum for government speech and content related to the purpose of the Site. To the extent that the Site’s policy regulates non-government First Amendment activity, it is not the intent of the site to allow uniformity of expression across all sections of the Site, or within each section. Any limits on the use of the Site or inclusion of non-government content on the Site is not intended to silence speech or to prohibit expressive activity based upon viewpoints.
The Site is not intended to serve as a forum for public debate, commentary, or interaction between site users. It also is not intended as source of editorials or opinion articles by individuals that are not speaking on behalf of the City and/or that would cause the City to appear to be endorsing a specific viewpoint on any topic with respect to which it has not otherwise exercised its government speech rights. The Site is not open for political campaigning on behalf of candidates or ballot proposals, partisan political purposes, campaign or political party fundraising, or any other purpose that would cause the City to be in violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Act 388 of 1976, as amended, or any other applicable state or federal law. Provided, that this policy is not intended to limit the ability of elected or appointed government officials from posting non-editorial news and information in furtherance of the public duties associated with their office, or from announcing non-fundraising-related events such as open office hours.
Any suggested story or submitted content will be reviewed by the City on an item-by-item basis for consideration to be included as part of the government’s speech and/or for consistency with the site’s purpose. Any submitted content will also be reviewed for technical quality (e.g. compatibility with the Site; photo resolution quality).
Purpose and Policy of Sections within Novi.org
Around Town, News & Local Government Sections:
The “Around Town,” “News” and “Local Government” sections of the Site are intended to be a source of official government communication from the City of Novi. These areas will contain news and information about the City of Novi and its government, neighborhoods, and culture, directly from the City of Novi. The “Around Town” and “News” sections may also include content cross-referenced from other sections of the Site (including the Business and Entertainment sections) that the City considers newsworthy and wishes to amplify. The City intends for these to serve as a form of modern press release, where the media and public can turn to obtain up-to-date information about the City, from the City. The City welcomes suggestions from the public for stories to be covered, inquiries or tips about happenings in the City, and photographs or video footage for potential inclusion with any City-generated news stories. However, the decision about whether the City wishes to speak on the matters suggested, or include user-provided content or media with stories it posts, shall solely be the City’s in the exercise of its governmental speech. In the interest of avoiding appearing as though it is endorsing specific speakers or viewpoints on matters other than those for which the City has chosen to exercise its government speech rights, the City will not publish editorials and opinion pieces.
The purpose of the “Schools” section of the Site is to provide a centralized source of information and news about the schools within the City of Novi, including their sports, clubs, and organizations. The Schools section will feature links for each school district with a geographic boundary that includes any portion of the City of Novi, and for each private school within the City of Novi that wishes to have content featured on the Site. It is the City’s intent that content for the Schools section will be submitted to the City directly by the schools or school districts, and therefore will be the government speech of each public school districts or the speech of the private school. Submissions will be reviewed for technical compatibility with the site, and to ensure that the content does not defeat the purpose of the Site as a whole. To the extent that any non-public schools featured on the Site are affiliated with a religious denomination, the inclusion of those schools and any content that they may submit with faith-based themes is based solely on the school’s physical presence within the City of Novi, and is not intended to endorse or establish any specific religious denomination, or to exclude schools affiliated with other denominations for any reason unrelated to their physical location. To the extent that the City reviews submissions from religious-affiliated schools, it will do so solely for purposes of ensuring the technical quality of the submission and the overall purpose of the Site, and not with the intent of excluding any submissions because they might be motivated by, or otherwise include a reference to, the school’s religious denomination or faith-based mission. Provided, that the City will not include any submissions that would reasonably be construed as causing the City to violate the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution (e.g. posts that reproduce or otherwise disseminate religious services, religious worship, religious texts, or denominational prayer).
Business & Entertainment Sections:
The purpose of the “Business” and “Entertainment” sections of the Site is to promote the economic welfare, tourism, industry, and community life of the City, including by serving as a calendar of community events and business promotions within the City. Content in these sections may be generated by the City or schools, but will primarily rely upon stories or links submitted by businesses, organizations, and places of worship within the City of Novi. The City will review each suggested post on an item-by-item basis for consistency with the purpose of the Business and Entertainment sections of the Site and the overall purpose of the Site, for technical compatibility with the Site, to confirm that the post relates to a business, organization, or place of worship with a physical presence in the City of Novi, and to ensure that the post does not contain any content unprotected by the First Amendment or otherwise prohibited by law (e.g. obscenity, threats, etc.). It is not the intent of the Business & Entertainment sections to be a forum for public discussion about the stories, businesses, organizations, or places of worship featured selected by the City to appear on the Site (e.g. it is not the intent of the Site to serve as a ratings or review site for businesses and restaurants).
Places of Worship:
To the extent that the Site features content submitted by or related to places of worship within the City, it is not the City’s intent to endorse the religious institutions or the beliefs of institutions appearing on the Site. In limiting access to Novi.org to places of worship with a physical presence in the City of Novi, it is not the intent of the City to exclude religions or restrict the free exercise of any religion, but rather to treat places of worship like all other businesses and organization that might appear on the Site and are also subject to the requirement of being located within the City of Novi. To the extent that the City reviews submissions from places of worship, it will do so solely for purposes of ensuring the technical quality of the submission, and not with the intent of excluding any submissions because they might be motivated by, or otherwise include a reference to, a religious denomination or faith-based mission. Provided, that the City will not include any submissions that would reasonably be construed as causing the City to violate the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution (e.g. posts that reproduce or otherwise disseminate religious services, religious worship, religious texts, or denominational prayer).
The Calendar is intended to provide basic information about future events that are scheduled to happen in the City of Novi, and which are consistent with the purposes of Novi.org. The Calendar is not intended to endorse any events, or provide in-depth coverage of those events. The Calendar is subject to the same general and section-specific purposes and policies set forth above, including the prohibition on political campaigning, partisan activity, campaign/partisan fundraising, and/or any other purpose for which the City’s posting of information regarding the event could be construed as a violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Act 388 of 1976, as amended, or any other applicable state or federal law. Provided, that this policy is not intended to limit the ability of elected or appointed government officials from announcing non-campaign and non-fundraising-oriented events in furtherance of the public duties associated with their office, such as open office hours. It is also not intended to prohibit the announcement of non-political, non-partisan, non-campaigning-related fundraising events of community organizations. To the extent that the actual event may ultimately feature the expression of a specific viewpoint on a topic, or may have a fundraising component, it is not the City’s intent for its listing of the event to be an endorsement of the viewpoints expressed, or as a contribution toward the fundraising activity. A calendar entry may provide a link to outside information about the event for individuals who want to learn more, consistent with the Disclaimer Regarding Linked Sites. As the calendar is intended solely as an information-only listing of basic information about upcoming events, inclusion of an event on the Calendar does not guarantee pre-event or post-event coverage within other sections of Novi.org, and should not be construed as indicating that any proposed story regarding the event would qualify for positing to other sections of Novi.org.
Disclaimer Regarding Linked Sites on Novi.org
The Site may contain links to other sites on the Internet (“Linked Sites”). The City of Novi is not responsible for the content, advertising, products or other materials made available on or through any Linked Site. The links to these sites are for your convenience only, and you access them at your own risk. The City of Novi shall not be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused or alleged to have been caused to a user in connection with such Linked Sites.
The City of Novi welcomes links to the Site. You may establish a link to the Site, provided that the link does not state or imply any sponsorship or endorsement of your site by the City of Novi. You may not use on your site any logos, trademarks, service marks, or copyrighted materials appearing on the Site, including but not limited to any logos or characters, without the express written consent of the owner of the mark or right. You may not frame or otherwise incorporate into another site the content or other materials on the Site without prior written consent.
User’s and City’s Rights in Submitted Content
The City of Novi considers any suggested content that you submit to the City through its websites to be available and authorized for publication by the City. You should understand that by submitting content to the City, you are indicating both that you: (a) own the rights in the content, or that you otherwise have the right to authorize the City to use the content; and (b) believe any information you have submitted is accurate and current. As a result, when you submit content to the City, you should be sure that you actually have the right to authorize the City to use the content. For example, just because you have a copy of a photograph, such as a yearbook picture, even when the photograph is a picture of you, your possession of that copy does not necessarily mean that you own the copyright in that photograph.
Assuming that you do actually own the rights in the content that you submit to the City, you can rest assured that you are not giving up your ownership of the rights, including the copyright, in that content when you submit the content to the City. But, you are giving the City a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, copy, modify, create derivative works of, distribute, display, perform, archive and store, the content that you have submitted, for any purpose, in any form, media, or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future for the full term of any rights that may exist in the content.
The bottom line is that under this license, you have no further right to control how the City uses the content you have provided, regardless of how the City chooses to use that content, in whatever form, in whatever medium, for whatever purpose, forever.
And, you have agreed to give this license to the City for no compensation other than the City’s agreement to provide attribution to you for the content.
If you do not wish to convey this license to the City, then you should not submit the content to the City.
Submission of suggested content to the City does not guarantee that any proposed story will be investigated or posted, or that any content you submit will be posted in full. The City maintains the sole discretion to generate the content for the Site, consistent with the purpose and policies of the Site. The City reserves the right to remove or ban any user for conduct that violates the policies governing the Site. The City will not post any suggested content that violates the law and/or is unprotected by the First Amendment (e.g. obscenity, threats), and any user who submits such content may be prohibited from interacting with the Site.
By accessing, affiliating with, or sharing with the Site, your identity may be visible to third parties not affiliated with the City. In addition, third parties may be able to access your profile and personal information. The City of Novi is not responsible for access to your identity, profile, or personal information by third parties. It is the express responsibility of the user to protect the user’s identity, profile, and personal information. The City of Novi reserves the right to amend the foregoing guidelines and apply them as circumstances dictate.