DALnet channels for chat, not files
Date: 01/02/2003
Author: DALnet
Effective March 1, 2003 DALnet will be enforcing a change to its Acceptable Use Policy (http://www.dal.net/aup) which will prohibit "Using a channel for the primary purpose of facilitating the transfer of files".

DALnet is by its very nature a Chat Network. Its purpose is for people around the world to join together in channels and converse about subjects of their choosing. New technologies have sprung forth since the birth of DALnet back in 1994. Programs such as Kazaa and Napster have generated a desire for Internet users to freely transfer files. They have also generated a large amount of controversy regarding the legality of doing so. DALnet is not, nor does it wish to be thought of as, a file sharing network.

While we recognize that the transfers themselves do not happen on our network, and are a product of a direct connection between the clients involved, we have chosen to not support channels who primary focus is the distribution of files. Though we respect the right of our users to transfer files between themselves on a limited basis, should our staff determine that a channel exists for the primary purpose of facilitating such transfers, it will be deemed in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy and closed.

Q. I've been using DALnet for years, are you just going to toss me out?
A. DALnet will not actively be enforcing this policy until March 1st. It is our hope that this will give those of our users who ran file-transfer channels enough time to relocate without too much of a burden to them. We of course welcome you to stay and use DALnet for chatting purposes.

Q. But my channel distributes perfectly legal files. Surely you don't mean me. Right?
A. This policy is not about legal/illegal files. There are other resources on the Internet for you to distribute your files. DALnet is not of them.

Q. I send a file every once in a while to a friend I chat with in my channel, will my channel be shut down?
A. No, this is not about the occasional transfer of a file between people who otherwise are using DALnet to chat. This is about setting up channels as a means to facilitate the transfer of files.

Q. Is some group/organization forcing you to do this?
A. No. This is completely an internal decision. DALnet values its resources and the donated time, bandwidth, and equipment that it receives. DALnet wishes to ensure that those resources are used for their original purposes, to sustain a network where people can chat with other people. This is an effort to reduce the wasting of those resources on other activities.

Q. I can't connect to DALnet. Why is that?
A. DALnet has recently been the victim of ongoing Distributed Denial of Service attacks. There are people out there with control of an enormous number of exploited computers from which they can launch an attack that uses up all the available bandwidth of a remote computer. The result is, their attacks keep you from connecting to our servers. And as such, our "pool" of servers (irc.dal.net) is usually not open for connections. However, many client servers are open and accepting direct connections, and we continue to work to provide more and more room for people to chat on our network.

The DALnet staff would like to thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the difficult times it has faced due to these recent attacks. To those of you who used DALnet simply as a means to transfer files, we apologize for any inconvenience this new policy may cause you. We have no doubt you'll be able to find somewhere else that will suit your needs. As you know, DALnet has been a leader in the IRC community for many years now. We expect to continue that trend, and with the focus being put back onto chatting, be able to expand and develop new tools and services for you all to use.

-The DALnet Staff
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