Black Sabbath Online Forums FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Tape Trading Rules and these forums

When I launched this board, I checked with Tony Iommi's manager regarding the policy of live bootlegs and whatnot. As much as I personally don't get involved in that scene anymore, I realize lots of folks will be interested in that. Tony's own official forum has had a policy in place for awhile for folks to do that, so I asked if I could operate with the same rules they do. They agreed, so here are the rules for this forum regarding tape trading.

1) You may share publicly on the board any live or unreleased commercial music relating to Black Sabbath, provided you follow all the rules laid out in this document.

2) No asking for money. No nothing. No shipping & handling, no cost for discs, no value of ANY KIND WHATSOEVER can be involved in the transaction. Just be cool about it, and don't bring money into this. The folks over at Iommi's camp have been kind enough to permit this, but the second you bring money into this it becomes a problem, and your posts will have to be removed, and likely you as well.

3) Any and all problems that might arise from you trading for said music through these forums is your responsibility. This forum, nor any of it's administrators or Moderators will be held responsible if you have issues trading music. In other words, if you get stiffed on a trade, don't blame us.

4) For God's sake, don't do something stupid like posting your address (mailing or home, or whatever) in a public message. Or even worse, your phone number. If you want to contact someone about a trade, use the private message feature here, or send them an email (if they've decided to make their email available).

5) Things you may not trade for or offer to trade:
* Commercially available material by Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi, or any other band member that's ever been in Black Sabbath - whether it's discontinued or not. If it was ever commercially released, than don't do it.
* Unreleased demos (things like The Born Again demos, The Rebel, Song for Jim, the Forbidden remixes, etc). Almost always these things are out there because they were stolen from someone involved with the band, and were never meant to be out in the public. Please don't offer these things on our forums.

6) Do not offer internet links and sites to download these things. In short, no bittorrent download links, no FTP sites, nothing like that. The trading that's permitted here is a one on one thing between members on the forums. Mass distributed things on the Internet are not permitted here.

To sum up:

Please don't try and "get around" the rules by finding loopholes or anything dumb like that. The Forum administration also reserves the right to change the rules if the need arises. If you have a doubt or a question about these rules, please contact myself or one of the moderators.

You can send me a private message by using this link.

Thanks for your cooperation in following these rules. Tony's management has been cool enough to allow this, don't be an asshat and blow it for everyone, OK?

No animated avatars or sig images - Here's why

Here are the avatar rules on this board. There's also some theories on why I don't allow sig images, too.

When the forum software I started with originally introduced avatars in their forum software, I was concerned at the abuse factor possible there, for the same reasons I don't allow sig images. I thought about it a bit, and came up with some rules for avatar usage. Below are the rules from my board, along with some commentary by me on the rules.

(The commentary on the rules was originally posted on another board where I copied my original rules over there)

  1. For external avatars, only JPG, GIF, or PNG will be allowed. No .bmp files, and especially no .swf files.
  2. No animated avatars.
  3. The size limit on avatars is 100x125 (100 wide by 125 high). The software will force you to use that size, so don't try using a bigger image, it will look silly.
  4. No objectionable content in avatar images. We reserve the right to define what content is, and deny you the ability to use avatars if you show disregard for the avatar rules.
  5. If you are not using one of the built-in avatars, please don't duplicate someone else's avatar - especially if they made it themselves. Try not to rip off other people's avatar work.
If someone posts an offending avatar, I remove it, and email them and tell them why. I have two pre-fab responses ready for that which I can dump into an email program. One for "broken image" and one for "no animating".

The reason I don't allow animating avatars is that it quickly becomes a wasteland of "Hey, look at my avatar" instead of bothering with actual messages of substance, and unchecked, will trash the board very quickly. It's the same reason I don't allow images in signatures, because it becomes a wasteland for pEoPlE wHo tHinK it'S C00l and 7eet To TyPe ThIs WaY. People like that tend to be the type who won't pay attention to rules anyway, and just want to draw attention to themselves instead of fostering any kind of community you might be trying to build. Sorry, don't need that kind of garbage on my forums - so images in sigs are out, and the rules I quoted above for avatar usage.

Some more remarks on the rules:

1) Some people think .bmp is a valid inline image format. While IE will display it, that's the singular worst file format one could use - the stupid things are massive, even at avatar sized images. Also, .swf should be obvious as to why I disallow that. There's other things like the .txt trick to get free sites like Geocities to allow offsite image linking, but I've disallowed .txt as an image format in fairness to Geocities' rules.

2) See remarks above about animating images.

3) Objectionable generally constitutes porn, but there's any number of things that would be removed - swastikas, hate images, other insensitive things.

4) I've had a few users swipe other's custom avatars that they made on their own. While not exactly WRONG, it's generally a tacky thing to do.

Also I remove broken image avatars, because some browsers (mostly older Netscape) don't display the page right until it can figure out what to do with every image on the page.

If you see an avatar that violates the rules, please send me a private message about it, and I'll deal with it.

So far all this has worked for me. When I get violations, I send 'em an email (or a private message) as noted above, and a link to a thread on my board which has these rules (and about 15 more pages of avatar test messages). To date, I don't think I've had a user who has refused and put the same offending avatar back. If they did, they'd get a warning, and a third time would result in a stiffer penalty, like removal of avatar privledges or something else depending on how they refused to comply.

One other thing. The software by default will disallow the use of images in sigs. Don't try and post what would normally be a sig image in the body of all your posts. I don't take kindly to people making manual attempts to get around the rules like that.

(And no, I still won't allow images in sigs, as they tend to be more of a problem than avatars are, and for the same reason. I've been asked if I'd come up with similar style rules for image sigs, but I've decided against that, as they are more problematic than avatars are.) To be honest, it's my forums, so it's my rules. I hate sig images, so I'm not about to allow 'em here. Why do I hate them? The same reason I stated above about animating avatars. Here it is again..

The reason I don't allow sig images is that it quickly becomes a wasteland of "Hey, look at my sig image" instead of bothering with actual messages of substance, and unchecked, will trash the board very quickly; it becomes a wasteland for pEoPlE wHo tHinK it'S C00l and 7eet To TyPe ThIs WaY. People like that tend to be the type who won't pay attention to rules anyway, and just want to draw attention to themselves instead of fostering any kind of community you might be trying to build. Sorry, don't need that kind of stuff on my forums - so images in sigs are out.
I also don't want to spend the time policing sig images for proper size, inappopriate content - and the inevitable whining when someone realizes I let a sig image slide because it's 3 pixels too big.. "You let his be bigger, why can't I do it" or someone thinking "Well, I'll just make mine a little bigger, he won't notice", and then unchecked, that becomes a problem with people taking liberties.

Board Policies Regarding Various Eras of the band

I've been running the Black Sabbath Online site since 1995. I've been running the newsletter since December 1996, and one of the biggest things that always comes up are the inevitable vocalist arguments.

Black Sabbath has had 6 major vocalists (Ozzy, Dio, Gillan, Hughes, Gillen, Martin), as well as two more minor ones (Halford, Walker), plus a few oddball names floating around (Keel, Donato, Fenholt?).

Anyway, with that much change, debate and discussion is bound to come up. And that's good. That's what these forums are for. Debate and discussion. However, what they are NOT here for is the mindless insults that almost always seem to show up on music based forums.

In all my years, there's been a lot of "Ozzy can't sing", or "Dio sounds like a munchkin - Fuck him" or "Tony Martin was just trying to sound like Dio", or the even worse "Ozzy vs. Dio" stuff. None of that is welcome. If you want to discuss differences, that's cool. But random and mindless insults are NOT welcome.

To that, I've separated out the eras into their own areas. Ozzy, Ronnie Dio, & Tony Martin have their own areas. Everyone else will go in one area. Basically keep it separate. Obviously it can't all be segregated, but in an attempt to try and keep dumbass insults as to which singer is better, or "Ozzy vs. Dio" shit out of the forums, it is requested that "mostly" Ozzy era stuff be in the Ozzy Forum, Dio in the Dio forum, etc...

Thanks for helping to keep the place cool.

Search FAQ

Select this option if you would like your search to look in the text of FAQ items as well as their titles.

Select an option here to specify how you would like your search query to be treated. 'Any words' will return the most numerous but possibly least relevant results, while 'Complete phrase' will return only results that contain exactly what you are searching for.