Terms and Conditions

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Last Updates: October 2, 2011, 25 May, 2018.

Welcome to h2g2. This page includes the Terms and Conditions for being a member of the site, our
House Rules
which explain more about what behaviour is and isn't ok, and at the bottom you'll find our Privacy Policy.

h2g2 is owned by Not Panicking Ltd, and the Terms and Conditions, House Rules and Privacy Policy are an agreement between you and Not Panicking Ltd about your use of the site.

This User Agreement ('Agreement') governs the use of h2g2 provided by Not Panicking Ltd including participation in the h2g2 site (the Service), by You (the User). Your right to use the Service is limited to personal and non-commercial use. You may only be an individual, that is, you may not be a corporation or other business entity. The Service is made available under the Terms and Conditions of this User Agreement and any rules or policies published by Not Panicking Ltd on the h2g2 website. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between You and Not Panicking Ltd. By clicking on the 'I accept' button during the registration process you explicitly indicate your acceptance to be bound by the Terms of this Agreement.

Changes and updates

We reserve the right to change these Terms and Conditions, including the House Rules and Privacy Policy at any time by posting changes online. Announcements will be made here. You are responsible for subscribing to the announcements forum and regularly reviewing information posted online to obtain notice of such changes. Your continued use of this site, after changes are posted, constitutes your acceptance of these House Rules as modified by the posted changes.


The User accepts that Not Panicking Ltd cannot be held liable for any content posted by the User on any part of the Service.


In simple language

It is important to note that you still own the copyright to everything you contribute to h2g2. This means that you are perfectly free to take what you have written and re-publish it somewhere else.

However, in contributing to h2g2, you grant us the right to publish and possibly edit any contribution you make to the site. In other words, anything you create on h2g2 is posted under the condition that you grant us a non-exclusive licence to distribute and edit the material in any way that we want, and in any media. As we may wish to distribute content on h2g2 in various formats over time, we need to be sure that we have the right to publish everything that is on the site.

You can delete or update your unedited Entries, you cannot delete, update or change Edited Entries or posts in conversations.

However, Copyright works both ways: If you didn't create it, don't post it.

The formal version

Each User grants to Not Panicking Ltd a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licenseable (through multiple tiers) right and license to use, reproduce, sell, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to any content such User provides to the Service worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content, consistent with privacy restrictions set forth in this Agreement. In addition, no User may seek to restrict Not Panicking Ltd's rights to such content through the use of any statement or legend. If the User does not wish to grant such rights to Not Panicking Ltd, it is suggested that You do not provide such content to the Service. Other than materials You may author and post, material may not be excerpted or copied for any purpose without the prior express written permission of Not Panicking Ltd.

You agree to only post materials to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically. You may not violate, plagiarise, or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights. It is impossible for Not Panicking Ltd to know whether a posting constitutes a copyright or other infringement. The provider of such content is responsible for ensuring that such content does not violate the intellectual property rights of another. On being informed by a copyright owner or their agent that a posting violates their copyright and with the provision of reasonable proof to that effect, Not Panicking Ltd will remove the offensive material as soon as is reasonably practicable.

If you're Under Age 16

At present, users who are under 16 cannot register with h2g2.


Last Update October 2, 2011.

Welcome to the House Rules for h2g2.com (referred to as h2g2 from now on). The House Rules are part of the Terms and Conditions of using the site and exist so that everyone can get the best out of contributing to h2g2. They aim to protect anyone who reads or contributes to h2g2, and to help everyone have a fun and safe time.
If any content breaks the rules outlined below, it may be removed or edited by the Moderators. For more information on moderation, please read Moderation on h2g2. Repeated violation of the House Rules may result in your account being suspended or you being banned from using the site.

About contributing to h2g2

Unlike many other websites, you cannot edit or delete what you have posted in conversations on h2g2. This transparency means people cannot do or say mean things and then pretend they didn't, but you do need to think before you post. Please keep your contributions civil, tasteful and relevant.

The aim of h2g2 is to provide a place in which conversations are constructive, mature and occasionally playful, and where Entries are interesting and entertaining. To this aim, these are the House Rules for contributing to h2g2. You agree to abide by these rules when you agree to the Terms and Conditions for using the site.

What you post or write must be legal

Material which is illegal (defamatory, for example), condones illegal activities (such as illicit drug use) or infringes the copyright of a third party (content that you haven't created, or that you have taken and changed into other words), has to be removed.

You may not post:

  • Defamatory or illegal material of any nature anywhere on the site. This includes text, graphics, video, programs or audio;
  • Material which violates any laws regarding unfair competition, anti-discrimination, false impersonation, or false advertising;
  • Material which promotes illegal activities or with the intention of committing an illegal act;
  • Material which violates any applicable local, national, international or foreign law, statute, ordinance or regulation including without limitation the laws and regulations governing export control, or would give rise to criminal or civil liability of any sort whatsoever.
  • You may only post materials to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically: if you didn't create it, don't post it.

Do not post offensive or objectionable material

Not Panicking Ltd and h2g2 reserve the right to establish and modify the criteria for what constitutes offensive or objectionable material. Amendments to the House Rules will be announced here.
Material which is obscene, profane, erotic or sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable is not acceptable.

  • Do not promote bigotry, homophobia, racism, sexism or hatred; material which does so will be removed. Repeated posting of such material may result in your account being suspended or in you being banned.
  • You'll notice 'profane' in this list; hardcore swearing has never been permitted on h2g2. Some swearing - such as quotes from poems or plays in Entries intended for publication in the Guide, for example - may be editorially acceptable, but in everyday communication it is not. Limited use of the smiley - bleepsmiley may be permissible, however.

Remember your manners

Your tone of voice does not show up in text, and what you think is friendly teasing may look mean-spirited to another person, and can be threatening to the person it is aimed at. When in doubt, the moderators will take posts at face value. With that in mind:

  • Please, no flaming or trolling. On h2g2, flaming means posting something that's angry and mean-spirited. Trolling means deliberately posting provocative things just to stir up trouble - it's not polite, so please don't do it. h2g2 is a friendly place, so please help to keep it that way;
  • Please, no spamming or flooding. On h2g2, spamming is the posting of similar messages to lots of forums. Flooding is when similar messages are posted over and over again to the same Conversation. It's especially antisocial if it's off-topic for those Forums. If you do spam or flood the forums we may simply remove your postings, and possibly suspend or close your account;
  • Posts may fail if they are considered likely to disrupt, provoke or attack or offend others;
  • Please be patient. People whose first language is not English post here, as do those of all ages from 16 upwards so please be considerate when posting. Remember - everyone was a newbie once and that this is an International site;
  • The language of h2g2 is English and this is the only language we can guarantee to moderate in. You may post words or phrases in other languages, but please include others by providing a translation. We may have to moderate posts written in other languages if we cannot understand them, even if the meaning is within the house rules;
  • Text speak or unintelligible postings may be removed if it is felt they are disruptive to the natural flow of conversation. h2g2 aims to encourage quality writing and txtspk is particularly difficult for people to understand if English is not their first language; h2g2 is an international site so please make the effort to ensure your postings can be easily understood by all.

Protect your privacy and respect the privacy of others

  • Be careful when including email addresses, instant messaging numbers and the like in contributions, and do not include anyone else's. You may include your own personal contact details in your contributions (providing they are acceptable, i.e. not vulgar or offensive), but please be aware that you may open yourself up to a lot of email, possibly spam. If you still want to post an email address for people to contact you, we recommend you set up a new email account for the purpose.
  • It is not acceptable to publicise the private contact details for anyone else, and we will remove them. Due to the public nature of this website, it is not acceptable for you to post the personal details of children or minors, and we may remove any such details that are posted. It is acceptable to include general contact details for companies, for example, but you must only include publicly available details.
  • Please don't impersonate others. Everyone has a unique User ID number, so you cannot get away with impersonating other Researchers, and it is rude and unacceptable to even try.
  • Adopting an inappropriate nickname, or display name (one that is vulgar or likely to cause offence) is also not allowed; if you pick a nickname that is not acceptable, we will simply change it back to the default. Please note that we do not allow URLs to be included in nicknames.

Don't harass other people

Material which is harassing, abusive, threatening, or harmful is not acceptable. We reserve the right to remove such material and take action against those responsible. We will comply with requests from law enforcement agencies if they contact us concerning the use of the site for harassment.

  • Harassing and abusive behaviour includes repeatedly posting personal or offensive comments about someone, or posts which can be seen to bully others.
  • It is also harassment to repeatedly post in a Researcher's journals or on their personal space when they have asked you not to.
  • Harassment can be directed at members of the public, members of the site, employees, or anyone acting in an official or appointed volunteer capacity for h2g2, including the site's moderators; any such harassment is not acceptable.
  • It is also contrary to the House Rules to incite others to act in such a way, or to encourage others to post in ways which are against the spirit of the House Rules. Consider your own behaviour, could it look as if you were one of a group acting in a mob-like fashion to intimidate another member?

Respect and protect h2g2

  • It is not acceptable to post anything which impersonates any Not Panicking Ltd personnel, including but not limited to anyone acting in an official or appointed volunteer capacity for h2g2.
  • Do not post any material which contains malware such as viruses, Trojan horses, time bombs, worms, cancel bots or other computer programming routines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information. Posting malware may result in your account being suspended or closed.
  • Only include suitable URLs in your contributions. Links to unsuitable websites will be removed. Unsuitable sites include those with racist material, pornographic or sexually explicit material, potentially defamatory material, anything which encourages illegal activities, material which infringes copyright, sites which purely plug or promote commercial products or services without containing material which enhances the subject matter, or sites which are otherwise offensive. We may fail links to pages within websites that are designed simply to sell products.
  • Please don't abuse the complaints system. The complaints button (sometimes called the "yikes" button) exists to let people tell us about content which breaks these rules. We take complaints very seriously, and will deal with them as a priority. Please do not use the complaints system to alert us to accidentally repeated postings, spelling mistakes and so on. Anyone who abuses the complaints system repeatedly, or maliciously, may have their account suspended.
  • Please do not post for suspended Researchers. Anyone who posts communications from Researchers whose accounts have been suspended may also have their own account suspended. If we suspect, for any reason, that an account has been opened and/or is being primarily operated by or on behalf of a suspended or banned Researcher, the holder of the suspect account may be asked to prove their identity to h2g2's satisfaction.
  • No advertising. It's important that editorial, conversational and advertising content on h2g2 should be clearly identifiable as such; entries that review or criticise commercial products are obviously acceptable, as long as they are balanced, but adverts are not. If you wish to advertise on h2g2, please contact
    Not Panicking Ltd.
  • Feedback - We welcome feedback, both positive and negative, about our services but please make sure your comments whether made on h2g2 or in emails, letters or in person are in line with the above House Rules.

And Finally

  • No Spitting. The lawyers wanted to know what rules we needed, and we said 'The usual ones, plus "No spitting" please.' So there you go: no spitting. Many thanks. Oh, and beware of the Leopard.


If you fail to abide by these House Rules and/or the Terms and Conditions, then the Transgressions Procedure will be followed. Please note that h2g2 reserves the right to terminate accounts immediately at its discretion (in the event of such things as criminal behaviour or personal abuse of employees and other officially appointed volunteers, for example), or to vary the procedure, as is appropriate.

In each case the warning or suspension notice will be sent to the email address in your h2g2 preferences, this is the email address that you used to sign up to h2g2, or the most recent one should you have updated your details, explaining the nature of your transgression and the process for transgressions. If this email address bounces, then the warning or suspension notice may be posted to your Personal Space.
While suspended, returning to h2g2 by creating another account will constitute a further offence and will extend the suspension to the next period, or will result in your account being closed permanently. Similarly, asking other h2g2 Researchers to post on your behalf while suspended will constitute a further offence on your behalf, and may additionally constitute an offence on behalf of those Researchers.
For information on the process that is applied when suspending accounts, please read the
Transgressions Procedure.

Don't forget to read the Terms and Conditions.


Last updates: October 2, 2011, 25 May, 2018

Not Panicking Ltd has a firm commitment to privacy. This policy describes the information we gather and use while protecting your privacy.

What information does Not Panicking Ltd collect?

Registration information and account settings

When you register with h2g2, you provide Not Panicking Ltd with a user name and a valid email address. You may also provide other information and you may change this information at any time through your settings.

IP Addresses

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a string of numbers that uniquely identifies a particular computer that is on the Internet. Not Panicking Ltd uses IP addresses to help determine the number of unique visitors to h2g2.com and while performing admin and maintenance tasks.


A cookie is a small amount of data sent from a website and stored on your browser. Not Panicking Ltd uses cookies to record information about your online preferences, to help monitor website usage, and for advertisement placement.

How does Not Panicking Ltd use the information collected?

Not Panicking Ltd will use your personal information for a number of purposes:

  • to provide our services, activities or online content and to deal with your requests and enquiries, including password reminders;
  • to contact you about a submission you have made, including any content you provide;
  • to provide you with information about our services, activities or online content;
  • to personalise the way h2g2 is presented to you (e.g. your preferred skin or layout);
  • to moderate the website;
  • to analyse and improve h2g2 services, to provide you with the most user-friendly navigation experience.

Not Panicking Ltd may also use and disclose information in aggregate (so that no individuals are identified) for marketing and strategic development purposes.

When will Not Panicking Ltd contact me?

Not Panicking Ltd may contact you:

  • to ensure that Not Panicking Ltd can deliver h2g2 services to you;
  • in relation to any content you have submitted;
  • where you have opted to receive further correspondence;
  • to invite you to participate in surveys about Not Panicking Ltd services (participation is always voluntary); and
  • for marketing purposes where you have specifically agreed to this.

Not Panicking Ltd won't contact you for marketing purposes, or to promote new services, activities or online content to you unless you specifically agree to be contacted for these purposes.

Will Not Panicking Ltd share my personal information with anyone else?

Not Panicking Ltd does not sell, trade, or rent your information to others. Generally, we will only use your information within h2g2. However, Not Panicking Ltd may use third party services, such as site analytics, to process your information. Not Panicking Ltd requires these third parties to comply strictly with its instructions, specifically that they do not use your information for their own business purposes, unless you have explicitly consented to the use of your personal information in this way.

Not Panicking Ltd may release account information when we believe, in good faith, that such release is reasonably necessary to comply with law, to enforce or apply the terms of any of our user agreements, or to protect the rights, property or safety of Not Panicking Ltd principles, staff, volunteers, users, or others.

If h2g2 is bought out, account information will become the property of the new owners. If h2g2 closes and there is no new owner, Not Panicking Ltd will delete account information to ensure your privacy.

Other Privacy Issues

If you apply to certain volunteer positions, you'll be asked to provide additional personal information, including possibly sensitive personal information. Your application will be kept securely until it is no longer needed, at which time it will be securely destroyed.
All user generated content - including entries, comments, your journal and your personal space - submitted to h2g2 is visible across the Internet. Exercise caution when deciding to disclose personal information as part of your user generated content. User Generated Content is covered by the House Rules rather than this Privacy Policy.

The h2g2 website contain hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by third parties. If you follow hyperlinks to third party websites, please be aware that Not Panicking Ltd has no control over third party privacy policies or content. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

About Not Panicking Ltd's Privacy Policy

Not Panicking Ltd's privacy policy is in accordance with all data privacy laws, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to request a copy of the personal information Not Panicking Ltd holds about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected. (We charge £10 for information requests and require you to prove your identity with 2 pieces of approved identification). We will use reasonable efforts to supply, correct or delete personal information about you on our files.

Please address requests to h2g2 Community Editors Team, Not Panicking Ltd c/o mEazy Ltd, 4 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, WD6 1JN England or email us at [email protected].

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