Greetings! We’ve noticed a frequently occurring topic with Kinship themes in the LOTRO community, and wanted to take a moment to clarify our overall policy on this issue.


In-Game Policy
As per section 6 of our End User License Agreement (http://lotro.turbine.com/article/312):

Content created by you must not: (a) infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other proprietary right of any person or entity; (b) be profane, obscene, indecent or violate any law or regulation; (c) defame, abuse, harass, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others; (d) incite discrimination, hate or violence towards one person or a group because of their race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender, or insult the victims of crimes against humanity by contesting the existence of those crimes…
What does this mean for Kinships created with a theme that fits one of the above categories? Well, first, it does not violate the rules of this agreement to create such a Kinship. However, such a Kinship must understand that they cannot refuse entry into their ranks based solely on their chosen theme, because that would actually be another form of discrimination (i.e., a religiously-themed kinship cannot deny participation by another player purely because that player is not of that religion; the same applies for race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender).

What about recruitment for such a Kinship in open chat? Players ARE allowed to make such a recruitment offer in chat. For example, “X Kinship invites you to join our Kinship, please send me a tell for more information.” You may not say, “X Kinship invites you to join our Kinship. You must be X, all others need not apply,” where X is a theme that falls into any of the aforementioned categories. Other players should not then engage in discussions on topic X just because a Kinship of that theme made a recruitment invitation in /ooc. Harassment surrounding such an offer will also be handled accordingly. Also, as per section 13 of the EULA, you may not create anti-X Kinships:

You may not form or participate in groups whose ideology is based upon or resembles anti-religious, anti-ethnic, anti-sexual orientation, nationalistic, racist or sexist philosophies.
Forum Policy
Our policy on the official forums mirrors our in-game policy. Players may post recruitment threads for themed Kinships as discussed above, but should refrain from discussions on those themes. As per our Forum Guidelines (http://forums.lotro.com/announcement.php?f=3&a=1):

12. Discussion of religious or political topics is prohibited on the Forums.

17. Users must not violate, or promote the violation of, Turbine’s terms of service, codes of conduct or end user license agreements.
We hope the above clarifications will help our community understand the rules and reasoning behind both in-game GM and forum moderation enforcement decisions on this topic. These policies are not arbitrary, and are put in place to ensure the most fair and enjoyable gaming environment possible for you, our collective community.

Thank you for your cooperation! If you have questions, please post them below.