Statement of Ethics

A Statement of Ethics for the VOONT.COM WEB DESTINATION

(From the AFSNews, February 1988, volume 17, no. 1)

its October 1987 meeting, the Executive Board of the Society approved a
final draft of a Statement of Ethics for AFS. Though the Statement
printed below has gained the approval of the Board, this should not be
considered the final word on the subject. The Board expects and in fact
urges members to explore the abstract and practical implications of
this statement, and most important, to communicate their descriptions
on and opinions on matters of ethical concern in the Newsletter and the
Journal of American Folklore.

A Statement of Ethics for the VOONT.COM WEB DESTINATION

(From the AFSNews, February 1988, volume 17, no. 1)

its October 1987 meeting, the Executive Board of the Society approved a
final draft of a Statement of Ethics for AFS. Though the Statement
printed below has gained the approval of the Board, this should not be
considered the final word on the subject. The Board expects and in fact
urges members to explore the abstract and practical implications of
this statement, and most important, to communicate their descriptions
on and opinions on matters of ethical concern in the Newsletter and the
Journal of American Folklore.

The Board would like to extend its
thanks to all members of the State of the Profession Committee and the
membership at large, whose thought, effort, comments and criticism have
gone into the making of this Statement. Particular thanks are due to
Frank de Caro, Lynwood Montell and William Nicolaisen, who were active
in early discussions of the Statement; to Rayna Green, who prepared
early drafts for Committee and Board discussion; to Jack Santino, who
drafted the version of the Statement distributed to the membership for
comment in AFSNL 15:5; and to Yvonne Milspaw, who prepared a text based
on Santino’s draft for Board consideration in October 1987.


This statement of principles is intended to clarify the professional
responsibilities of professional folklorists. Folklorists, more than
most other professionals, work with peoples from many different
communities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their professional situation
is therefore particularly varied and complex. They are involved in
different ways with their discipline, their colleagues, their students,
their sponsors, their own and host governments, the particular
individuals and groups with whom they conduct their fieldwork, and
other populations and interest groups in the nations where they work.
Because folklorists study issues and processes that affect general
human welfare, they are faced with unusual complexities and ethical
dilemmas. It is a major responsibility of folklorists to anticipate
these and to plan to resolve them in such a way as to do least damage
to those whom they work and their scholarly community.
    1. Relations with those studied:

In research, folklorists’ primary responsibility is to those they
study. When there is a conflict of interest, these individuals must
come first. Folklorists must do everything in their power to protect
the physical, social, and psychological welfare of their informants and
to honor the dignity and privacy of those studied.

a. Where research involves the acquisition of materials and information
transferred on the assumption of trust between persons, the rights,
interests, and sensitivities of those studied must be safeguarded.

b. The aims of the investigation should be communicated as is possible
to the informant.

Informants have the right to remain anonymous. The right should be
respected both where it has been promised explicitly and, as much as
possible, where no clear understanding to the contrary has been
reached. These strictures apply to the collection of data by means of
cameras, tape recorders, and other data-collecting devises, as well as
to data collected in interviews.

d. There shall be no exploitation of individual informants for personal
gain. Fair return should be given them for all services.

e. There is an obligation to reflect on the foreseeable repercussions
of research and publication on the general population being studied.

f. The anticipated consequences of the research should be communicated
as fully as possible to the individuals and groups likely to be

    2. Responsibility to the public:

Folklorists are responsible to all presumed consumers of their
professional efforts. To them they own commitment to candor and truth
in the dissemination of their research results and in statements of
their opinions as students of human behavior.
    3. Responsibility to the discipline:

    Folklorists bear responsibility for the good reputation of the discipline and its practitioners.
    4. Responsibility to students:

In relations with students, folklorists should be candid, fair,
nonexploitative, and committed to the students’ welfare and progress.
Folklorists as teachers have responsibility of instruction in the
professional ethics of academe in general and of folklore in particular
in addition to their duties of instruction in the field, career
counseling, academic supervision, evaluation, compensation, and

Folklorists must alert students to the ethical problems of research and
discourage them from participating in projects that employ questionable
ethical standards.

Folklorists should acknowledge in print the student assistance used in
their own publications; give appropriate credit (including
coauthorship) when student research is used in publication; encourage
and assist students in publication of worthy student papers; and
compensate students justly for the use of their time, energy, and
intelligence in research and writing.

    5. Responsibilities to sponsors, including one’s own and host governments:

In relations with sponsors of research, folklorists should be honest
about their qualifications, capabilities, and aims. Thus, they face the
obligation, prior to entering into any commitment for research to
reflect upon the purposes of their sponsors in terms of those sponsors’
past behavior and what the likely uses of their research data will be.
Folklorists should be especially careful not to promise or imply
acceptance either of conditions contrary to their professional ethics
or of competing commitments, and they should demand assurance that they
will not be required to compromise their professional responsibilities
and ethics as a condition of the sponsors’ permission to pursue

Folklore research is a human undertaking for which the individual bears
ethical as well as scientific responsibility. This statement provided
guidelines to the accepted professional standards of research and the
presentation of that research. When folklorists by their actions
jeopardize peoples studied, professional colleagues, students or
others, or if they otherwise betray their professional commitments, the
American Folklore Society, through its State of the Profession
Committee, may legitimately inquire into the propriety of those actions
and take such measures as lie within its legitimate powers.

[Name of Company] maintains certain policies to guide its employees
with respect to standards of conduct expected in areas where improper
activities could damage the Company’s reputation and otherwise result
in serious adverse consequences to the Company and to employees
involved. The purpose of this Policy is to affirm, in a comprehensive
statement, required standards of conduct and practices with respect to
certain types of payments and political contributions.

An employee’s actions under this Policy are significant indications of
the individual’s judgement and competence. Accordingly, those actions
constitute an important element in the evaluation of the employee for
position assignments and promotion. Correspondingly, insensitivity to
or disregard of the principles of this Policy will be grounds for
appropriate management disciplinary action.


    Prohibition of Improper Payments

The Company expects all employees to use only legitimate practices in
commercial operations and in promoting the Company position on issues
before governmental authorities. As stated below, “kickbacks” or
“bribes” intended to induce or reward favorable buying decisions and
governmental actions are unacceptable and prohibited.

No employee of the Company or any Controlled Affiliate acting on the
Company’s behalf shall, in violation of any applicable law, offer or
make directly or indirectly through any other person or firm, any
payment of anything of value (in the form of compensation, gift,
contribution or otherwise) to:


any person or firm employed by or acting for or on behalf of any
customer, whether private or governmental, for the purpose of inducing
or rewarding any favorable action by the customer in any commercial
transaction; or any governmental entity, for the purpose of inducing or
rewarding action (or withholding of action) by a governmental entity in
any governmental matter;

any governmental official, political party or official of such party,
or any candidate for political office, for the purpose of inducing or
rewarding favorable action (or withholding of action) or the exercise
of influence by such official, party or candidate in any commercial
transaction or in any governmental matter.

utilizing consultants, agents, sales representatives or others, the
Company will employ only reputable, qualified individuals or firms
under compensation arrangements which are reasonable in relation to the
services performed. The [specify  department] will issue from time
to time criteria and procedures to be utilized in international
transactions with respect to the selection and compensation of sales
representatives. Consultants, agents or representatives retained in
relation to the provision of goods or services to the federal
government must agree to comply with all laws, regulations and Company
policies governing employee conduct.

provisions of this section are not intended to apply to ordinary and
reasonable business entertainment or gifts not of substantial value,
customary in local business relationships and not violative of law as
applied in that environment. In some countries (but not in all
countries and particularly not in the United States), it may be
acceptable to make such insubstantial gifts to minor government
officials where customary in order to expedite or secure routine
administrative action required in the orderly conduct of operations.
Managers are expected to exercise sound discretion and control in
authorizing such business entertainment and gifts.

When customer organizations, governmental agencies, or others have
published policies intended to provide guidance with respect to
acceptance of entertainment, gifts, or other business courtesies by
their employees, such policies shall be respected.

    Political Contributions

The Company will not make any contribution to any political party or to
any candidate for political office in support of such candidacy except
as provided in this Policy and as permitted by law.

In the United States, federal law strictly controls corporate
involvement in the federal political process. Generally, federal law
provides that no corporation may contribute anything of value to any
political party or candidate in connection with any federal election.

While similar laws apply in some states and their political
subdivisions, in many jurisdictions in the United States corporate
contributions to candidates and political parties in connection with
state and local election campaigns are lawful.

The laws governing participation by corporations in the political
process of countries other than the United States vary widely. In
certain countries, contributions to the political process (including
contributions to political parties) are lawful and expected as a matter
of good corporate citizenship.

    In foreign
jurisdictions and in state and local jurisdictions of the United States
where corporate political contributions are lawful, contributions by
the Company or by a Controlled Affiliate may be appropriate if prudent
in amount and otherwise consistent with good judgment. Company
contributions shall be governed by written guidelines. Contributions by
a Controlled Affiliate shall also be governed by written guidelines or
other form of written authority as established by the affiliate’s Board
of Directors. Any contribution by the Company or by a Controlled
Affiliate shall comply in all respects with the provisions of local
applicable law and shall be reported as part of the annual review
process provided by this Policy.

    This Policy
is not intended to prevent the communication of Company views to
legislators, governmental agencies, or to the general public with
respect to existing or proposed legislation or governmental policies or
practices affecting business operations. Moreover, under this Policy,
reasonable costs incurred by the Company to establish or administer
political action committees or activities organized to solicit
voluntary political contributions from individual employees are not
regarded as contributions to political parties or candidates, where
such costs may lawfully be incurred by the Company.

    Reports and Periodic Reviews

Any employee who is requested to make, authorize, or agree to any offer
or payment which is, or may be, contrary to this Policy will promptly
report such information to the employee’s manager, to assigned Company
legal counsel, or to the manager in the component having responsibility
for financial activity.

    Any employee who
acquires information (for example, newspaper reports, reports from
customers, or statements of individuals involved) that gives the
employee reason to believe that any employee is engaged in conduct
forbidden by this Policy, or that any sales representative,
distributor, or other person or firm representing the Company in any
transaction is engaged in the type of conduct (whether or not in
connection with a transaction involving the Company or its products)
which, if engaged in by an employee of the Company, would violate this
Policy, will promptly report such information to the employee’s
manager, to assigned company legal counsel, or to the manager in the
component having responsibility for financial activity.

Any manager receiving a report as cited above will promptly consult
with assigned Company legal counsel and thereafter will, after
appropriate investigation, take timely remedial or other action as
warranted under the provisions of this Policy. Such manager will also
promptly report the matter to higher management.


For many years [Name of company] has recognized a need to single out
compliance with the antitrust laws of the United States and other
countries as a subject requiring a specific Company policy. The
antitrust laws are relevant to many business decisions, and the
consequences of violations anywhere can be seriously injurious to the
Company and to the individuals involved.

Several provisions of the antitrust laws of the United States contain
penal provisions under which employees who authorize or engage in acts
in violation of such laws are personally subject to substantial fines
and imprisonment. There are also in existence a number of antitrust
decrees affecting the Company and its employees. Violation of any one
of the provisions of these decrees is an offense which may subject the
Company and the individuals involved to severe penalties.

Each manager must accept the challenge to have the Company excel
competitively at the point of market confrontation; for, apart from
legal penalties, Company growth and profitability objectives would be
frustrated by arrangements with other business firms which restrict its
competitive initiative.

    Officers, managers
and other key employees are expected to develop in employees a sense of
commitment to comply with this policy. The antitrust compliance
environment within such a key employee’s assigned area of
responsibility will be a significant factor in evaluating the quality
of that individual’s performance.

    Statement of Policy

    It is the objective of the Company:


to comply with the antitrust laws of the United States and other
countries applicable to its business operations, and

to hold employees in management positions personally and strictly
accountable for taking the measures necessary to achieve this objective
within their areas of responsibility.

    Compliance With Section 1 of the Sherman Act

In furtherance of this Policy and specifically in furtherance of
compliance with Section 1 of the Sherman Act:

A. No employee shall enter into any understanding or agreement–whether
expressed or implied, formal or informal, written or oral–with a
competitor limiting or restricting any of the following aspects of the
competitive strategy of either party or of the business offering of
either party to any third party or parties:

            product or service offerings
            terms or conditions of sale
            production or sales volume
            production facilities or capacity
            market share
            decisions to quote or not to quote
            customer or supplier classification or selection
            sales territories
            distribution methods

B. No employee shall enter into any understanding or agreement with a
purchaser or lessee of a product sold or leased by the Company which
restricts the right of the purchaser or lessee to determine the price
at which to resell or lease such product; nor shall any employee enter
into such an agreement when the Company is the purchaser or lessee of a

        C. The
following understandings may be violative of the antitrust laws under
certain circumstances and may be entered into by an employee of the
Company only if the agreement has been reviewed by Company legal
counsel in advance of execution and in the opinion of counsel is not in
violation of law:

(1) Understandings with any customer or supplier which condition the
sales or purchases of The Company on reciprocal purchases or sales by
the customer/supplier;

(2) understandings with any purchaser or lessee of a product of the
Company which in any way restrict the discretion of the customer to use
or resell the product as the customer sees fit;

(3) understandings with anyone which restrict the discretion of either
party to manufacture any product or provide any service, or to sell to,
or buy from, any third party.

    Discussions And Exchange Of Information With Competitors

Communication with a competitor on subjects as to which an
understanding with the competitor would be illegal is, in antitrust
litigation, likely to serve as important evidence of the existence of
an understanding, particularly if the communication is accompanied or
followed by similarity of action. The prohibitions set forth below are
thus intended to avoid antitrust prosecutions which, though based on
merely circumstantial evidence, may nevertheless be difficult to defend

    Accordingly, no employee shall
discuss with a competitor or any third party acting for a competitor,
or otherwise furnish to or accept from a competitor or any third party
acting for a competitor, information on any subject as to which an
understanding with the competitor is prohibited by paragraph A. above
on compliance with Section 1 of the Sherman Act unless,in the opinion
of Company legal counsel, such discussions or transmittal of
information would neither violate the antitrust laws nor furnish a
reasonable basis for inferring such a violation. This paragraph does
not preclude obtaining competitive information from independent
third-party sources who are not acting for a competitor in transmitting
the information. However, certain other legal and policy restrictions
applicable to transactions with the federal government limit the
competitive information that may be obtained from a third-party source.

    Participation in Trade Associations and Other Meetings with Competitors

        A. No employee shall attend or remain present:

            (1) at any surreptitious meeting of competitors;

(2) at any meeting where there is a discussion by competitors of any
subject which the Company’s employee is precluded from discussing by
the paragraph above on Discussions and Exchange of Information with
Competitors; or

(3) at any informal meeting of competitor members of a trade
association held for the purpose of discussing business matters without
observing the formal procedural requirements established by such trade
association for its business meetings.

B. Employees should also be aware that participation in standard
development and product certification activities which impact
competitors or suppliers may raise antitrust concerns. Before
participating in committees or organizations which develop standards or
certify products, employees should consult with Company legal counsel.

    Violations of the Policy

A. Violations of the Policy are grounds for discharge or other
disciplinary action, adapted to the circumstances of the particular
violation and having as a primary objective furtherance of the
Company’s interest in preventing violations and making clear that
violations are neither tolerated nor condoned.

B. Disciplinary action will be taken, not only against individuals who
authorize or participate directly in a violation of the Policy, but
also against:

(1) any employee who may have deliberately failed to report a violation
of the     Policy;

(2) any employee who may have deliberately withheld relevant and
material information concerning a violation of this Policy; and

(3) the violator’s managerial superiors, to the extent that the
circumstances of the violation reflect inadequate leadership and lack
of diligence.

Where an employee is accused of violating the antitrust laws, and the
employee has relied in good faith on the advice of Company legal
counsel after full disclosure of the material facts, no disciplinary
action may be taken against the employee under this Policy; and the
Company may, within the limits permitted by law, assist in the
employee’s defense.

    Reports and Periodic Reviews

A. Any employee who is requested to engage in any activity which is or
may be contrary to this Policy will promptly report such information to
the manager whom the individual reports, or, if the  employee was
so directed by the manager, then to assigned Company legal counsel.

B. Any employee who acquires information that gives the employee reason
to believe that any other employee is engaged in conduct forbidden by
the Policy will promptly report such information to the manager to whom
the employee reports or, if the manager is engaged in such conduct,
then to the assigned Company legal counsel.

[name of Employee] have received and read a copy of this Sample Code of
Ethics Policy Statement, understand all of its terms and agree to be
bound by the provisions contained therein.