Terms of Service and Editorial Policy

Photo: The New York Times.

Planet Waves is a community trust, on the level of sharing ideas, information, contacts, resources and images. We recognize that we are serving an international readership in a time of global crisis. Everyone involved in Planet Waves, whether as a reader or contributor on any level, participates in this exchange, and by their continued involvement agrees to honor the ethos of the community, as outlined in what we call our Editorial Policy. These guidelines apply to any Planet Waves publication or service, whether here or hosted by a third party.

Editorial Policy

Most Planet Waves articles and broadcasts are a blend of fact and commentary. We do not draw a sharp distinction between the two, therefore, our writing and broadcasts are held to the fact-checking standards of investigative news reporting on all matters that can be verified. This includes providing clear attribution of facts, aspiring to balanced coverage of any issue, upholding standards of accuracy and clarity of the writer’s point of view.

Though we are part of the Specialized Information Publishing industry, we aspire to the standards of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, which state, in part:

The First Amendment, protecting freedom of expression from abridgment by any law, guarantees to the people through their press a constitutional right, and thereby places on newspaper people a particular responsibility. Thus journalism demands of its practitioners not only industry and knowledge but also the pursuit of a standard of integrity proportionate to the journalist’s singular obligation.


The primary purpose of gathering and distributing news and opinion is to serve the general welfare by informing the people and enabling them to make judgments on the issues of the time. Newspapermen and women who abuse the power of their professional role for selfish motives or unworthy purposes are faithless to that public trust. The American press was made free not just to inform or just to serve as a forum for debate but also to bring an independent scrutiny to bear on the forces of power in the society, including the conduct of official power at all levels of government.

We extend this philosophy to the conduct of multinational corporations and religious institutions that in effect possess governmental power, levy taxes, set social policy and affect the lives of many people.

Fair Play

Journalism cannot be recalled or retrieved. Therefore, we honor the Fair Play doctrine. That means that story subjects have the right to present their point of view in coverage about them. When an article or broadcast questions someone’s reputation, they have the right to offer their best defense in their own words. With exceedingly rare exceptions, no story shall take the subject by surprise.

Science and Science Coverage

Planet Waves is part of the investigative tradition of reporting on scientific fraud. Our writers and advisors have covered topics including dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, Agent Orange and its use in the United States and Vietnam, Industrial Biotest Laboratories, AIDS, genetically modified organisms, glyphosate, nuclear power and the development of the atomic bomb. You will encounter those topics from time to time on our pages.

We draw the distinction between science and political science: between honest, data-driven inquiry, and corporate- and government-sponsored use of laboratories (whether government- or privately owned) that justify mass poisoning and actions that endanger life on planet Earth.

When it comes to the coverage of science in any form, our credo can be stated in four words: “Where is your data?”

In other words, our role as journalists is to hold science to the standards of science. The source of funding of any study is a valid and necessary consideration in the evaluation of the research.

Those claiming before the public to have the backing of science must do more than state an opinion or speculate. All assertions claiming to be based on science must be backed by data, methodology and repeated experiments, per the scientific method. Until that data is produced and verified, it is construed to be nonexistent.

The opinion of a scientist is not a scientific finding. Therefore, the opinions of scientists shall be clearly identified as such and distinguished from data-based scientific findings.

Chemicals, drugs, vaccines and new technology are not innocent until proven guilty; it is up to the manufacturer or purveyor of any chemical, technology or device to prove that their product is safe. The human race and its environment are not a test laboratory, and the planet and the human body are not toxic waste dumps.

Our editorial policy is to honor the precautionary principle: in the face of the unknown, the only sane course of action is to proceed with caution and to consider the potential worst case scenario. Then, see what the data says.  Added April 13, 2020, 5:34 am, Kingston, NY.

Use of Astrology

Astrology is not the truth. As presented in the 21st century, it is a form of personally applicable fiction, or a symbolic and metaphoric framework through which to view ourselves and the world. The use of astrology is therefore by definition the expression of opinion or interpretation.

Astrology derives from an ancient point of view that is not established by modern science, and the use of astrology by our writers, editors, readers and clients is offered as an analytical framework rather than as an exposition of objective reality. We do not attempt to predict the future using astrology.

Nothing in anything published by Planet Waves, Inc., is meant to constitute medical, legal or financial advice. We enthusiastically encourage people to seek the help of those qualified to assist with specific medical, legal and financial questions.

Planet Waves, Inc. asserts a First Amendment religious right (under both the “establishment clause” and the “free exercise” clause) for all discussions about or including astrology, and for all of our published works in any medium.

Use of Satire and Parody

One of the writing genres we publish in is satire or parody, which may be on any topic. In Western society this is a form of commentary designed to raise the discussion of an issue in a way that mocks, uses humor or reverses the viewpoint from that which most readers are expecting.

It has roots in many traditions, including the Hermetic tradition from which astrology emerges, the Heyoka tradition of the Lacota people (and many other indigenous traditions) and lots of your favorite classical writers. In the esoteric traditions, its purpose is to encourage readers to actually pay attention to what they are reading.

We do NOT label parody as such, i.e., by saying that “this is written as a satire.” We leave it up to our readers to use and develop their discernment. However, satire published on Planet Waves is often filed under the category “Breaking News,” reserved exclusively for this purpose, and there will be clues in the text, such as in the use of names, or the article growing more ridiculous as it progresses.

Syndicated Content Policy

We do not publish syndicated content, or subscribe to syndication or aggregation services. We might run something previously syndicated that is in some way exceptional. Planet Waves publishes Nobel Prize-nominee Jenn Sorensen’s cartoons, which we obtain directly from the artist.

Correction and Fact Checking Policy

Through careful research and fact checking, we do our best to produce a dependable source of information and viewpoint. We will promptly correct anything we determine to be an error of fact. If you see an error, please inform the editors with your source of correct information, which we will then evaluate.

Critique Policy

When critiquing Planet Waves articles, the person making the comment must quote the original article or broadcast, rather than paraphrasing what they perceive as the writer’s point of view. Comments that challenge a point of view but which do not cite and directly quote the article they purport to be critiquing will be deleted.

Advertising Policy

Planet Waves does not accept outside advertising. Promotion of third party entities is intended as a compliment, not an endorsement. We sometimes do promotional trades, but only with people and entities we trust and love. Our publications, newsletters, websites and broadcasts carry promotional information related to our own products and services.

Pen Name Policy

It is Planet Waves, Inc. policy to publish articles that are signed by their authors using only their legal name. In certain rare instances we will grant an exception and allow publication under a previously established pen name, though we strongly discourage this and will avoid such content and such authors whenever possible.

Employee and Contractor Privacy Policy

Employees, contractors and staff members of Planet Waves are entitled to pursue their private lives and conduct their private affairs, both business and personal, without the intrusion of the corporation. If we become aware of activities by someone on our staff that affect the credibility or continued publication of Planet Waves, or that constitute a conflict of interest, or so much as the appearance of impropriety, the corporation may then inquire and intervene.

Privacy and Mailing List Policy

We do not sell or reveal specific data we collect on our customers and readers to anyone. We study the demographics of our audience in order to better serve our clients. We do rent, purchase or otherwise utilize third party mailing list services, and are always interested in new lists. If you are on any Planet Waves mailing list and do not want to receive our mailings, you may unsubscribe by writing to tech@planetwaves.net. Please let us know the email address that you want removed.

Comment and Screen Name Policy

Planet Waves encourages our comment and forum participants to post under their legal name. Use of a screen name makes it too easy for a writer to divorce himself or herself from their own words and ideas. People are more thoughtful what they know their words will follow them.

We reluctantly allow the use of screen names, with certain conditions. One is that we know the commenter’s real identity. Another is that anyone who comments be available to our editors to promptly discuss, by telephone or by email, anything they have posted, just like any of our writers are.

Users may comment under one name only. Use of a second identity is considered a “sock puppet” and is de facto a form of trolling. We reserve the right to remove and/or unsubscribe such users.

Comments are intended to provide a forum for the user’s point of view, for the purpose of discussion. Comments that we deem to be self-serving, disruptive, dominating the conversation or inappropriately promotional of third-party interests may be deleted, and repeated violations will result in deletion of the user’s account.

If one of our editors determines that someone is disruptive or dominating the conversation, we will reach out first and attempt to have a civilized conversation. If you receive such an email, we suggest you respond politely. All commenters are subject to a discussion with an editor and personal identification to keep their commenting privileges.

Finally, in the event of a serious error of fact or defamatory statement, any correction, retraction or apology will be made under the user’s legal name.

Social Media Policy

Company social media accounts, including the personal Facebook page of the publisher, are subject to these terms of service. They are part of the journalistic process of Planet Waves and an important gathering point for our community. We do not tolerate trolling in any form whatsoever. Trolling is defined as 1. Use two identities (or any form of sock puppet); 2. Commenting to the point where the discussion is derailed; 3. Aggressive treatment of any other user or Planet Waves editor; 4. Any other conduct that the publisher deems to be disruptive, aggressive, or in any way intended to annoy, alarm or harass.

Participation in company social media discussions is a privilege and not a right. We hold participants to a standard of civility such as might be expected in a university classroom or any place of business. When there is a conflict or other problem with a social media user, the publisher will reach out to that person directly. If the person does not respond, or of the matter is not settled to the satisfaction of the publisher, the person may be banned from the social media platform, and from other Planet Waves services.

Service Mark and Trademark Notice

Planet Waves, PlanetWaves.netPlanetWaves.EU, PlanetWaves.info, Planet Waves Weekly, Planet Waves Parenting, Eric Francis and EricFrancis.com are service marks and trademarks of Planet Waves, Inc. We have used the “Planet Waves” trademark and service mark to represent astrological columns and publications continuously, and exclusively, since July 1998.

Between April 1995 and July 1998, direct predecessor publications to Planet Waves were called “The Navigator,” “Star-Navigator,” and “Radio Navigator,” and we claim exclusive trademark rights to all of these names.

“Planet Waves” and our scripted logo is a registered trademark in the United States, the Benelux area of Europe and the State of Washington. Planet Waves is an authorized press agency registered with the European Commission, the National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists.

About Copyrights

Planet Waves is Copyright © 1998-2024 by Planet Waves, Inc. at Kingston, New York. Other copyrights may apply. If you see any materials to which you hold rights that do not belong on our pages, please write to us at editors@planetwaves.net.

CFR 2257 Compliance

We comply with applicable provisions of CFR 2257.

Published with love, Sept. 22, 2014, Without prejudice, all rights reserved, per UCC 1-207 and other statutes.

Eric F. Coppolino, President and Publisher, Planet Waves, Inc. at Kingston, New York

Adopted by Chiron Return, Inc., on Jan. 1, 2015.

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