Thank you for posting this Flyingifr. You are not only correct, but also quite timely. A UPL warning just happened to me last night via an admin PM.
With all due respect to the admin(s), I had previously researched the UPL statutes, albeit many years ago, and believed this PM to be an over-reaction by the admin, although a completely understandable one. Perhaps someone hit the "report to moderator" button, but, if so, they were misinformed at best. IMHO, if this were the case, the admin(s) could have re-evaluated the post and compared it to UPL statutes.
I did take the time to call a friend who works for an attorney, just to get his take on this issue and to increase or refresh my understanding. I also wanted to better monitor and improve my posts to avoid such a problem in the future. He didn't know very much about the UPL, so he called and asked his attorney boss/friend about it. The attorney stated that such violations could be viewed as a criminal offense, but only under very specific standards. After she had graciously reviewed my previous posts, which I had modified per the admin's PM and informed the attorney of what I had amended and where, she found them quite similar in content to those of others on the board, even after disregarding my amendments/corrections per the admin. She said the modifications I had made to avoid the appearance of a UPL violation were "unnecessary overkill", because they were not UPL violations before my amendments were even added. She also informed me that I had not breached or violated any UPL statute, neither in my state nor any other state. The UPL did not apply in any way to such posts, according to her assessment. I must say I was very relieved. However, I also became quite concerned once I had the time to re-think the admin's PM and its take on the UPL.
As such, I personally find it highly offensive to be accused of a criminal act, possible or otherwise, especially when this reasoning appears to be devoid of adequate knowledge of UPL statutes. It should be easily understandable that if one is accused of committing any violation that one is not guilty of committing, especially when it amounts to what would be considered a criminal offense, it is frustrating and offensive to the innocent party.
I would respectfully suggest that if this is strictly the board's rule, that it be clearly posted somewhere where it cannot be easily overlooked. This would help everyone, would be safer, and would also be a time saver for the admin(s). This would also help in applying such a rule to all board members evenly and fairly, which is not currently the case. In addition, I believe that everyone should receive the benefit of the doubt, at least once, before receiving rather brusque, accusatory admin PMs or emails. A simple reminder would be far more effective and respectful to all who are here to offer their opinions/experiences, when they are presented in good faith.
It bears repeating that it is very unfair to hit people out-of-the-blue with such UPL warnings, which invariably amount to accusing an innocent party of criminal behaviors, offenses, or acts, especially when said warning is in factual error. I certainly understand the admin(s) reasoning, but I am disappointed in the way the admins have handled these issues with many of the board's members thus far.
I did apologize to the admin for any perceived violation and respectfully presented my thoughts/reasoning in a reply post. I would never want this valuable board to suffer in any way and will do my utmost to follow the board's rules. However, I fear that these sort of admin PMs and posts will serve to prevent board members from offering their valuable experiences and opinions. This would essentially defeat the very purpose of the board. It's especially concerning when such rules are unclear to the members as to whether the issue of UPL is a board rule or an admin error in interpretation of the UPL statutes. I think clarification would be valuable and appreciated by all.