TREKEARTH TERMS OF SERVICE
    The Terms of Service for posting are important and should be read and accepted before you choose to participate. We encourage contributors who are courteous, polite and respectful. We discourage those who choose to behave in a disrespectful and/or irresponsible manner. We, our staff and volunteer moderators will take appropriate steps to ensure discussions adhere to these guidelines.
    In general, we will leave it to you, the community, to manage your own conduct. We ask that you treat other forum participants with respect. Please remember that this is a public venue read by many people of all ages, from around the world, spanning all walks of life. Occasionally, our forum moderators will need to use their discretion to determine the best course of action. We have entrusted out moderators to do what is best for the global community, including regional communities, when appropriate. Moderators assist with focusing topics of discussion and will gently enforce guidelines, as needed. They can edit/delete posts, move, close or delete threads, and temporarily moderate users’ posts.
    Terms:
    1. Only one account per user is permitted.
    2. You must be the photographer and copyright holder of all material posted to TrekEarth.
    i. You retain copyright and the ability to delete/edit your photos.
    ii. You grant TrekEarth the right to use your images for display anywhere on the TrekEarth site.
    iii. TrekEarth is not responsible for unauthorized usage of your images outside the TrekEarth site.
    iv. You retain copyright for your forum postings. You give TrekEarth a non exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use your forum postings.

    Photographs:
    1. Only photographs are permitted. Images may not be digitally manipulated in an image editing program ie, Photoshop except for the following reasons:
      1. Copyright notices and (straight-edged, plain) frames
        • NB: Copyright/Watermark information must be discrete and may contain your name, but no graphics are allowed except for the copyright symbol produced by the keyboard (Alt+0169)
        • Frames must be plain and straight edged (simple drop shadow is allowed)
        • Cannot contain gradients, textures, blurring or beveling, but may contain the photo's title and/or the member's name. Advertising of commercial websites is not permitted.
        Those posts not adhering to the these guidelines will be removed at the discretion of the moderators.
      2. Cropping, resizing and sharpening
      3. Touching up (dust, slight imperfections)
      4. Levels, Curves, Color adjustment, Hue, Saturation etc. for minor image enhancements.
      5. Multiple exposures to get proper exposure values
      6. Stitching for panoramic photos
      7. Color conversion to Black and White or Sepia.
      8. Perspective correction for parallax or lens distortion.
      9. Infrared photos are not allowed.
    2. Identical photos (unmodified or not) may not be re-posted except through the 'Post to Workshop' or 'Re-Post' mode. (Deleting the original image in order to re-post is also not acceptable. Instead, open a Discussion for the photo to request feedback
    3. In respect of peoples copyrights; postings of other peoples work (photographs/art) must properly convey the surroundings in which they are found. If you wish to post close-ups of the work, please do so as a workshop. Workshop or Re-Posted images must include information on any changes made to the original.
    4. Identical photos (unmodified or not) may not be posted to more than one Trek Site (TrekEarth, TrekLens, TrekNature).
    5. As the purpose of TrekEarth is to learn about the world through photography...
      1. shots of common objects (like closeups of any flowers or plants, water droplets, toothbrushes etc.) tend not teach us anything without a suitable note, so unless there's a suitable note they will be deactivated at the discretion of site moderators. If you wish to post these types of image please consider using our sister site TrekLens.
      2. photos which are purely abstract images, such as reflections in water or windows, where the source of the reflection (eg. boat, street scene) is not shown, should also be displayed on Trek Lens. Unless they are accompanied by suitable informative notes they will also be deactivated at the discretion of the moderators.
    6. Photographs having a studio-like effect, self portraits and photographs of own reflection or own shadow will also be deleted at the discretion of site moderators. If you wish to post these types of image please consider using our sister site TrekLens.
      1. Photographs must have a proper title, not only marks like * or any other...
      2. Photos with insensitive titles and/or notes will be inactivated.
      3. Notes should be informative and accompany every photo uploaded to the site. Please read the rules about Photographer's Notes
    7. Special occasions — Religious and National events, New Year, commemorations, disasters, deaths etc. There are no exceptions to the Terms of Service for these occasions. Please note the following:
      1. the same rules will apply for photos to mark special occasions as for all other photos. Therefore, text must be placed within a frame, and photos and notes must be within the rules.
      2. photos and notes to express sympathy with disaster victims or feelings about members who have died, or to commemorate those occasions, must also remain within the rules.
    8. HDR (High Dynamic Range) photographs - HDR images should have a photo-realistic effect with the sole purpose of raising the level of detail in a sky or shadowed area to the point where it keeps the appearance of a normal photo. HDR images which have a surrealistic effect or no longer look like photos will be removed at the discretion of the Moderators. This applies to HDR photos produced by software or by the camera itself.
    9. NB: Certain types of photos are prohibited on TrekEarth and will be removed:
      • Nude photographs unless the nudity is intrinsically related to an event such as a regional festival, daily living, or the like.
      • Photographs of family, friends, or any pets (not only one's own).
      • Photos which offend, insult, abuse, degrade or defame individuals or groups, whether they are TE members or not.
      • Offensive/insulting/degrading content


    Site Features
    Critiques:
    1. Critiques are to be used for any critical or praiseworthy comments about the critiqued photo.
    Members are encouraged to give constructive criticism and feedback for how photos can be improved. For all intended purposes, constructive criticism will be defined as “criticism or advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solutions” In other words “This photo sucks” is not considered constructive criticism
    2. Critiques should include specific reasons as to why a photo is either good or needs improvement.
    3. Overly general critiques i.e. Nice shot, Great, I like it a lot! etc. are prohibited and will be removed.
    4. Critiques which include broad generalizations such as good composition, nice colors etc. should be marked as a comment. Such critiques may be marked as a comment. Writing excessive amounts of these general critiques may be removed, and the ability to write critiques may be disabled. (It will still be possible to write comments.)
    5. Critiquing is one of the core aspects of TE/TL/TN and all helpful critiques are welcomed, however critiquing mostly friend/family members without critiquing others is unfair to the other members and breaches the community spirit of this site. Please critique fairly, as failure to do so may result in removal of critiques and/or ratings or account removal.
    6 Email ombudsman@trekearth.com to complain about rude critiques or forum messages.
    7 Critiques may not contain any mention of points to be given in the future. If you run out of points, feel free to continue writing thoughtful critiques without mention of points.

    Critique Ratings:
    1. Critique ratings are to be used to rate critiques fairly.
    2. Critique ratings determined to be used for significant retribution or significant reward without warrant will result in removal of all critique ratings for that member and suspension of ability to rate critiques.
    3. Critique ratings may not be used for critiques written in languages the member does not understand.

    Comments:
    1. Comments are general statements, words of support and encouragement. Use comments to leave general feedback like good composition, nice colors. Do not leave critiques here. For specific feedback, leave a Critique.
    2. Comments must pertain to the photo, not to the photographer. This is not a place to leave messages for the user. Comments of that nature will be removed. Please use the contact option on the user’s page for personal messages.

    Photo Discussions:
    Photo Discussions are to be used for discussion about the photo.
    Excessive “Thank you” replies are not allowed.

    Photographer's Notes:
    1. All photos must contain a note of a minimum of 40 characters in order to be uploaded.
      Only meaningful notes will be considered, so please do not try to get around the issue by posting nonsense such as " fhgdfhd rthdfjgbnd fgjkfk".
      The following other nonsensical notes will also be deemed inappropriate:
      • using your camera description/exif data as a note,
      • clicking the space bar until you have reached 40 characters,
      • repeating the same words or partial phrases over and over e.g.: "this is a flower this is a flower" and finally:
      • notes that merely describe the obvious, e.g. : "this is a man standing in front of a church".
      Notes that fit any of the above criteria may be subject to deletion by our moderators.
    2. It is not permitted to copy and paste large sections of text from other sites. If you wish to refer to information on other sites you must provide a link to that site instead.
      Short passages from other sites may be included only if the source of that information is included e.g. (Source Wikipedia) and if the rest of the note follows the Terms of Service guidelines above and is in the member's own words (and language, if necessary)

    Travelogues:
    Travelogues are to be used for trip stories.

    Forums:
    Discussion forums are moderated to preserve the spirit of an open, interactive discussion without offending participants. Please understand that we are not attempting to censor any message or opinions. We reserve the right to edit/remove inappropriate messages, or to lock a discussion thread. Again, the intent it not to censor legitimate discussion or to change the meaning of any post. If we edit your post and you do not like the changes, please notify us and we can delete your post. Examples of posts that may be edited and deleted include those containing profanity, chain letters and other spam postings, or those that reveal private information about another community member.
    The following code of conduct applies to our forums:
    The highest standards of polite behavior are expected and enforced. Do not post foul language, racial epithets or sexually explicit content in any form or matter.
    Posts that are openly critical of any individual or group of people based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family relationship, age, mental or physical disability, religion or religious beliefs will not be tolerated. We urge members to take the greatest care not to insult each other by using any derogatory term referring to such characteristics.

    Personal attacks, harassing, intimidating, stalking or threatening other community members are not permitted and will not be tolerated.
    Heated discussions are permissible; however keep it under control and respectful at all times. Do not flame people, and do not instigate fights. Replies are allowed, but remember that respectful conduct is expected. If you disagree with a post, just state your own opinion and reasons for thinking so. Do not intentionally start or perpetuate antagonistic or inflammatory threads, particularly those directed at another member. In particular, when someone posts personal insults or attacks, it is better NOT to reply (which can escalate the hostility), but rather, to report the post to a moderator. Remember: attack ideas but not fellow members!

    Moderators will actively follow up on complaints raised about any of the above issues, and will take actions up to and including the deletion of the account of the offender. Moderators or administrators noticing anyone breaking the forum rules will edit, lock or delete the post. Moderators and administrators have final say in all situations where a post is edited, locked or deleted. You may not delete or publicly question moderator reminders in a post you have written. However, you can always contact moderators and admins by sending them a private message at moderator@trekearth.com

    Moderators / Admins reserve the right to temporarily or permanently ban user accounts at any time. Retaliation against such actions will not be tolerated and removed!

    Respect the forum staff. We’re not here to make life harder to anyone. Any decision taken by the administrators and moderators is final and must be respected.

    Postings must be on-topic. Unrelated or self-promotional postings or SPAM may be locked, transferred or removed. Posting the same message or an unsolicited commercial message to one or many topics or boards is considered spam. Duplicate messages may be deleted or consolidated by our moderators. Please do your best to post new topics to the appropriate forum board. Moderators can take action when a thread should be moved to a more appropriate section.

    Any impersonation of a user within these forums, in any mode of communication, is strictly prohibited and will result in a banning.

    Any messages you post in these discussion forums will remain available to the public for as long as this discussion board is online. Once you have posted your message, it will stay online. Please post carefully and with due consideration to the content of your post. 12. Image licensing requests via the private messaging service or emailing copyright@trekearth.com deemed excessive and/or unreasonable will be not be processed and may result in account inactivation.

    TrekEarth reserves the right to terminate without notice your membership at any time, for any reason, including your violation of any of these Terms of Service.

    High Maintenance Clause: Any member who occupies a majority of admin or moderator time unnecessarily will be shown the door.

    YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT TREKEARTH WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THE TREKEARTH SITE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
    It is your responsibility to be familiar with and remain updated regarding our Guidelines. All users of these forums must comply with these Guidelines. We reserve the right to ban any member who violates our guidelines or disrupts our community.
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