OnlineHobbyist.com Community Terms of Service|
Introduction | Advertising | Other Terms | Account violations and resolutions | Reporting violations & site abuses | Legal | Feedback
(Last Updated: September 20, 2009)
Welcome to OnlineHobbyist.com! This site is a part of OnlineHobbyist.com's global community system. As with any community, our community has terms of service (TOS) to protect both us as a business and you as a user on our web sites. Our staff and volunteer hosts (moderators) monitor and enforce these rules. If a staff member or host asks for your assistance or cooperation, please give it to help keep our sites safe and clean for all our users.
Our various features such as forums, message boards, photo galleries, newsletters, classifieds and chat rooms are for discussion, entertainment, and community purposes only. We make no claims of accuracy about any information you might find there. Readers rely on information posted on our sites at their own risk.
The majority of the TOS violations on our sites are for advertising.
Advertising, except for events, is not allowed in the discussion forums, photo galleries, or chat rooms. The intention behind this rule is to keep commercial transactions off our discussion forums, photo galleries, or chat rooms and not to prevent our users from sharing useful resources with each other.
"Advertising" generally means the solicitation or statement that you have animals and/or items that are for sale, trade, wanted, free/being given away, stud service, or for adoption. Advertising also covers promotion of websites, newsletters, products, etc. We have an extensive classifieds area to meet your advertising needs and posts of that nature belong there. In regards to the photo galleries, the classifieds have their own set of terms of service. Classified users, please be sure to review the classifieds TOS for more information on using the 'member galleries' area for uploading photographs that are to be used in your ads on the classified forums.
"Inquiries" versus "wanted ads" - there is a fine line between inquiring about a product and posting a wanted advertisement for one. For example, it is not ok to announce "If anyone is selling or giving away a part, I want one," or "I have a box of parts, email me for details." It is ok to inquire about (ask for) if anyone knows a manufacturer of a certain type of product, or a seller of a certain kind of product, but it is not ok to offer this type of information unsolicited (unasked for). It is ok for someone to respond to a member's inquiry with "I use that type of product and would be glad to talk to you about it if you email me," or "I got my products from XYZ Catalog and they were great." A brief exchange (one single response) indicating that a user knows of, or offers, a resource related to something being discussed by other users, is acceptable as long as no discussion of prices, payment, or similar commercial topics occurs. Further exchanges must be taken to email. A pattern of regularly recommending a specific company, whether your company or someone else's, may be taken into consideration when evaluating if a pattern of commercial activity is present.
Posting educational/scientific research study "requests" may also be considered advertising and removed, unless done with the permission (obtained in advance) of OnlineHobbyist.com staff. Please contact the site coordinator of the appropriate site to make such requests.
All posts that state or imply "Look at/check out my/this website" will be removed. We do allow our users to post the URLs of websites, as long as it is part of a contribution to the overall discussion, but not simply as a method of promotion/endorsement of those websites, either on their own behalf or on behalf of someone else. In addition, if a user has a pattern of responding to messages with directions to a particular website or domain that begins to look like an attempt to thwart this rule, the overall pattern will be taken into consideration when determining if it is advertising/promotion or not.
Posting the same message to more than 4 forums/message boards (cross posting, spamming) is considered advertising and will be removed, unless done with the permission (obtained in advance) of OnlineHobbyist.com staff. Large scale or repeated spamming efforts are immediate grounds for termination of your account.
You may include a link to one or two personal websites, including a social media link such as Facebook or Twitter or your YouTube page, in your signature, even if it is a commercial / business link. However, you may not include specific items for sale, prices, advertising slogans, or any other text or images that are commercial in nature. You also may not link to a competing site, which would be a pet-related site with forums, photo galleries, classifieds, and other similar features.
You may include a small personal or business logo/avatar for use as part of your signature. Logos/avatars may not be placed within the body of a message. Any graphic/image used as part of your signature must be 170x50 pixels or smaller in size - no exceptions. Determining acceptable sizes for odd graphic/image shapes not strictly 170x50 is thus: width x height when multiplied is 8,500 total pixels or less. Example of an acceptable size: 125 x 65 = 8,125 pixels. Example of an unacceptable size: 100 x 90 = 9,000 pixels. A pattern of repeated inclusion of a particular graphic/image within the body of a message may be taken into consideration when determining if it is being used as a personal logo/avatar or not. Business logos/avatars may not include specific items for sale, prices, advertising slogans, or other text within them that is generally commercial in nature.
It is common practice for businesses or individuals to place a logo or 'watermark' of some sort on their photos as a form of copyright protection. However, photos placed within the main body of a forum/message board post containing non-discreet logos and/or watermarks may be construed as advertising and removed. A pattern of regularly posting messages containing such images may be taken into consideration when evaluating if it is advertising/promotion or not.
Spidering or gathering email addresses from our systems, or using our site's email system, for the purposes of sending unsolicited promotional email (SPAM, advertisements, etc.) to our users is a violation and may be grounds for immediate termination of your account.
Posting pyramid schemes and get rich quick offers are a violation, and are propagating mail fraud; violators will be turned in to the US Postmaster. This violation is grounds for immediate termination of your account.
Account Violations & Resolutions
Please keep in mind that by registering and using our sites and services, you are agreeing that you have read, and will abide by, our Terms of Service.
We reserve the right to delete, remove, or edit content posted or published on our site. Be aware that if you violate our terms of service, OnlineHobbyist.com staff may delete, remove or edit your messages. We will not edit forum posts simply for content, grammar, spelling, layout, or meaning, but reserve the right to edit for violations of the TOS, triggering our profanity or URL/email filter, the inclusion of identifying personal information about others, technical problems, and other unforeseen complications.
All of the services we provide on these sites, we provide as a service, and grant you the privilege to use them. If you violate that privilege, either knowingly or unknowingly, we may contact you and ask you to stop. If you persist or become abusive, belligerent, or argumentative with an employee or volunteer staff, we reserve the right, at our discretion, to refuse service, limit or block your access to our website, have your account terminated, contact your Internet service provider, or cancel your advertising and/or other services.
Our employees and volunteer staff are doing their jobs and being abused is not part of the job. No customer or business pays us enough money to be abused, and we have no time to deal with abusive individuals or companies. If you receive a warning about an ad or a message board post, or find your ads or posts missing, please think twice before you hit the send key on that email.
While occasionally a host or staff member may inform a user about a violation, or post a general warning to a forum, photo gallery, or chat room, we have no policy guaranteeing that anyone will be warned about violations on their account, nor any specific number or type of violations that may result in action against their account.
If you have had your ability to log in, post to the forums, or upload on/to the site rescinded, or had posts or images removed, or had your access to chat rooms blocked, you may contact Community Review. Any public discussion of actions against a user's account will be removed, and we will not discuss any action against a user's account with anyone but that individual himself or herself.
Any individual who has had his or her account terminated for violations of our terms of service may NOT re-register in any format, under any circumstances. Attempting to circumvent this system by registering under the name of a friend, family member, or any form of alias, will cause the account to be immediately terminated. Anyone who knowingly assists someone in fraudulently obtaining an account will have their site services canceled and will themselves be banned. Additionally, attempting to circumvent this system by posting under the name of, or having posts made by, another account user is also prohibited.
Reporting Violations & Site Abuses
Please note that we take all reports of criminal activity very seriously and work closely with law enforcement agencies, local, state, and federal, on a regular basis. If you know of criminal activity occuring on this web site, we encourage you to contact the proper law enforcement agency, file a formal complaint, and ask the agency involved to contact our legal department.
Use of our sites and services is a privilege and not a right. Be aware that if you violate our Terms Of Service, OnlineHobbyist.com, Inc. may delete or edit your messages, contact your internet service provider, have your account terminated, cancel your advertising, and/or block your access to our web site. We reserve the right to refuse service, limit access, or terminate a user's site privileges at our discretion.
By using our services you are indicating that you have read and agree with this Terms of Service Policy.
OnlineHobbyist.com and its affiliated communities reserve the right to terminate any account or refuse service or access at our discretion.
Registration and use of our online communities is considered a contract between the registrant and OnlineHobbyist.com, Inc. under the laws of the State of Texas, and United States federal law. By agreeing to the terms listed above you are agreeing that any and all legal conflicts with OnlineHobbyist.com, Inc. will be resolved in the Texas court system. By registering for/using our services you are agreeing to the above terms.
We like to hear from our users. Literally hundreds of ideas suggested by our members have become a part of OnlineHobbyist.com. Your opinions matter to us! We are always open to suggestions on how we can improve our OnlineHobbyist.com communities to make them more enjoyable and our site policies more useful. Feedback from registered users of the OnlineHobbyist.com communities may be sent through the Feedback Form. Non-registered users may submit feedback to the Director of Community Services through our Contact Page.