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Thread: Members please note- disallowed links.

  1. #1

    Members please note- disallowed links.

    On a couple of previous occasions folks have posted links to eBay on items they bought, bid on, were thinking of buying, or for general discussion. This is a violation of the SMC Terms of Service and future posts linking to eBay will be deleted. The Terms of Service is a little vague on this subject, and you might not have understood it. I hope you all will abide by the terms of service and forego posting links to eBay in the future. Thanks for your cooperation.

    Dave Anderson NH
    Moderator
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    What about extracting a photograph of a particular item on Ebay as reference for discussion?

    I realize that some folks use professional photographers to enhance their wares, but the overall majority do not. {and the ones that do, don't appear to have provided credit anyway} Vendio, etc are simply photo hosting sites and not a photographer, right?

    I'm a little unclear at times what constitutes "public domain"....and post this question as I'm sure others are as well.

    I'm as quilty as the next quy about posting links to other forums...probably should have actually read the TOS ... a practice I will now cease {the link posting that is }.


    Thanks for the reminder!
    ~Dan

  3. #3
    One quick question about links....

    If someone starts a thread asking for help with a particular specific question on something and needs help with how to do it or where to get something to do what he/she needs to do, is it ok to post a link to a product somewhere that will solve the problem ?
    i.e. earlier today someone asked about cleaning sandpaper on his drum sander. I suggested a "belt cleaner" and found one on the net and posted a link to it. Is that permissable ? Just curious. I'm new here and don't want to get on anyones bad side.

    Thanks !

    John

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Pollman
    One quick question about links....

    If someone starts a thread asking for help with a particular specific question on something and needs help with how to do it or where to get something to do what he/she needs to do, is it ok to post a link to a product somewhere that will solve the problem ?
    i.e. earlier today someone asked about cleaning sandpaper on his drum sander. I suggested a "belt cleaner" and found one on the net and posted a link to it. Is that permissable ? Just curious. I'm new here and don't want to get on anyones bad side.

    Thanks !

    John
    Direct links to web site pages both personal and business sites are permitted if the page in question is germain to the subject of the thread. Your example of a web page showing the "belt cleaner" is an example of one that would definitely be permitted. Links to "public forums" or public auctions like e-bay are not permitted.
    "If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high - but so are the rewards" - - Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant
    Ken Salisbury Passed away on May 1st, 2008 and will forever be in our hearts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Moening
    What about extracting a photograph of a particular item on Ebay as reference for discussion?
    Posting a photo of an item germain to the thread topic is certainly permitted. A direct link to the auction would not be.
    "If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high - but so are the rewards" - - Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant
    Ken Salisbury Passed away on May 1st, 2008 and will forever be in our hearts.

  6. #6

    OK, not to be difficult, but.....

    So there is no misunderstanding, let me preface this post by saying that SMC exists solely because of the good graces and (largely) unsupported service of Hampton Roads Online Ltd. We of course must abide by the terms of service, whatever they may be. If we disagree with those terms, we are free to go elsewhere. I understand and respect that, truly I do.

    But I'm aware of at least one recent post involving a link to a closed eBay auction showing an antique tool that the poster had just purchased. He was trying to get information on the manufacturer and quality of the item he had bought.

    He had not yet received the item, so linking to the closed auction featuring pictures of the tool was the most practical way to illustrate his purchase.

    In response to Dave's reminder, I've reread the terms of service. For the life of me I can't see how this eBay link runs afoul of them.

    Certainly, this link to eBay was not done “for the sole purpose of marketing, generating traffic to a site, or any other commercial advertisement deemed to solicit commercial benefit.” The item had already been purchased by the thread topic initiator and he was merely seeking additional information from other forum members. Old tool heritage is certainly one of the most popular and germane topics of discussion in the Neanderthal Haven forum in which this thread and link appeared.

    And I don’t see how references to closed eBay auctions could be interpreted as prohibited “Links to other public or private forums.” Or are we talking about a definition that is substantially different from what is commonly understood to be an internet forum?

    In reading the terms of service policy, the post in question seemed to include the link in accordance with the permissible link policy: “Links should be submitted as references, for the sole purpose of generating or supporting discussions on SawMill Creek.”

    Yet Ken is now advising us that links to public auctions are categorically prohibited.

    Just so I don’t run afoul of the terms of service, and can fully understand how they may apply to other types of “public or private forums”, is this type of linking to closed eBay auctions for items purchased by the thread participant prohibited? If so, can you explain why? And please, what is a “public or private forum?”

    Sincerely,
    Last edited by Marc Hills; 01-24-2005 at 11:26 AM.
    Marc

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Hills
    So there is no misunderstanding, let me preface this post by saying that SMC exists solely because of the good graces and (largely) unsupported service of Hampton Roads Online Ltd. We of course must abide by the terms of service, whatever they may be. If we disagree with those terms, we are free to go elsewhere. I understand and respect that, truly I do.

    But I'm aware of at least one recent post involving a link to a closed eBay auction showing an antique tool that the poster had just purchased. He was trying to get information on the manufacturer and quality of the item he had bought.

    He had not yet received the item, so linking to the closed auction featuring pictures of the tool was the most practical way to illustrate his purchase.

    In response to Dave's reminder, I've reread the terms of service. For the life of me I can't see how this eBay link runs afoul of them.

    Certainly, this link to eBay was not done “for the sole purpose of marketing, generating traffic to a site, or any other commercial advertisement deemed to solicit commercial benefit.” The item had already been purchased by the thread topic initiator and he was merely seeking additional information from other forum members. Old tool heritage is certainly one of the most popular and germane topics of discussion in the Neanderthal Haven forum in which this thread and link appeared.

    And I don’t see how references to closed eBay auctions could be interpreted as prohibited “Links to other public or private forums.” Or are we talking about a definition that is substantially different from what is commonly understood to be an internet forum?

    In reading the terms of service policy, the post in question seemed to include the link in accordance with the permissible link policy: “Links should be submitted as references, for the sole purpose of generating or supporting discussions on SawMill Creek.”

    Yet Ken is now advising us that links to public auctions are categorically prohibited.

    Just so I don’t run afoul of the terms of service, and can understand the terms of service and how they may apply to other types of “public or private forums”, is this type of linking to closed eBay auctions for items purchased by the thread participant prohibited? If so, can you explain why? And please, what is a “public or private forum?”

    Sincerely,

    The decision to ban links to "auctions" perse was made after the TOS was finalized. The decision was made because folks were using SMC to promote their own auctions. All direct links were determined to be prohibited. As far as closed auctions go - the moderators do not have time to go to the link to see if it is an open, closed or the poster's auction. Therefore - ALL direct links to auctions are prohibited.

    Public Forums are just what the name implies - where the forum is open to the public to read. A private forum would be one where you have to log in with a password in order to read any information therein.

    Please see this thread for what is and what is not allowed:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=16170
    Last edited by Ken Salisbury; 01-24-2005 at 11:36 AM.
    "If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high - but so are the rewards" - - Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant
    Ken Salisbury Passed away on May 1st, 2008 and will forever be in our hearts.

  8. #8
    First, let me come clean. I'm one of the culprits who started this whole thing by posting to an ebay auction I had just won and asking if anyone knew anything about the brand. I could even be the only culprit, singular. I just noticed that Tom LaRussa's "How much would you bid?" thread didn't actually link to the ebay auction itself.

    Dave Anderson dropped me a simple and very gentle PM with a good natured message telling me that my thread had, in fact, violated the AUP. I told Dave that I hadn't realized what I had done was against the policy and I wouldn't do it again. I then got PM's from others asking if it were me. So I wanted to make a public statement so everyone was clear.

    First, don't think that anyone ticked me off. Dave was very reasonable, didn't delete the thread, and simply asked nicely that I not do it again. This message has been difficult for me to write because I definitely don't want anyone to think this is sour grapes. It's not.

    Second, I'm a web admin by trade and have been in some form or another for more years than I care to count. I know what kind of mayhem users can wreak on a public system. As an admin, more often than not I find myself cursing end users. This place is a contradiction to me. Intelligent conversation by reasonable people with a minimum of noise. I love it, and the rules are obviously a part of that.

    Third, Marc Hills said it best, we're all here by the good graces of Hampton Roads. It's their money, their servers, their time, their bandwidth, and ultimately, their responsibility. If the crew behind this site were to dictate that all posts be written in iambic pentameter with a pirate accent, I'd respect that, because the value of this place outweighs the hassle. Oh, um, Arrrrrrr, matey.

    With all that in mind, however, I think the policy as stated here and in Ken's other thread is wrong, and I'd love to hear opinions of others on the issue.

    The Neander board in particular is based around a collector type of toolset. There are going to be questions about items on ebay, which site sells reasonable japanese chisels, hey-how-about-them-adria-saws. It strains credulity to think that someone saying "Tashiro Hardware has great japanese saws" is somehow cleaner than telling someone to go to their website, which is the name of the the company as above, followed by .com.

    This all came about because, as I told Dave, I thought the rules were in place to keep someone from drumming up business, and that a link to a closed ebay auction didn't seem to violate that. Again, it's a real stretch to think that a link to a specific auction is somehow different than telling someone to go to ebay and search for a particular auction name or number.

    If the rules are in place to protect Hampton Roads in some way, I guess I have no reason to complain. If they're to facilitate honest and even discussion, then I, for one, would vote that at least the Neander forum be set free in the way the Classifieds forum must be. I'd much rather have clearer information with an honor-among-thieves type agreement to indicate that one has no commercial ties to a group.

    I'd also be happy to take this discussion over to the Support Forum if people want.

    Just a thought, and I'll continue to be a regular user of SMC no matter the outcome.

  9. #9

    pipers and tunes

    "He who pays the piper calls the tune," but I'd agree that the policy is misguided. I think that the stifling effect of barring the links is far worse than the annoyance of the rare self-promoting post. Plus, as mentioned, it's a simple matter to just list an auction number, and a rule the effect of which is simply to require a few extra steps from everyone, but which doesn't prevent those seeking traffic from dodging its impact, to some degree promotes disrespect for rules generally.

    I can understand that some feel it impolite to link to, or even mention, ongoing auctions, and that rule's livable. While understanding that the listmoms can't check every link to see if the auction's current or not, rulebreaking around here doesn't seem so rampant that a rule regarding 'open' auctions would be violated very often, and obviously no one would ordinarily have a commercial interest in a closed auction.

    Do the moderators feel that, if the rule were 'no link to or mention of open auctions,' the number of violations would be unmanageable?

    Just one more opinion,

    Clay

  10. #10
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    Clay,

    Your question would be better directed to our members. When we discussed the issue of links to auctions the majority of our members who voiced an opinion were against the practice. The decision at that time was to keep our classifieds closed to any outside entities, the basic idea is to provide a means for our members to buy and sell without competing against those who were not members of SawMill Creek. Transactions between Members of SMC tend to be more honest and many here are more comfortable knowing that they are dealing with a member of our community.

    The reasoning behind most of our Terms of Service is to protect our Community from commercial advertising and outside interests. Of course we recognize that we need to communicate with various businesses that provide the tools and equipment we purchase but we try to control how and when that happens. Our members are the primary Moderators here at the Creek and they provide the first line of defense if you will by reporting anything they feel is detrimental to our community. If our TOS seems to be very conservative it is because we listen to our members and they tend to be conservative on matters that involve our community.

  11. #11
    Thanks Mr. Outten,

    That all makes sense. Though, it does seem that all those goals would be equally well served by a ban on links (or even references) to open auctions only - and, as a philosophical matter, I tend to think rules should be broad enough to prevent their contemplated ill, but no broader.

    Certainly I have never been remotely connected with operating these systems, and maybe a link to a closed auction is undesirable for some reason. But, from time to time I'd like to be able to link to a closed auction, if only to ask the more experienced members here questions (admittedly, mostly questions along the lines of 'What the heck is this ... and why's it worth that?')

    I mostly intended to chime in that I thought Chris's post made good points - but the most important of those was the last one, and I agree with him on that one as well!

    Cordially,
    Clay

  12. #12
    As a newcomer to this forum, I've just stumbled across this thread. I have to say, although I fully support the intent behind the stated policy, it can have some unintended side-effects...

    I recently reviewed the Eurekazone SGS (completely non-commercially, as an amateur woodworker) on a UK woodworking forum.

    The link to it was put up as part of a thread on the eurekazone 'manufacturer's board' here (not by myself, I might add). It was a purely 'for members' info' post: the link has apparently been removed because it violates the policy with respect to links.

    This does seem a little odd: if one allows a board specifically dedicated to a manufacturer's product, it's difficult to see linking to an independent, privately written review as somehow attempting to shill/bilk anyone, or commercially push a product.

    That said, I absolutely, 100% agree that 'he who pays the piper calls the tune'. It just strikes me that the effect - of denying members access to an independent critique of a system they may be interested in - is probably not what was intended...

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    This topic seems to come up fairly often, TOO often in my opinion.

    I'm not sure what the big stinking deal is. While the TOS may, at one point, have been vague regarding this issue, the specific point has been stated over and over again; DIRECT LINKS TO EBAY ARE NOT PERMITTED!

    No one is going to die, lose a limb, become ill, get depressed, be harmed by nor lose any money over NOT directly linking to an Ebay auction. Just don't do it. Post a pic and/or the auction number and you've done the same thing. The reader, if necessary, can make a couple of extra clicks and see whatever they may, or may not, need to see.

    WHY DO SOME FEEL THE NEED TO KEEP CHALLENGING THE ADMINISTRATORS AND MODERATORS OVER THIS SILLY POINT.!!!!!!!

    If this one very small issue is so terrible to someone and that person is so hindered is his/her daily life by not being able to directly link to Ebay then you have the choice of not participating here at Saw Mill Creek.

    Please, I implore you, let's don't keep wasting the admins and moderators time and energies by rehashing and rehashing and rehashing and rehashing and rehashing this issue. Let's all be grown ups and follow the rules. The admins and mods are NOT out to get us.
    Mark Rios

    Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of.

    "All roads lead to a terrestrial planet finder telescope"

    We arrive at this moment...by the unswerving punctuality...of chance.

  14. #14
    Wow! Mark - the only challenging post here appears to be yours. The rest of the thread has been very calm, and has sought clarification on particular points. Virtually every post has clearly stated that the concept and rationale is fully understood, but that it leads some issues that it might be nice to resolve, if it were possible. No need to shout!!

  15. #15
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    okay ............
    Mark Rios

    Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of.

    "All roads lead to a terrestrial planet finder telescope"

    We arrive at this moment...by the unswerving punctuality...of chance.

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