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TripAdvisor the 'Gentleman'

My photos submitted to TripAdvisor were rejected because, said the email notice, the photos had watermarks on them. Rather than questioning TripAdvisor's rule, I questioned what do I actually get in return through contributing to TripAdvisor? Therefore I started a post on TripAdvisor's forum. Within less than 24-hours, my post was removed.

I re-posted under the title "What Do I Get from TripAdvisor?", but without mentioning the reason why I was asking such a question, which is not mentioning that I came up to this question after having my photos rejected because of watermarks. Within the next couple of hours, I got 9 responses. Those 9 first responses indicated that there's actually nothing I can except to get. But some seemed not to get it that what I meant by "what do I get" is "by contributing". Therefore, I re-wrote my story that had been removed from the first post.

Much to my astonishment, it looked like that I had turned people mad. I thought that they didn't understand about what a copyright is. So, I tried to explain again.

If I can give you a concrete example, you may try this:

  1. Go to the reviews for Jurong Bird Park here.
  2. Click "photos".
  3. Right-click on a photo. This will appear:
Want to use this image?
Please copy & paste this embed code onto your site:

At the end of the embed code is written "... is courtesy of TripAdvsior." Below the embed code is written: Images must be attributed to TripAdvisor. Learn more If you click "Learn more", this will appear:

About the embed code
TripAdvisor images may only be used with attribution back to TripAdvisor. Using the TripAdvisor embed code renders the image with an attribution line that satisfies this requirement.

In addition, by using the embed code, you reduce the load on your web server, because the image will be hosted on the same worldwide content delivery network TripAdvisor uses instead of your web server.

So, can you imagine that when you contribute a photo to TripAdvisor, you are actually giving yourself an opportunity to advertise for TripAdvisor? You make a good picture (but without a watermark!). The photo got published on TripAdvisor. Someone uses your photo and publish it on their website as the permission given by TripAdvisor. Then the viewer of that person's website clicks the photo. The viewer gets directed to TripAdvisor. The conclusion: your photo, which TripAdvisor gives you nothing in return, has brought someone to TripAdvisor.

I cannot accuse TripAdvisor for this, because they have stated as follow:

TripAdvisor claims no ownership, affiliation with, or endorsement of any photos that are posted on our site. The truthfulness of all photos and captions is assumed by the member who posted them, and their validity is not the responsibility of TripAdvisor. Please note that by uploading photos, you are granting TripAdvisor the non-exclusive rights to use, copy, re-purpose and display those photos at our discretion.

The detail can be found here.

I'm not either questioning TripAdvisor for their rule. It's their website, they set the rules. Fine. And if it's clear that a contributor doesn't get anything in return by contributing to TripAdvisor, fine also. Through the responses I got from the forum here, I know that I wasn't wrong thinking that I don't get anything in return by contributing to TripAdvisor.

Many of the responses I got made me giggled. It surprised me how people thought that photos that aren't considered artistic e.g. photo of a bathroom wall, photos that aren't hi-res, etc. don't have a copyright or in other words, is okay to abuse the copyright.

I tried my best to explain better, but resulted in turning the crowd wilder instead. Well, I thought I had already got what I wanted to know anyway.

However, the most surprise of all is that, my post on #10 and #22, which explained the reason of my asking "What Do I Get from TripAdvisor?", were both removed!!!

I can't see why they have to remove it. What I had written was merely a matter of fact. In case anything I had written was incorrect, they could have reply to correct me, couldn't they? In post #27, a TripAdvisor Support asked me what I wanted from TripAdvisor. If a TripAdvisor Support can give a commend, why can't he/she just tell if I had written something wrong or had a wrong opinion? Why do they have to remove it???

On Nov 01, 2011, 4:43 PM, TripAdvisor staff closed my topic. Maybe within the next couple of hours, days, weeks... the whole thread would be removed, again.

In the very first place I really just wanted to know whether I actually don't get anything by contributing to TripAdvisor. If TripAdvisor hadn't removed my postS, I wouldn't have thought of writing this blog post either. What a gentleman, TripAdvisor!

Posted by automidori 20:29 Comments (0)

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