So, scroll down to find out everything you never knew you wanted to know about:
• Your Use of the Community
• Your Personal Information
• Intellectual Property & Copyright
• Complaints Procedure
• User Disputes
• Specifics about the Sell, Swap, Meet Thorn Tree branch
• Other legal bits
General stuff you need to know
Just so you know, when we say "we", we mean Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. When we say "community" we mean all of the places on lonelyplanet.com where users hang out and can contribute (like the Thorn Tree Travel Forum, Bluelist, reviews and more).
Your use of the Community:
You are permitted to use this community and its services for personal, non-commercial purposes only.
If you are under the age of 18 you should seek your parents' permission before accessing our community.
Because users can automatically contribute content once they've created an account, that content may not be appropriate for people under 18. (Find tips on facilitating a safe Internet experience for children on the Australian Broadcasting Authority's 'CyberSmart Kids' site at www.cybersmartkids.com.au)
If you wish to contribute a post (meaning any content whatsoever contributed by a user to the community) you must have a registered account. Once you have registered as part of the community, you are registered to make contributions in any other part of the community (e.g. if you register via Thorn Tree, you are automatically registered for Bluelist).
Certain parts of the community may have their own guidelines posted (such as a particular Thorn Tree branch). Please read these carefully and respect them.
Posted content must not:
• be of a discriminatory or derogatory nature. This includes offensive, humiliating or intimidating comments based on a person's:
- race, colour, ethnicity, or nationality;
- sex or gender;
- physical characteristics, appearance or mannerisms;
- political opinion;
- socio-economic status;
- physical, mental or intellectual disability/impairment;
- sexual orientation;
• harass or 'stalk' any person;
• contain defamatory statements or personal attacks on others;
• disrupt other users' enjoyment of the services (for example, persistent off-topic discussion on Thorn Tree, or nonsensical Bluelist postings);
• be made under another person's name or impersonating another person;
• contain commercial advertising (including spruiking tout or guide services);
• solicit market research from community members;
• contain excessively coarse language or content which would be rated R, RC or X by the Australian Classification Board (for more information please see the Office of Film and Literature Classification web site at www.oflc.gov.au); or
• breach any intellectual property rights law or discuss how to commit illegal activity.
Don't create a user name (handle) that:
• contains racist, sexist or homophobic words;
• contains defamatory statements or personal attacks on others;
• contains words associated with Lonely Planet's products, services, staff or authors;
• is made under another person's name or impersonating another person;
• contains commercial advertising;
• contains excessively coarse language or content which would be rated R, RC or X by the Australian Classification Board (for more information please see the Office of Film and Literature Classification web site at www.oflc.gov.au); or by your local equivalent governing body or content classification board.
These criteria also apply to content contained in your user profile.
Make sure you use the right Thorn Tree branch so you get the best response to your posts and to make it easier for those looking for information. We may move or delete postings to the wrong branch.
If you're relying on information or opinions from forum posts, remember you do so at your own risk. Use common sense and make your own inquiries first, especially for postings like those on the Thorn Tree "Health" branch - these may not be from medical professionals (even if the user claims to be one), so you should always seek your own advice. Be aware that posts only represent the opinions and experience of users, not ours.
If you want to copy, amend or re transmit others' content (such as Thorn Tree posts), you need permission. Permission can be obtained from the user or from us. If you want to share postings with a friend please send them a hyperlink. Third party sites are not permitted to provide digests or summaries of posts, even through hyperlinks, without our permission.
Your Personal Information
By registering with us, using our services, or emailing us, you will be supplying us with "personal information". We collect this to administer and help you use the services, send you a password, contact you about content you have contributed, and keep in touch with you in general.
Your user name (handle) will be visible to other users. When you register for the Thorn Tree Travel Forum, you can choose whether your user profile and email address will be be visible to other users or remain private. You can access and update your personal information under My Profile on Thorn Tree at any time.
If you make posts which are in breach of these terms or the law, we may choose to pass your details and IP address on to an aggrieved person or a law enforcement agency.
Intellectual Property & Copyright
Respect others' intellectual property rights. Don't post copyrighted material or trade marks without the permission of the owner or you may put yourself and Lonely Planet at risk of legal action.
If you own intellectual property and believe it is being infringed in our online community, please contact us.
By posting on the Thorn Tree Travel Forum, you give us a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide licence to reproduce, communicate, republish, edit, adapt or otherwise use your content as we see fit, including the right to sublicense to others at our discretion. You also give us a licence to deal with the postings as necessary to perform technical and administrative functions in running the forums.
You may also have moral rights, so you consent to your postings being altered, edited or adapted to use them under our licence in any way we see fit. You consent to us not attributing authorship to you at all, or only attributing it to your registered 'handle'. We generally attribute authorship, but that's not always possible and we decide this on a case by case basis. If we do use your material we may attribute it to your registered 'handle', or contact you to request that your real name be used. Don't worry, we will never publish your real name without permission.
If you don't want your content to be used in this way, don't post it. Once you have made a post, you can't withdraw or retract your licence and consents.
If you choose to leave the community and/or delete your member account with Thorn Tree we retain the right to your postings and contributions under the licence described above.
Lonely Planet's intellectual property (which includes the Lonely Planet, Bluelist or Thorn Tree trade marks and content other than postings) may not be used in any way or for any purpose without our permission.
To let us know, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and the relevant person will respond. For Bluelist, you can use the relevant ‘report' action to notify us of an infringing posting and we will remove the posting from view until the relevant moderator can review it. For the Thorn Tree Travel Forum you can use the ‘report this' action to notify us of submissions that do not adhere to these terms.
Removal of postings is at our discretion, except if the content is illegal. If you're not happy with the Moderator's response, you can follow the formal complaints procedure below. We may also require you to follow formal procedure for certain matters (for example, if you claim content is infringing copyright or defamatory you may have a specific burden of proof).
To make a formal complaint, send a signed written letter to:
Lonely Planet Online Community Complaints
Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd
Locked Bag 1
Your complaint needs to:
• Identify the content in issue and provide us with a copy of the content and its location (URL, or web address);
• Identify the intellectual property or other right which is being infringed by the posting or the law which the posting breaches. Articulate your arguments as thoroughly as possible. Burden of proof exists for some claims. We may be in touch to obtain this, depending on the nature of your complaint;
• Provide your clear and accurate contact details (ideally your email address, postal address and fax number, if relevant);
We will assess your complaint's merit and take whatever action we deem fit. We will get in contact with you to explain our decision.
If you're still not happy, you can make a complaint to the Australian Broadcasting Authority. (For more information, see www.aba.gov.au/internet/overview/complaints.shtml). We will comply with any directions given by the ABA in relation to these complaints.
You are responsible for your interactions with other users. We reserve the right, but have no obligation, to monitor disputes between you and other users, including interactions via our Private Messaging service.
We provide a 'Report This' button for you to notify us of spam or content that do not adhere to these terms. We also provide a 'Report User' function for you to notify the Lonely Planet online team of violation of these terms at a user level. Use this function maturely and with discretion. Anyone abusing this functionality will be subject to disciplinary action.
Specifics about 'Sell, Swap, Meet' Thorn Tree Travel Forum Branch
If you are using the Sell, Swap & Meet branch, you do so at your own risk, but here are some important guidelines:
• advertising job vacancies;
Lonely Planet is not the place to advertise employment opportunities available with your business or establishment. We ask that you use alternative methods (or which there are many available) to recruit staff.
• listing and selling stuff;
You must be legally able to sell the item(s) you list for sale. You must include any terms of sale in the description of that item(s). There are some things which you're not allowed to sell (because of laws and/or Lonely Planet's policy). They include: alcohol, animals and wildlife, artefacts, drugs and drug paraphernalia, fireworks, firearms, ammunitions, replicas, and militaria, food, offensive material, stolen property, weapons and knives. This is not an exhaustive list, and you should check your local laws in case they specify other things you're not allowed to sell. If you think someone is selling items in breach of these terms (including items which may infringe copyright), follow the reporting process set out above.
• buying stuff;
It's your responsibility to get any information you need before transacting with sellers. You're also responsible for organising payment to and collection from the seller (and meeting any of the other terms of sale the seller specifies in their posting). And if you're not happy with what you've bought, it's up to you to sort out any issues with the seller. Remember, buyer beware!
• selling tickets to events (such as festivals or sporting matches);
Keep in mind that resale is often regulated by the issuer of the ticket (eg booking agents). If you want to resell event tickets it's up to you to ensure this doesn't breach your local laws and/or the terms under which you bought the ticket in the first place. Generally speaking, you can't sell events tickets for more than you paid for them.
• arranging rides or finding travel companions;
Exercise common sense. We'd hate to hear of anything bad happening when people meet up, but you'll understand that we can't be responsible for the actions of each person in the Lonely Planet community.
Other Legal Bits
Any legal issues arising will be dealt with under the laws of Melbourne, Australia, since that's where our online community is run from. Illegal activity under those laws will be a violation of these terms, but as the Lonely Planet website is accessible worldwide you may run into trouble under the laws in other jurisdictions too.
If a dispute arises between users of the community, or between users and a third party, Lonely Planet is not obliged to get involved, although we may choose to.
We are not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss, damage, liability, cost or expense suffered in connection with the use of the community or any of its content or services. We make no warranties or representations about the online community or its content and exclude, to the maximum extent permitted by law, any liability which may arise as a result of the use of the services or their content.
Phew! That's all for now.