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Commercial Caches
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPMinnesota wrote:
So my picture of an empty pizza pan with the phrase "Don't miss it!" on the event page for the next pizza night is out of the question?


I'd say it's marginal but I think I'd publish a picture with an empty pan and some crumbs on it. A picture of the full pan of pizza is different.

Quote:
Where are these other reviewers from? Go to other states and they publish anything including logos, you don't have to live within 100 miles of the cache or have a sponsor if you don't, and having a business name in the cache title is okay.


I don't know where the others are from.

Here's the way I look at it:

My goal is to follow the rules.

If I don't understand how a rule applies I tend to ask.

If I don't follow the rules (and blatantly ignore them) I risk losing my job. This is (IMHO) a loose/loose.

The fact that others don't follow the rules is out of my hands. I don't think it's intentional, but regardless, it's out of my hands.

Keep in mind that I've probably published caches that don't follow the rules without realizing it more than once. Heck, maybe that's created havoc for another reviewer who uses a particular cache page as an example of "what some other reviewer does". As I learn what is and is not acceptable I modify how I look at cache pages - it's a constant learning experience for me. What was good yesterday may not be today (and conversely, what wasn't good yesterday may be pointed out to me that it is ok - I've had that happen recently in fact). The same likely goes for other reviewers.

Also keep in mind that there is no precedent for placing caches.

Quote:
Why such a different set of rules in different states?


I don't have an explanation for other reviewers actions, only my own (and that's hard enough!).

Hopefully that helps.
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WestSideDaddy
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2010

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Commercial Caches

Commercial caches will not be published on geocaching.com without prior approval from Groundspeak. A commercial cache is a geocache listing or geocache which is perceived by Groundspeak, Groundspeak's employees, or the Volunteer Geocache Reviewers as having been submitted to geocaching.com with the principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain. The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.


So this means that if the purpose of the cache is to get you to go into a store and buy something, or interact with staff for the purpose of solicitation then the cache is prohibited without Groundspeak approval. But does the mere mention of or allusion to a commercial establishment meet that requirement?

Quote:

Additionally, links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political or social agendas, or the inclusion of their associated logos are not permitted on cache descriptions without prior permission from Groundspeak.


Links I can understand, they could lead to un-vetted sites that GS and could pose a 'risk' to the users of the site. Use of their logos also seems simple enough. Using someone's trademarked/copyrighted logo without permission could potentially put Groundspeak in a challenging position legally, though I would expect fair use would allow for it. That aside, they choose to limit the use of logos.

But that doesn't seem to make using a picture of a pizza (to use an example from the discussion) prohibited unless it is one that the business in question uses.

I am surprised that there isn't a clearer definition vis-a-vis events, which are hosted at a location which is almost always going to represent some commercial venture.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4033

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
Don't shoot the messenger.

After a discussion amongst reviewers and Groundspeak folks, I feel the need to clarify what Groundspeak's guidelines are regarding commercial caches (especially how they apply to events).

Don't shoot the messenger.

My questions were:

What about the a picture of the business or it's sign out front?
A picture of, say, the menu?
The food that they offer?
What about a generic picture that COULD be the food they offer?

Basically the conversation ended at the idea that anything beyond name and address of the restaurant, and perhaps a couple of words about the type of food served, is not permitted.

I don't really recall caches/events after I publish them, so I can't bring to mind anything at the moment that didn't follow this (nor does it matter), but from this point forward I'll be sticking closer to these requirements as I understand them better. Fair warning.

Don't shoot the messenger.


So I CAN say Cannon Falls Bike and Canoe Rental afterall, I just cannot make any specific suggestions as to services, price, etc? I know TWS may think this question is a joke, but I am being dead serious. Oops, sorry for the vitriolic rhetoric. I meant, my question is serious.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your event were held at the rental place I think that would be true, yes, but it's not held at the rental place, it's on the river. You're recommending the rental place which is very different.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4033

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
If your event were held at the rental place I think that would be true, yes, but it's not held at the rental place, it's on the river. You're recommending the rental place which is very different.


Not attacking the messenger but that thinking it still is inconsistent. Either you can mention a place or not. The mere idea of holding an event at an establishment is by its very nature commercial. That notion that holding the event at the establishment somehow getting you off the hook for being commercial is complete hypocracy. While I can suggest you rent a canoe, being at an establilshment almost forces you into an obligation to spend if you so choose to attend (where the establishment therefore benefits).

If I suggest you can rent a canoe in town, you can STILL attend my event without ANY pressure of buying a pizza, or a beer, or a burrito, or a breakfast.

I DO appreciate you putting effort into clarifying this but I think there is still more work to be done. Wink
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.

I'm happy to work with COs to get it listed within what Groundspeak will allow and to work with Groundspeak and the CO if we don't agree on what that is.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4033

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.


That's what coordinates are for. Wink

Holding the event at an establishment, is by its nature, commercial. I am not suggesting that you shouldn't hold an event at an establishment. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe it is a blatant violation of the guidelines whereas my situation is the other extreme, enforcing the guideline to the point of absurdity.

And to be clear to all reviewers out there, my angst is directed towards Groundspeak or the Reviewer COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE, for allowing such a blatant hole in the guidelines exist. NOT any one person.
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speedysk1
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Oct 2007

Posts: 1991

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.


That's what coordinates are for. Wink

Holding the event at an establishment, is by its nature, commercial. I am not suggesting that you shouldn't hold an event at an establishment. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe it is a blatant violation of the guidelines whereas my situation is the other extreme, enforcing the guideline to the point of absurdity.

And to be clear to all reviewers out there, my angst is directed towards Groundspeak or the Reviewer COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE, for allowing such a blatant hole in the guidelines exist. NOT any one person.


Just list your stuff on opencaching.com. They don't have no stinkin' rules. Shocked
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4033

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speedysk1 wrote:
bflentje wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.


That's what coordinates are for. Wink

Holding the event at an establishment, is by its nature, commercial. I am not suggesting that you shouldn't hold an event at an establishment. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe it is a blatant violation of the guidelines whereas my situation is the other extreme, enforcing the guideline to the point of absurdity.

And to be clear to all reviewers out there, my angst is directed towards Groundspeak or the Reviewer COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE, for allowing such a blatant hole in the guidelines exist. NOT any one person.


Just list your stuff on opencaching.com. They don't have no stinkin' rules. Shocked


Yeah, that's the answer.. Rolling Eyes
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2440

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.

I'm happy to work with COs to get it listed within what Groundspeak will allow and to work with Groundspeak and the CO if we don't agree on what that is.


indeed! Thanks for your efforts.
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MNMizzou
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 711

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

King Boreas wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.

I'm happy to work with COs to get it listed within what Groundspeak will allow and to work with Groundspeak and the CO if we don't agree on what that is.


indeed! Thanks for your efforts.


A perfect example of this is KB's recent brithday event. I didn't have it loaded into my GPS, but instead knew it was at Yarruso's so I just put that in instead. Saved me a lot of time trying to find coordinates when I'm away from the computer. There is a fine line between information and free advertising... I've been walking that line for 15+ years in news.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4033

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MNMizzou wrote:
King Boreas wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
I think of putting the restaurant name on the cache page as helping cachers find where they are going and that's all.

I'm happy to work with COs to get it listed within what Groundspeak will allow and to work with Groundspeak and the CO if we don't agree on what that is.


indeed! Thanks for your efforts.


A perfect example of this is KB's recent brithday event. I didn't have it loaded into my GPS, but instead knew it was at Yarruso's so I just put that in instead. Saved me a lot of time trying to find coordinates when I'm away from the computer. There is a fine line between information and free advertising... I've been walking that line for 15+ years in news.


Sure, I of all people get it. But suggesting that you can rent a canoe in town for a canoe-themed event is hardly free advertising. I see no more distinction between having a pizza party where people go buy pizza and beer at the establishment than people attending a canoe-geocaching event and renting a canoe. I think it's all semantics and the guidelines get interpreted, more or less stringent, depending on certain factors..
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 585

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurred to me that a cacher could incorporate a commercial message into the cache page simply by editing it after approval and publication. A reviewer wouldn't be aware of that unless he/she was notified about it by another cacher. (I assume reviewers do not receive notification every time a cache page is edited.) I'm sure that the overwhelming majority of us would not do this, but I would think that there have been cases where a cacher does not understand the policy or is intent on circumventing it.
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speedysk1
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Oct 2007

Posts: 1991

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spinowner wrote:
It occurred to me that a cacher could incorporate a commercial message into the cache page simply by editing it after approval and publication. A reviewer wouldn't be aware of that unless he/she was notified about it by another cacher. (I assume reviewers do not receive notification every time a cache page is edited.) I'm sure that the overwhelming majority of us would not do this, but I would think that there have been cases where a cacher does not understand the policy or is intent on circumventing it.


Shhhh! Wink
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RudeRat
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 Jul 2008

Posts: 791

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíd just post it in a note on the cache page, attaching a photo if necessary. I donít think Groundspeak has taken their censorship to that level, yet.
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