Strobist Terms of Service

Please read the below Terms of Service which relate to linking, content reproduction, translation sites and use of the word Strobist®, which is a registered trademark.

First of all, thanks for caring enough to click through to read this. Right away, that separates you from the automated scumbot content scrapers that I have to go after nearly every day.

Strobist® is the product of countless hours of hard work and it is very important to me that I protect the value of the original content. Everything you see on Strobist® is copyright David Hobby in the year that it was first published. (In the case of third-party contributors, they retain the copyright.) That does not mean that you cannot use material from the site, only that there are a couple of rules.

Linking In

If you want to link to the articles, that's cool. It's what makes the blog world spin. But don't be a scraper. Feel free to post brief abstracts of the original posts -- the pithier the better. Please limit any verbatim excerpts to ONE PHOTO and ONE OR TWO paragraphs at the most. A prominent link to the original source is required, lest we confuse anyone about the source of the content.

VERY IMPORTANT: Frequently this blog publishes the work of other people. Given that you were not part of any previous agreements or permission, do not reblog the work of others from my site. Any permissions I may have gotten certainly do not include you. So ask them before assuming it's cool to just republish their photo.

Content Reproduction

Wholesale cut-and-paste reproductions of entire posts are strictly prohibited and will be taken very seriously. That is copyright infringement, plain and simple.

My preference is to come after infringers (especially the automated, made-for-Adsense scraper guys) with a two-by-four. But I have been told that the lawyers are more civilized (a matter of opinion, to be sure) and, ultimately, far more rewarding.

Related: Please Don't Steal My Work

If you ask to borrow my car and I say yes, that's cool. If you borrow my car without asking, that is auto theft. That's common sense.

AND YET, many publications do not seem to have even this modicum of intelligence (or so they claim, after being caught, or blame an intern, yada yada). Sadly, the theft and republication of my work is a problem regular enough that I have a standard response to it. And here it is:

My work is available for re-use, with pricing on a case-by-case basis. Generally, for editorial re-use, the minimum price is $250 USD. Not a lot of money.

But if you borrow it without asking, your after-the-fact bill is tripled to a minimum of $750. Is that more than you normally pay? If so, then perhaps you cannot afford to be stealing my work. In fact, no matter what the price you could have saved 67% by merely asking first! Poor-but-honest pubs take note of this easy price break.

If you balk at paying for stolen work after being caught, the price will still be (minimum) $750. But you'll also get a free bonus of getting called out to the photo community (just ask Psychology Today or Business Insider or a slew of others.)

While that may seem a little dickish, it is preferable to a copyright infringement claim and/or suit, which is the inevitable next step. And a special circle of hell is reserved for those publications who claim to serve the photo community, which can ironically be the most sticky-fingered of all when it comes to "borrowing" photography.

Seriously, do not use my work without asking. My before-the-fact fees are very reasonable. But after-the-fact, it's basically jihad. I'm pissed, the law is on my side and I will turn up the monetary pain and public visibility until you own up and fix it.

So maybe just don't steal in the first place. Thanks.

Translation Sites

I very much appreciate the general idea of foreign-language Strobist® sites, and it is something that I am looking into. We already have a Spanish® language site here and an Italian translation group here.

While the idea is cool, the implementation of 30 disparate sites grabbing my content and translating it with no structure or control would be be problematic, to say the least. Therefore, translations of the site into other languages require prior written approval. Additionally, they are only permitted within the framework of a Flickr group, or on a website that I control.

Specifically prohibited are full translations on separate websites or blogs, the most egregious of which seek to confuse people with the use of the word "Strobist®" in the URL and/or design schemes that mimic those of the original site. I am generally a nice guy, but if you caught me in your living room walking out with your stereo you might be a little miffed, too.

It's a very easy thing to get a website or blog shut down (and the content deleted) by demonstrating to the ISP and/or host that one of their publishers is flagrantly infringing copyright. (If they do not shut you down, they are liable, too.) Please don't make me do that. And if you are scraping me with a mindless MFA-type site, you go to the front of the line.

So, long story short, just because the site is free does not mean that the content is free for the taking. Thanks for understanding, and sorry to be a buzzkill.

Strobist® Trademark

Strobist® is not a generic term. I coined it in 2005 and it is the federally registered trademark of my company. Thus it is not available for your generic use with lighting products or education. Please do not use it to describe your product or lighting-related service without expressed written permission.

It is not my desire to waste my time (and ultimately, your money) coming after you for a trademark infringement. It's much cooler, less stressful and far cheaper if you just don't do it in the first place. Thanks in advance.

Finally, I do not necessarily endorse (nor guarantee the safety of) content external of this site. I point to things all of the time, and in almost all cases have visited the links myself.

I generally note NSFW content on outbound links. But please be aware that content on the other sites can be changed after I link to them. If anything is weird, content or virus-wise, please let me know and I will check it out ASAP.

David Hobby


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