Copyright Policy

Policy

EnvironmentCounts.org (EC) is a not-for-profit organization. It is not a commercial site or organization in any way. The mission, objectives and values of EC are entirely oriented to non-profit information assembly and educational purposes. Our editors and contributors only submit reviews and links to published material which we believe is worthwhile in terms of providing useful data, information and analysis on environmental issues. As such our role is one of summarizing such material, commenting of why we believe it may be worth reading and providing our readers with links to the original site of the work. EC editors and contributors only submit reviews and links to published material which we believe is worthwhile in terms of providing useful data, information and analysis on environmental issues. As such our role is one of summarizing such material, commenting of why we believe it may be worth reading and providing our readers with links to the original site of the work.
If the original site is in a commercial journal (eg Nature, Science) then our editorial policy is to follow and adhere to the stated commercial copyright restrictions of that journal and provide a link to the journal or magazine. As paid up subscribers to such commercial sites we will in all cases have read the full article/material, but we will only quote in such measure as provides our readers with a summary and view of the original, but adheres to the concept of “fair use”. (See following outline of “fair use” in copyright law.)

Disclaimer: EC assembles and reviews original articles and similar evidence based material. EC does not warrant, either expressly or implied, the accuracy, timeliness or appropriateness of the information contained our site. EC disclaims all liability for any material contained in other websites linked to this website.

Copyright Issues

There are two main copyright issues which concern Environment Counts; fair use and linking.

Fair use

Most national jurisdictions recognize copyright limitations which allow “fair use” as exceptions to a creator’s rights of exclusivity.
The U.S. Copyright Office states:

107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include— 

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.”

EC editors and contributors are directed to follow these factors and tests in their selection, reviewing and copying of original material for the Environment Counts web site.

The following quote on copyright and fair use from Stanford University Libraries provides some additional guidance on “materials put to work under the “fair use rule.” This rule recognizes that society can often benefit from the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials when the purpose of the use serves the ends of scholarship, education or an informed public. For example, scholars must be free to quote from their research resources in order to comment on the material. To strike a balance between the needs of a public to be well-informed and the rights of copyright owners to profit from their creativity, Congress passed a law authorizing the use of copyrighted materials in certain circumstances deemed to be “fair” — even if the copyright owner doesn’t give permission.

Often, it’s difficult to know whether a court will consider a proposed use to be fair. The fair use statute requires the courts to consider the following questions in deciding this issue:

  • Is it a competitive use? (In other words, if the use potentially affects the sales of the copied material, it’s usually not fair.)
  • How much material was taken compared to the entire work of which the material was a part? (The more someone takes, the less likely it is that the use is fair.)
  • How was the material used? Is it a transformative use? (If the material was used to help create something new it is more likely to be considered a fair use that if it is merely copied verbatim into another work. Criticism, comment, news reporting, research, scholarship and non-profit educational uses are most likely to be judged fair uses. Uses motivated primarily by a desire for a commercial gain are less likely to be fair use).

As a general rule, if you are using a small portion of somebody else’s work in a non-competitive way and the purpose for your use is to benefit the public, you’re on pretty safe ground. On the other hand, if you take large portions of someone else’s expression for your own purely commercial reasons, the rule usually won’t apply.”

EC aims to be complementary to worthwhile information sources by stimulating interest in our readers to follow links and do their own further reading and research on the subjects covered. EC is not in any way competitive with the original sources. In essence EC is contributing to the interests of original authors by providing the possibility of increased readership of the original material.

EC editors and contributors accept and strive to follow the above guidelines. In the event an EC entry transgresses the bounds of “fair use” we will withdraw our entry from the site until the situation has been resolved.

Linking

A link is simply a pointer to a web address. There may be instances where a site containing an article explicitly requests that it should not be linked from another site. This is rare as the whole reason for publishing material on the web is to get viewers to read the material. However, if a site explicitly requests that a link should not be provided to it, then EC will not provide a link. If EC inadvertently includes a link to such a site then EC commits to remove such link as soon as it is brought to our attention.