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STW Statement on Use of Copyrighted Materials


From time to time, SaveTheWest.com receives a legal notice that we featured a photograph that is owned by another party, without permission, along with a demand that we pay a fee for what is alleged to be a copyright violation, under threat of a copyright violation lawsuit.

Were SaveTheWest a profit-making entity, this would be the normal approach to addressing such usage of copyrighted materials.

However, SaveTheWest, Inc. is registered 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation, and as such, we are afforded certain exemptions from copyright law, which fall under the “Fair Use” principles.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Fair Use allows certain, limited exemptions from copyright law:

  • If the entity using the copyrighted materials is a nonprofit organization
  • If the usage of the copyrighted material is helpful in explaining something, for public understanding
  • If the usage is limited; such as, one photograph, or one passage from a larger work (as in, one paragraph of a book or magazine article)
  • If the usage is for non-commercial purposes, in that the user is not making money from the copyrighted material/s
  • If the usage does not diminish the market value of the copyrighted work

Learn more about Fair Use, and copyright law, at the following links:

Copyright & Fiar Use Basics for Nonprofits

For Profit Vs. Non-Profit Copyright Laws & Fair Use Issues | LegalZoom Legal Info

Fair Use In The Age Of Social Media

SaveTheWest Policy on Claims of Copyright Infringement

Given the above facts regarding Fair Use, SaveTheWest’s policy is as follows:

  • We will continue to exercise our legal rights under the Fair Use exemption to copyright laws, in terms of limited usage of copyrighted materials to supplement our public education & information content
  • We will pay no compensation to any copyright holder, or agent thereof
  • Upon request, we will consider requests to remove copyrighted materials, if the owner or their agent can provide a compelling reason as to why they are being harmed by our use of said materials

Furthermore, the corporation that owns SaveTheWest.com, SaveTheWest, Inc. (a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational enterprise), has no financial assets, so even if it is taken to court, there will be no recovery for the copyright holder.

If you have any questions or comments regarding our policy, please use our Contact Form.