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The Bylaws
v. 0609

Appendix 8

The Appendices are provided as detailed explanations and backgrounds of the policies and procedures of  Each Appendix contains delineated topic Sections that are not necessarily related.  Appendices are included to provide additional explanations, clarifications, and resources.  They are not required reading, but you may be referred to them if you require further information on a certain subject.  They represent the collected body of knowledge about many topics. 

The Appendices are written and edited by the Moderator Team of, with contributions gleaned from the email of the BackpackGearTest group.


Appendix 1 - How Works
Appendix 2 - Editing
Appendix 3 - About Rules and How to Change Them
Appendix 4 - Test Calls, Test Applications, Newbie Rule
Appendix 5 - The Apprentice Program
Appendix 6 - All About Report Writing
Appendix 7 - A Lesson in Pictures
Appendix 8 - Copyright, Fair Use, and Links Policies

Back to Bylaws

APPENDIX 8 - Copyright, Fair Use, and Link Policies


  1. POLICY: Assignation of Rights by Members - Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator
  2. Use of Material - Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator
  3. Copyright and Fair Use Discussion - Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator

1. POLICY: Assignation of Rights by Members - Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator

  1. All reports and materials uploaded to the site become the sole property of, with sole exception of photographs; which exception is detailed herein.
    1. By uploading reports and materials to, you agree to this automatic assignation and transfer of all rights, including sole publishing rights.
      1. Reports published on may not be published in any other form in any other location.
  2. Photographs and other images uploaded to the site remain the property of the creator.
    1. By uploading photographs and other images, you grant an unlimited, non-exclusive license to use, copy, display, publish, and broadcast the photographs and images, and you guarantee that you have the power to grant such license.

2. Use of Material - Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator

  1. You may freely link to any page or report without specific permission.
  2. Fair Use
    1. Short quotes of a few sentences are acceptable, attributed to and the report writer.
      1. If the quote is used on any web page, a working, clickable link should be provided to the specific report quoted.
      2. If the quote is used in any non-web based media, such as a paper catalog or magazine article, the home page address should be provided thus: .
    2. Instead of extended quotation, we request a link to either the manufacturer's page, a folder containing a series of reports on an item, or a specific tester's report.
    3. Any use of material outside these limits needs to be approved in writing by the publisher of, Jerry Goller or by an individual he assigns to approve such use of copyright material.
  3. No derivative work may be created from any materials on the site without the express approval of Jerry Goller.
  4. Any use of photographs contained in reports for any purpose not inclusive on the site requires the permission of the photographer, who should be contacted directly.

3. Copyright and Fair Use Discussion - Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator

Some brief comments on the Assignation of Rights policy.

We aren't trying to amass intellectual wealth. In order to simplify our process, the rules are quite simple. Material uploaded to is copyrighted and the sole property of By uploading your report to, you agree to this automatic transfer of all rights.

This isn't to say that you can't create a page on your own website that elaborates on your owner review in a way that you see fit. It isn't generally encouraged, and a link to the original report is still a good idea. The area of intellectual property is very complex, and we really don't want to try to describe what we do in legalistic terms. We're all here to have fun.  From what I understand as a writer myself, my work remains my intellectual property, but I assign those rights to I can still use the contents of the report and the pictures I use on my website, and I can modify the report on at any time, so long as those changes are approved.

What the rules are designed to prevent is also very simple. You cannot post the report to another review site, or sell that review to a gear magazine or another gear website.

Actual test reports, where gear is provided by, is a little more onerous. In that case, all reports and their content belongs to You should not post them to your website, but provide a link instead. Link volume is important to what we do, both in showing manufacturers our value and in driving the search engines.

This is a simple protection that keeps someone from saying, "I don't want to play anymore.", and deleting all of their reports.

All of these rules are designed to keep moving forward, and to keep everyone honest.

I used to post my reviews on my own site too, but stripped them all off and now I just use the links, and create Additional Resources pages. You can see an example here:  This lets me have a page for things that aren't germane to the report or review, but also stays within the rules. That way I'm happy, and continues to grow and be the best online gear resource for everyone.

Shane Steinkamp, BGT Moderator

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson