The Official WeatherBug Community
**Note not to be removed**
As the WeatherBug Backyard Community continues to grow, I've watched in amazement as both new and existing members share creative weather pictures and videos for everyone here to enjoy. Unfortunately though, there seems to be some confusion over what is allowed and what isn't with regard to this type of creative content. So I figured this would be a great time to clarify what we are encouraging members to share in this area and what is strictly off-limits.
We welcome weather and/or outdoor event type photos that have been taken by you or someone who has given you express consent to republish them as you see fit. This means the images you're posting are pictures you've decided to take and share with the community. Photos as described above from friends and family are also fine. Just make sure they tell you it's okay to share them.
What isn't allowed under any circumstances are pictures that you do not have express permission to share with others. This means photos used by TV/Internet/Print publications are off-limits here. Please do not re-post images posted to other websites. Those images are very likely protected under U.S. copyright law.
Please understand that adding the text "photos by..." or "photos courtesy of..." does not make posting pictures from news agencies here okay. If you have express written consent giving you permission from a news agency, please feel free to share this with me at the email address below.
The only exception to the above rule are pictures selected under Creative Commons licensing. A place to find neat images under this allowed license type would be via Flickr using this exact website link. When using these photos, understand that a link to the original work must be included with the posted image and clear attribution must be provided as well. In addition, you must verify that the image is still licensed under the Creative Commons license. Don't assume that if a photo appears with images that are licensed Creative Commons that everything among them must be as well.
When it doubt, snap your own photos.
Unlike posting images, trying to determine which videos are allowed can be very confusing. Therefore if you didn't create the video or the video wasn't created by friends/family, please don't share it here. The only exception here is for WeatherBug employees.
Questions and Answers
Q: Are all images on websites like Flickr.com okay to share here then?
A: Not in every instance. As you can see on any given photo page on Flickr, looking to the lower right side of the page will immediately indicate whether the content is copyright protected or available for sharing under Creative Commons licensing. When in doubt, just use photos you took yourself. This is always a sure bet to playing it safe.
Q: What type of weather graphics can I share with the WeatherBug Backyard Community?
A: The following is a list of currently "acceptable" weather graphics you can share on the Backyard Community. This list can change from time to time as we update it, so periodically check back for the latest and most accurate list.
Images from WeatherBug.com (Since this is a WeatherBug Community. We do ask that you link back to which page on WeatherBug.com you received it from).
Screenshots from Earth Networks StreamerRT (formally WeatherBug StreamerRT).
Screenshots from one's own weather station software (WeatherLink, Ambient VWS, WeatherSnoop, etc.) as long as one is not violating anyone else's copyright (generic station/software logos only and not using another TV station's logos, etc.).
Screenshots from one's own storm tracking application (GR3/2Analyst, Storm Lab, RadarScope, etc.) as long as one is not violating anyone else's copyright (generic software or personally-designed logos (logos from places like GRStuff are usually acceptable) only and not using another TV station's logos, etc.).
Screenshots from one's own weather modeling application (GR Earth, UNIDATA, SimuAWIPS, etc.) as long as one is not violating anyone else's copyright (generic software/logos only and not using another TV station's logos, etc.).
Unisys Weather allows "limited" use of their radar images, with the understanding that it's not for commercial use. Using their radar images here is allowed for the time being, but we'd rather you stick to public domain sources instead. The Unisys terms of service could change at any time, so the option to use their images could change in the future.
Other weather providers are not free game for borrowing radar maps or any other images from under any circumstances. If there is a copyright notice appearing anywhere on their website, odds are the images are also protected under their copyright as well.
Therefore, if it's not expressly public domain, we would ask that you avoid it and instead, utilize alternatives that are. We will be enforcing this copyright rule starting immediately.
Q: Are all the videos seen on YouTube legal and allowed to be shared here?
A: No, not unless you created the video yourself. There are a growing number of weather videos on YouTube that are not legal under YouTube's own guidelines. As stated previously, if you didn't create the video, don't share it here. The only exception is when friends/family create a video and give you permission to share it with others.
Q: I use weather widgets from other weather sources to show off my local weather or Backyard Station data. Are these okay?
A: Absolutely, just as long as the creator offers you the embed code, this is definitely okay to do.
Q: So how difficult or expensive is it to create weather videos?
A: A how-to video explaining how to make this happen is available here. The purpose of the how-to video is to demonstrate how with a low-cost Flip video camera, anyone can create a simple weather related video that can be shared here on the WeatherBug Backyard Community. I prefer using these video cameras as there is almost no learning curve to using them. They are actually less complex to use than most modern TV remotes. Best of all, they range in price from $80-$130. For a video camera, that is a very attractive price. Most smartphones nowadays also shoot HD video, which is another great way to snap quick weather videos on the go and share them with the Backyard Community!
Q: Aren't we encouraged to share cool videos and pictures here?
A: Of course. We encourage our users to pick up their digital cameras and video recorders to share the local weather in their area. After all, that is what makes the Backyard Community so much fun to browse through!
We also understand the value in sharing radar images that offer greater insight to developing weather events as well. All we ask is that you use radar images from sources that allow for public sharing and embedding.
Still have questions?
I realize this is a lot of information to take in all at once. So if there are still questions or concerns, please feel free to email me directly at MHartley@WeatherBug.com From there, I can help you out with any other questions you might have.
WeatherBug Backyard Community
Last updated by Nathan Parker Jun 25, 2012.