By using this Vermont Atlas of Life (VAL) website and the content available on it, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy.

Content that you access through the Atlas website may also be subject to specific terms and conditions imposed by a data provider (Data Provider Terms). These Data Provider Terms may include certain licenses to use the Content, such as Creative Commons licenses.

The Data Provider Terms and the Terms of Use form the legally binding agreement between you, the Atlas and/or the data provider. If there is any inconsistency between these Terms of Use and the Data Provider Terms then the Data Provider Terms will prevail, but only to the extent that it applies to the particular Contents and to the extent necessary to resolve any conflict.

We may change these Terms of Use or a data provider may change their Data Provider Terms at any time without giving you notice, so please check them each time you visit the Atlas website.


‘VAL’ means the Vermont Atlas of Life and in the context of the agreement between you and VAL that these Terms of Use represent, VAL is the Vermont Atlas of Life at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies as the legal entity representing and responsible for the Atlas project.

You/user – means you as a  website user, Content/Data user, or Content/Data provider.

Data provider – means an individual or organization that makes Content available on or via the VAL websites.

VAL website – means the  website with the URLs, (or any URL replacing it or containing it within the URL including but not limited to and associated web services, internet publishing tools, software, tools etc.

Content – means contributions or content; includes, but is not limited to, multimedia such as videos, sound files, photos, other images, music; textual material such as reviews, annotations, comments, forum and blog postings, information; biodiversity related information such as species names, morphology, taxonomy, behaviour, habitat, annotations, occurrence/sighting data, geospatial/location data, records, metadata; databases, datasets. Content may also include or be referred to as Data as the context requires or as set out in an VAL Data Provider Agreement (PDF) although Data is intended to be primarily the biodiversity related information outlined above.


In order to submit or use Content on the VAL website or to utilize certain VAL services or software you may be required to register to establish an account/user profile with VAL.

When registering, a genuine email address must be provided.

VAL recommends that you register using a pen name, nickname or pseudonym as your login name. You must not impersonate another living person or registered user. VAL may refuse registration to users whose suggested login names are considered inappropriate by VAL.

In some cases VAL may ask you to provide your real name or other identifying or contact details – such personal information will be managed in accordance with the VAL Privacy Policy.

You will ensure that any registration information you give to the Atlas is accurate, correct and up to date.

The Atlas will not accept a registration that the Atlas suspects is being made by or on behalf of someone who has been suspended for violation of these Terms of Use.

You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of your password(s). You are therefore responsible for everything done or submitted using your account.

If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your account, you should notify the Atlas immediately at

VAL may lock, restrict and/or delete your registration or account if you breach these Terms of Use. User accounts locked or de-activated for breach of these Terms of Use may be re-enabled at the discretion of the VAL director.

Contributing or uploading Content

You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post, display, upload etc. on the VAL website.

You are free to make available, use or publish your Content elsewhere.

You warrant that you own or created the Content or have the necessary rights, licenses or permissions to make the Content available on the VAL website.

You will make reasonable efforts to ensure your Content is accurate at the time you collected or created it or made it available on the VAL website.

At this stage of development of the VAL website you should avoid providing sensitive data, eg threatened species locations, quarantine or biosecurity sensitive information.

At the time of adding your Content you should nominate the type of license which will apply to your Content and how data users can use it. You can select from a number of options, primarily Creative Commons licences. For more information see FAQ Licensing or Creative Commons.

Where you contribute more detailed or extensive data sets, eg. Data, you should enter into a VAL Data Provider Agreement (PDF)  with the Atlas.

Where you have not identified any specific terms or licenses or Data Provider Terms on the use of Content you contribute to VAL, then you grant to VAL a non-exclusive, worldwide, free, perpetual, irrevocable licence to:

a) reproduce, copy, store, cache, manage, display, publish, distribute, use, reproduce, adapt, modify, make derivatives, change into other formats and incorporate it into other works or collections, for non commercial purposes and the activities that VAL undertakes; and

b) make available the Content and derivatives in accordance with the VAL Terms and a Creative Commons license.

Note in some cases Content may be in the public domain, in the sense that it is not subject to copyright protection because copyright has expired or it does not qualify for copyright, eg individual species sightings, ideas, facts, names, styles, titles, slogans. Neither you nor VAL will seek to assert any intellectual property rights over this public domain Content. VAL and data users will be free to use such public domain Content in any way, although attribution where appropriate is appreciated.

Using the Content

If you use or download Content from the VAL website you:

  • recognize that most of it is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights and will respect those rights
  • agree to acknowledge, reference or attribute the relevant data provider (using any specific attribution wording they may have provided) in any derived information product, work or publication that is based on the relevant Content
  • will comply with any Data Provider Terms (see below) that the data provider may indicate regarding its use, eg personal use only, non-commercial use, not make derivatives etc
  • will not remove any identifier of ownership or terms of use that is associated with the Content or data record
  • recognize that the Content is provided without any warranty regarding its quality, accuracy, completeness, currency, relevance or suitability for any particular purpose and that you use the Content at your own risk (see Disclaimer)
  • respect any restrictions regarding the availability of the data, such as sensitive data.

Your use of Content may also be subject to specific terms and conditions imposed by a data provider (Data Provider Terms). You must comply with these Data Provider Terms. Where they exist they will be available through the metadata with the Content or shown with the Content.

If you want to use Content otherwise than in accordance with the data provider’s license you need the approval or permission of the data provider.

A single page on the VAL website may be made up of many different datasets, each covered by a different license. You are required to check to see which license applies to any portion(s) of the page or Content record you wish to use and abide by any restrictions on the Content.

Contributing to forums, making comments, posting information (Contributions, sharing)

Children’s Contributions and use of Content should be supervised by an adult.

You are legally responsible for your Contributions.

VAL may decide in its sole discretion what Contributions are published on the VAL website.

You must not submit Contributions that:

  • are defamatory, malicious, threatening, offensive, abusive, obscene, or otherwise unlawful or that violates laws regarding harassment, discrimination, racial vilification, privacy or contempt
  • are intentionally false or misleading
  • are an infringement of copyright or other intellectual property rights
  • seek to promote or endorse commercial products or services or to solicit business
  • deliberately provoke other community members, or are inappropriate, repetitive or off topic
  • compromise your privacy or that of other contributors or that contain inappropriate personal information
  • compromise sensitive data or confidential information around a particular species or observation.

You should be aware that your Contributions may remain online indefinitely.


This VAL website and its Content are protected by copyright law. Copyright in this material resides with VAL or various other data providers as indicated.

VAL has accessed Content from many different sources. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that we have properly acknowledged/attributed the source of the Content and obtained the necessary permissions. If however you believe that we have not properly accessed your Content please do not hesitate to contact and we will address your concerns.

Many of the trademarks or logos displayed on the VAL website such as the Vermont Atlas of Life logo or name are the registered trademarks of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. The trademarks of third parties are also displayed on the VAL website. All these trademarks cannot be used without the express written permission of VAL or the relevant third party.


The VAL website, linked websites and Content are intended to provide information for general and scientific use, to assist research and public knowledge, discussion and policy development.

VAL makes the VAL website and Content available on the understanding that you use them at your own risk – they are provided ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ and you exercise your own skill, judgement and care with respect to their use or your reliance on them.

VAL and data providers give no warranty regarding the quality, accuracy, completeness, currency, relevance or suitability for any particular purpose of the Content or the VAL website.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, VAL (including its employees and contractors), the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and data providers exclude all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages (including indirect, special or consequential damages, loss of business, revenue/profit, loss of time etc), costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from your use of the Atlas website or Content or inability to access the VAL website.

If you find any inaccurate, out of date or incomplete Content on the VAL website, or if you suspect that something is an infringement of intellectual property rights, you must let us know immediately by contacting or the data provider of the Content.

Personal information

Our Privacy Policy also forms part of the VAL Terms of Use and it describes how we use your personal information when you use the VAL website.

Whenever you give us personal information you are consenting to its collection and use in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

As a user of the VAL website you must not use any personal information made available to you on this VAL website for any purpose other than:

  • in the case of an individual who made a particular record, eg sighting/observation data, to verify the details of that record and/or to acknowledge them as the relevant creator, and
  • in the case of an individual administering a dataset, to contact them directly to request greater access, further information and/or support.

Links to external websites

VAL is all about bringing together biodiversity information from a host of sources. As such VAL provides links to a range of external  websites; however, we do not have direct control over the content of the linked websites nor the changes that may occur to content on those websites.

It is your responsibility to make your own decisions about the accuracy, completeness, currency, relevance or suitability for any particular purpose of the content on external websites.

VAL is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the content on external websites.

VAL publishes links to external websites at its discretion, and reserves the right to remove user-posted links to external websites for any reason and at any time.

Linking to the VAL website

We encourage use of links on external websites to the VALhomepage or other relevant pages on the VAL website.

Such links should not suggest that your website, organization or services/products are endorsed by VAL.

VAL reserves the right to prevent linking or framing by giving notice on the VAL website.

Please advise us of any links you make to the VAL website.

Security of the VAL website

The internet exists across insecure, public networks and there is a risk that transmissions to or from this website may be intercepted and modified by third parties or that files obtained from or through this website may contain computer viruses, disabling codes, worms or other defects.

VAL accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to your computer system, software, or data occurring in connection with or relating to the VAL website or its use including the tools provided. You are encouraged to take appropriate and adequate precautions to ensure that whatever is selected from this website is free of viruses or other contamination that may interfere with or damage your computer system, software or data.

You must not try to circumvent the security features of this Atlas website, or tamper with, hack into, or in some other way disrupts any computer system, server,  website, router or other device used to host this website or make it available.

Email addresses on the Atlas website

The presence of email addresses on the Atlas website does not infer consent to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages (email) to those addresses.


These Terms of Use are governed by the law applicable to the Australian Capital Territory and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that Territory.

No delay, neglect or forbearance on the part of Atlas in enforcing these Terms of Use will be, or deemed to be, a waiver. Nor will it prejudice any rights of the Atlas .