Terms of Use

Effective date: September 8th, 2020

Welcome to the California Forest Observatory, a forest monitoring platform that maps vegetation fuels and wildfire hazard across the state, operated by Salo Sciences, Inc. (“Salo”, “we”, “us”, “our”) and the product of a collaboration between Salo, Planet Labs, Inc., and Vibrant Planet, LLC (collectively, the “Collaborators”). Please read on to learn the rules and restrictions that govern your use of our website(s), products, services, data, applications, and application programming interfaces (the “Services”). If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding these terms or the Services, please contact us at info@forestobservatory.com.

These Terms of Use (the “Terms”) are a binding contract between you and Salo as operator of the Services. You must agree to and accept all of the Terms, or you don’t have the right to use the Services. Your using the Services in any way means that you agree to all of these Terms, and these Terms will remain in effect while you use the Services. These Terms include the provisions in this document, as well as those in the Privacy Policy and API Terms.

Please read these Terms carefully. They cover important information about the Services provided to you, including information about future changes to these Terms, limitations of liability, a class action waiver, and resolution of disputes by arbitration instead of in court.

Will these terms ever change?

We are constantly trying to improve the California Forest Observatory and the Services, so these Terms may need to change along with the Services. We reserve the right to change the Terms at any time, but if we do, we will bring it to your attention by placing a notice on the forestobservatory.com website, by sending you an email, and/or by some other means.

If you don’t agree with the new Terms, you are free to reject them; unfortunately, that means you will no longer be able to use the Services. If you use the Services in any way after a change to the Terms is effective, that means you agree to all of the changes.

Except for changes by us as described here, no other amendment or modification of these Terms will be effective unless in writing and signed by both you and us. If you enter into a separate agreement related to the Services that specifically modifies these Terms, the terms of that separate agreement will control where they conflict with these Terms.

What about my privacy?

We take the privacy of our users seriously. For the current California Forest Observatory Privacy Policy, please click here.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) requires that online service providers obtain parental consent before they knowingly collect personally identifiable information online from children who are under 13. We do not knowingly collect or solicit personally identifiable information from children under 13; if you are a child under 13, please do not attempt to register for the Services or send any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn we have collected personal information from a child under 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that a child under 13 may have provided us personal information, please contact us at admin@forestobservatory.com.

What are the basics of using the California Forest Observatory?

You may be required to sign up for an account, and select a password and username (“User ID”) to use certain functionality within the Services. If you do so, you promise to provide us with accurate, complete, and updated registration information about yourself. You may not select as your User ID a name that you don’t have the right to use, or another person’s name with the intent to impersonate that person. You may not transfer your account to anyone else without our prior written permission. You will not share your account or password with anyone, and you must protect the security of your account and your password. You’re responsible for any activity associated with your account.

You represent and warrant that you are of legal age to form a binding contract (or if not, you’ve received your parent’s or guardian’s permission to use the Services and gotten your parent or guardian to agree to these Terms on your behalf). If you’re agreeing to these Terms on behalf of an organization or entity, you represent and warrant that you are authorized to agree to these Terms on that organization or entity’s behalf and bind them to these Terms (in which case, the references to “you” and “your” in these Terms, except for in this sentence, refer to that organization or entity).

Non-commercial use only

You agree that you will only use the Services and any Content accessed via the Services for your own internal, personal, non-commercial use, and not on behalf of or for the benefit of any third party or for any other purpose. “Non-commercial purposes” means that you may not sell, profit from, or commercialize the Services, the materials, or Content within or works derived from them, or use such for the purpose of otherwise deriving profit or furthering the interests of any profit-based enterprise in any manner (all of which we consider to be strictly prohibited “commercial use” and in violation of these Terms).

For example, the following uses of the Services are viewed as compliant with these Terms:

  1. Use by California state and federal agencies to better understand and respond to forest management and wildfire issues,
  2. Use by scientists or researchers at academic institutions in connection with their university-sponsored research activities, and
  3. Use by persons employed by and acting on behalf of public charities or private foundations unaffiliated with any for-profit corporation in connection with fire risk and climate change mitigation and other environmental conservation initiatives.
  4. Use by the general public for personal purposes, like independent research born of curiosity (i.e. not building a derivative product or service or sharing Content with your for-profit employer). Please jump in, explore the information, and join the conversation.

All other users and/or uses may be viewed as a violation of these Terms and its “non-commercial” license. In the event your use does not qualify as “non-commercial” as outlined above, or you have inquiries about what constitutes acceptable use, please contact info@forestobservatory.com for more information or to secure a license for your purposes.

Your use of the Services is subject to the following additional restrictions

You represent, warrant, and agree that you will not use the Services or interact with the Services in a manner that:

  1. Infringes or violates the intellectual property rights or any other rights of anyone else (including the Collaborators);
  2. Violates any law or regulation, including, without limitation, any applicable export control laws;
  3. Is harmful, fraudulent, deceptive, threatening, harassing, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise objectionable;
  4. Jeopardizes the security of your account or anyone else’s (such as allowing someone else to log in to the Services as you);
  5. Attempts, in any manner, to obtain the password, account, or other security information from any other user;
  6. Violates the security of any computer network, or cracks any passwords or security encryption codes;
  7. Runs Maillist, Listserv, any form of auto-responder or “spam” on the Services, or any processes that run or are activated while you are not logged into the Services, or that otherwise interfere with the proper working of the Services (including by placing an unreasonable load on the Services’ infrastructure);
  8. “Crawls,” “scrapes,” or “spiders” any page, data, or portion of or relating to the Services or Content (through use of manual or automated means);
  9. Copies or stores any significant portion of the Content;
  10. Decompiles, reverse engineers, or otherwise attempts to obtain the source code or underlying ideas or information of or relating to the Services.

Additionally, you promise to only use the Services in a manner that complies with all laws that apply to you. If your use of the Services is prohibited by applicable laws, then you aren’t authorized to use the Services. We can’t and won’t be responsible for your using the Services in a way that breaks the law.

A violation of any of the foregoing is grounds for termination of your right to use or access the Services.

What are my rights in the Services?

The materials displayed or performed or available on or through the Services, including, but not limited to the Content, text, graphics, data, articles, photos, images, illustrations, and so forth accessed or provided via the Services (all of the foregoing, the “Content”) are owned by Salo and/or protected by copyright and/or other intellectual property laws. You promise to abide by all copyright notices, trademark rules, information, and restrictions contained in any Content you access through the Services, and you won’t use, copy, reproduce, modify, translate, publish, broadcast, transmit, distribute, perform, create derivative works based on, upload, display, license, sell, transfer or otherwise exploit for any purpose any Content not owned by you except (i) as otherwise explicitly permitted herein, or (ii) with the prior consent of Salo.

The Services may allow you to copy or download certain Content. All restrictions described above apply to your use of downloaded Content in any form, including the prohibition on commercial use. Remember, if you want to use the Services or Content for commercial purposes, please contact us at info@forestobservatory.com.


If you use or display Content (data, images, insights, copy, etc) or any other outputs from the Services in accordance with these Terms, you must also provide proper attribution in connection with your use. Below are guidelines for attributing the source of this Content in different contexts:

Use in any non-scientific publication, including social media and websites: Please add the following caption in a conspicuous location visible where referring the Content:

“Courtesy of the California Forest Observatory (forestobservatory.com), © Salo Sciences, Inc. 2020”

Use in any scientific publication, including journals and studies: Please add the following caption in a conspicuous location visible where referring to the Content:

“California Forest Observatory (2020). A Statewide Tree-Level Forest Monitoring System. Salo Sciences, Inc. San Francisco, CA. https://forestobservatory.com”

Do I have to grant any licenses to Salo?

If you provide us with any feedback, suggestions, improvements, enhancements, and/or feature requests relating to the Services (each of the foregoing, a “Feedback Submission”), then you hereby assign to Salo all right title and interest in and to that Feedback Submission, and where such assignment is not possible, you grant to Salo a license to display, perform, distribute, modify, make derivative works of, and exploit your Feedback Submission for the purpose of providing the Services, as well as all other rights necessary to use and exercise all rights in that Feedback Submission in connection with the Services and/or otherwise in connection with Salo’s business for any purpose. You agree that the licenses you grant are royalty-free, perpetual, sublicensable, irrevocable, and worldwide.

Who is responsible for what I see and do on the Services?

Any information or content publicly posted or privately transmitted through the Services is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated, and you access all such information and content at your own risk. We aren’t liable for any errors or omissions in information or third-party content or for any damages or loss you might suffer in connection with it. We cannot control and have no duty to take any action regarding how you may interpret and use any Content or what actions you may take as a result of having been exposed to the Content, and you hereby release us from all liability for you having acquired or not acquired Content through the Services.

The Services may contain links or connections to third party websites or services that are not owned or controlled by Salo. When you access third party websites or use third party services, you accept that there are risks in doing so, and that Salo is not responsible for such risks. We encourage you to be aware when you leave the Services and to read the terms and conditions and privacy policy of each third party website or service that you visit or utilize.

Salo has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy, privacy policies, or practices of or opinions expressed in any third party websites or by any third party that you interact with through the Services. In addition, Salo will not and cannot monitor, verify, censor or edit the content of any third party site or service. By using the Services, you release and hold us harmless from any and all liability arising from your use of any third party website or service to the fullest extent allowed by applicable law.

Your interactions with organizations and/or individuals found on or through the Services, including payment and delivery of goods or services, and any other terms, conditions, warranties or representations associated with such dealings, are solely between you and such organizations and/or individuals. You should make whatever investigation you feel necessary or appropriate before proceeding with any online or offline transaction with any of these third parties. You agree that Salo shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred as the result of any such dealings.

If there is a dispute between participants on this site, or between users and any third party, you agree that Salo is under no obligation to become involved. In the event that you have a dispute with one or more other users, you release Salo, its officers, employees, agents, and successors from claims, demands, and damages of every kind or nature, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, disclosed or undisclosed, arising out of or in any way related to such disputes and/or our Services. If you are a California resident, you shall and hereby do waive California Civil Code Section 1542, which says: "A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which, if known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor."

Will the Services ever change?

We’re always trying to improve the Services, so they may change over time. We may suspend or discontinue any part of the Services, or we may introduce new features or impose limits on certain features or restrict access to parts or all of the Services. We reserve the right to remove any Content from the Services at any time, for any reason, in our sole discretion, and without notice.

Do the Services cost anything?

The Services are currently free for non-commercial uses as specified above in these Terms, but we reserve the right to charge for certain or all Services in the future. We will notify you before any Services you are then using begin carrying a fee, and if you wish to continue using such Services, you must pay all applicable fees for such Services.

What if I want to stop using the Services?

You’re free to do that at any time by discontinuing your use, or if you have an account by contacting us at admin@forestobservatory.com; please refer to our Privacy Policy, as well as the licenses above, to understand how we treat information you provide to us after you have stopped using our Services.

We are also free to terminate (or suspend access to) your use of the Services or your account, for any reason in our discretion, including your breach of these Terms. We have the sole right to decide whether you are in violation of any of the restrictions set forth in these Terms. Account termination may result in deletion of any Content associated with your account, so keep that in mind before you decide to terminate your account.

Provisions that, by their nature, should survive termination of these Terms shall survive termination. By way of example, all of the following will survive termination: any obligation you have to pay us or indemnify us, any limitations on our liability, any terms regarding ownership of intellectual property rights, and terms regarding disputes between us.

What else do I need to know?

Monitoring. You agree to provide us with any information or materials that we reasonably request to verify your compliance with these Terms. You acknowledge and agree that we may (but are not obligated to) monitor the Services, Content, and API and your access and use of the such for any purpose, including to ensure quality and to verify compliance with these Terms. You will not interfere with such monitoring or otherwise obscure from us any activity in connection with the Services, Content, or API.

Warranty Disclaimer. Neither we, the Collaborators, nor our licensors or suppliers make any representations or warranties concerning any content contained in or accessed through the Services, and we will not be responsible or liable for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality, or decency of material contained in or accessed through the Services. We (and our licensors and suppliers) make no representations or warranties regarding suggestions or recommendations of services or products offered or purchased through the Services. THE SERVICES AND CONTENT ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS-IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR THAT USE OF THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON HOW LONG AN IMPLIED WARRANTY LASTS, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.


Indemnity. To the fullest extent allowed by applicable law, You agree to indemnify and hold the Collaborators and their affiliates, officers, agents, employees, and partners harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, damages (actual and consequential), losses and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) arising from or in any way related to any third party claims relating to (a) your use of the Services (including any actions taken by a third party using your account), and (b) your violation of these Terms. In the event of such a claim, suit, or action (“Claim”), we will attempt to provide notice of the Claim to the contact information we have for your account (provided that failure to deliver such notice shall not eliminate or reduce your indemnification obligations hereunder). For clarity, if you are a government agency which is prohibited by law from indemnifying a third party such as Salo, this section does not apply to you.

Assignment. You may not assign, delegate, sublicense or otherwise transfer in any way these Terms or your rights or obligations hereunder, or your Services account, or any Content accessed through it in any way (by operation of law or otherwise) without our prior written consent. We may transfer, assign, or delegate these Terms and our rights and obligations without consent.

Choice of Law. These Terms are governed by and will be construed under the Federal Arbitration Act, applicable federal law, and the laws of the State of California, without regard to the conflicts of laws provisions thereof.


Any dispute arising out of or relating to the subject matter of these Terms shall be finally settled in San Francisco County, California, in English, in accordance with the Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. ("JAMS") then in effect, by one commercial arbitrator with substantial experience in resolving intellectual property and commercial contract disputes, who shall be selected from the appropriate list of JAMS arbitrators in accordance with such Rules. Judgment upon the award rendered by such arbitrator may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the foregoing obligation to arbitrate disputes, each party shall have the right to pursue injunctive or other equitable relief at any time, from any court of competent jurisdiction. Furthermore, either you or Salo may assert claims, if they qualify, in small claims court in San Francisco County, California or any United States county where you live or work.

Any arbitration under these Terms will take place on an individual basis: class arbitrations and class actions are not permitted. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT BY ENTERING INTO THESE TERMS, YOU AND SALO ARE EACH WAIVING THE RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY OR TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY APPLICABLE LAW.

Both you and Salo acknowledge and agree that for the purposes of any dispute arising out of or relating to the subject matter of these Terms, Salo’s officers, directors, employees and independent contractors (“Personnel”) are third party beneficiaries of these Terms, and that upon your acceptance of these Terms, Personnel will have the right (and will be deemed to have accepted the right) to enforce these Terms against you as the third party beneficiary hereof.

Arbitration Opt-Out: You have the right to opt out of the foregoing arbitration provision by sending written notice of your decision to opt out to the following address: 235 Kansas Street, Suite 205, San Francisco, CA 94103 postmarked within 30 days of first accepting these Terms. You must include (1) your name and residence address; (2) the email address and/or telephone number associated with your account; and (3) a clear statement that you want to opt out of this Section’s arbitration agreement. If you send this notice, and/or in any circumstances where the foregoing arbitration provision permits either you or Salo to litigate any dispute arising out of or relating to the subject matter of these Terms in court, then this Section will not apply to either party and both you and Salo agree that any judicial proceeding (other than small claims actions) will be brought in the state or federal courts located in, respectively, San Francisco County, California, or the Northern District of California.

Miscellaneous. The failure of either you or us to exercise, in any way, any right herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any further rights hereunder. If any provision of these Terms is found to be unenforceable or invalid, that provision will be limited or eliminated, to the minimum extent necessary, so that these Terms shall otherwise remain in full force and effect and enforceable. You and Salo agree that these Terms are the complete and exclusive statement of the mutual understanding between you and Salo, and that it supersedes and cancels all previous written and oral agreements, communications and other understandings relating to the subject matter of these Terms. You hereby acknowledge and agree that you are not an employee, agent, partner, or joint venture of any Collaborator, and you do not have any authority of any kind to bind a Collaborator in any respect whatsoever.

Thank you for reading.