Fair Use Policy

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The Museum contains a number of materials that have been previously published under other copyrights.  The copyright law provides that the holder of a copyright may control when, where, and whether his material is published, or republished.  In essence, a copyright holder has all the legal rights over the copyrighted material that normally pertain to physical property ownership, even though the material may consist only of an intellectual arrangement of ink on paper.

In order to enforce a copyright and protect it from trespass, the claimant must be able to assert three things:

  1. that the claimant is the originator and source of the material (for example, one cannot claim copyright to a newly discovered Beethoven Symphony)
  2. that the material was previously unpublished when the claimant made it public (that is, once something has been donated to the public domain through indiscreet publication, copyright may be forever lost)
  3. that the alleged trespasser of the copyright should have been reasonably aware of the claimant's copyright assertion (for example, the material contained a Copyright notice).
Copyrights can be bought and sold, just as any other property.  Thus a publisher can buy a book from an author, and thereafter publish the book under their own copyright.

The copyright law contains some leniency for republication without permission in the following cases:

The Museum staff fully recognizes and appreciates intellectual property rights.  The rational for the current use of the these materials is as follows:

Much of the photography will fail a copyright claim on point 1, above.  Most of the photography ever published on the Waco event was taken by government employees on government payroll, some of it from government aircraft.  On this material, the claimants cannot claim to be the original source of the material.

The written material republished from newspapers is quoted for the purpose of critical review, most of it with a single major point of criticism:

Without the full cooperation of the news services, the Waco Holocaust would not have been possible.  The government agencies were brutally abusive to the free press in Waco, and the major services uttered not a single protest.  Each day, the FBI held a closed door press briefing on what the public should be told, and any reporter who published material not in agreement with that script was not permitted to attend thereafter.

This may seem like sheer greed on the part of these news services, but it is worse: one cameraman (Mulloney from KWTX) was in the wrong place on February 28, and a group of government thugs beat him up.  Another camera man went too close to the burning Mt. Carmel on April 19, and was arrested.  Neither of these case received major coverage.

In their major role as the eyes and ears of the public, the news services operated as shameless betrayers of the principles news services have claimed for themselves in this country's history.  Styling themselves as the "fourth estate" (beside the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government), the Waco Holocaust was an historic opportunity for the US news services to operate as a part of the checks-and-balances system of government.  And they failed miserably.

The government put out wild allegations about the Davidians (see Psychological Operations and the Verbiage of War in the War Gallery) and the news services published them without skepticism.  The government redefined law enforcement as war, and war as law enforcement, and the press slavishly followed every redefinition.  The agencies trampled almost every principle of civil rights, and the press offered no checks or balances.

And worst of all, the press had access to volumes of information, some fragment of which is in this Museum--they could easily have determined the truth, had they cared--and they did nothing.

It is this criticism with which the Museum claims fair use of these materials: despite the presence of truth sprinkled here and there on this page and that, the reporters laughed and joked with the FBI agents.  They laughed and hooted and jeered as the Davidians made pitiful attempts to gain their sympathy during those long weeks of torture.  And they let those people die in horrible fashion, while fawning on the monsters who tortured and murdered them.

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