|Kurt E. Feichtmeir, General Manager, Learning Tools, Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, very kindly answered our e-mail about what he looks for when students request the use of pictures or information from the Exploratorium Website which is GREAT!!! If you want to check out their wonderful website go to the LINKS PAGE. Here is what he wrote:|
You and your teammates are pursuing an important topic. As you can probably imagine, the Exploratorium receives all kinds of requests for permission from people wanting to use our copyright controlled material. Everything from people wanting to put our whole website onto CD-ROMs or mirror our site on their own platforms, to students wanting to use a photographic image in a school project.
I think it's great that the team is thinking about what is involved in requesting permission to use someone else's intellectual property. It boils down to a fairly straightforward concept; someone has created something that they own, someone else would like to use it, and the correct thing to do is for the second person to ask permission from the first person in order to use it. Easy, no?
I handle most of the "permissions" requests that the Exploratorium receives. The ideal way I'd like to receive a request would include the following:
1) The requester introduces himself or herself (who they are, what group they are connected with, etc.)
2) The requester BRIEFLY explains why s/he is contacting me (e.g. "I'm writing a book on how kids can do research on the Internet, and I'd like to reproduce the following screen captured image from the Exploratorium site " [specific url]
3) The requester tells me what his/her time frame is (e.g. "I would like to receive permission before July 19, 2002.")
If I receive all of the above information, it's usually pretty easy for me to respond. The Exploratorium operates within certain guidelines for the use of its copyright controlled material. For example, our policy does not permit anyone to "frame" or "mirror" any of our online content. We use a sliding scale to determine fees; for most educational purposes, fees are waived, but for commercial purposes, we usually negotiate a fee ("If you are planning to make money using our material, then we should make money too.")
If we grant formal permission for someone to use our content, we usually insist on a credit line which acknowledges Exploratorium ownership and grant of permission (e.g. "Reproduced with permission. Photo by S. Schwartzenberg, Copyright 1999, Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu") We figure that even if we aren't making any money, it's fair and correct for us to be acknowledged when someone uses our stuff.
Best of luck to you and your teammates on their project, and thanks for your interest in the educational work of the Exploratorium.
Kurt E. Feichtmeir, Gen. Mgr., Learning Tools