herbarium usage

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Thu Feb 6 09:10:26 CST 1997

At 08:35 AM 02-06-97 CST, Anita Chloewa wrote:
>A question regarding herbarium policy ...
>I have received a request from one of the state agencies
>to borrow several specimens so that the agency personnel
>can scan them.  The scanned images would then be used in
>a book on rare plants that would be widely distributed
>(copyrighted?). What can the herbarium do to protect
>our interests?

Well, I'm no lawyer, but at the very least, you need to draw up some sort of
form that such parties would sign, agreeing to acknowledge the use of your
specimens, in much the same way that photographs carry little tag lines
crediting their source.  Once they had signed such a document, you
presumably would have legal recourse if the images were used without credit.

If all that is desired is proper acknowledgment (which would be highly
desireable in terms of highlighting the value of collections), it would seem
that could be worked out simply via improved communication and a clear
statement of what's expected (hence, a signed form).  If a "cut of the
action" (i.e., a percentage of the profit from sale of such books) is
desired, that becomes more complicated.  Presumably your herbarium is funded
in part by the state, making an attempt to charge fees to another state
agency difficult.

Thomas G. Lammers
Department of Botany                     Classification, Nomenclature,
Field Museum of Natural History          Phylogeny and Biogeography
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive       of the Campanulaceae
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:     lammers at fmppr.fmnh.org
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317
fax:        312-427-2530

"... what could possibly be easier or more beautiful than 'Campanula'?  What
affectation more gratuitous and silly than 'bell-flower'?"  -- R. Farrer

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