Getting permission

The books on the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia license. This means that users are free to share the material as long as they give appropriate credit, and do NOT use it for commercial purposes. The other requirement is that you cannot distribute any derivatives, which means that if you remix, transform or build on the material you are not allowed to distribute the modified material.

To enable people to enter our digital stories competition, we require that you get permission from the Indigenous story owner/s to make a new version (derivative) of the story. This is in order to respect the integrity of the original work, and to ensure that no inappropriate changes are made to the work.

This is why entries must be accompanied by a signed competition permission form.

So how do you get permission to use a book if you don’t know the story owner?

Many of the books in the Living Archive collection were created in remote NT schools which had bilingual education programs. So the best place to start is with the school where they were produced.

Each book in the Living Archive says which Community it comes from – search for this community on the NT Department of Education Directory and find contact details for the school (click the school name to find the email address). Call them and explain what you’re doing (phone is probably better, as you’re more likely to get a quick response – people in community schools are very busy and don’t always get time to answer emails!)

For example, you might say “I’m looking for someone named _____ who worked on a book produced at your school. Can you help me find them, or help me find someone who can help me find them, or someone related to them?” They might refer you to another organisation in the community, or to another person.

If the school can’t help you, think laterally. Perhaps you could try the local council, or another organisation. If you’re really stuck, contact us and we’ll see if we can help you.

Be polite and sensitive! You may not know if the person has passed away, and there are often sensitivities about using the names of deceased people. Also, the person you speak to might not be able to help you, or be too busy. Always be respectful and not demanding. It might take some effort to track down the right person, but it’s likely they will be pleased to hear that someone is taking an interest in their work.

If you’re contacting someone via email or snail mail, you might like to use this template, inserting your specific details and attaching the appropriate information.

Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is _____ and I'm writing from __________ in reference to the Digital Story Competition for the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages 

I would like to use a book from your community to create a digital story to enter the competition, and I'd like to contact the creator of the book to ask for permission to do this. Their book is already available on the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages (include link to the book if possible, eg and the digital book will also be uploaded to this site, and available for anyone to see. 

Are you able to help me contact ________ (name of storyteller/artist/owner) or someone from their family if they have passed away?

I'm attaching a copy of the form that needs to be completed, which explains a bit about what is involved. If you have further questions I can be contacted at ....

If you are not able to help me contact this person, perhaps you can advise where else I might try?

Thank you very much for your assistance.