The VikingBSA Website (www.VikingBSA.org),
hereafter referred to as "VikingBSA" will follow the BSA National
guidelines for local council websites. Much of the material contained
within the VikingBSA guidelines are directly from the BSA National
VikingBSA is one of several "primary means" of delivering the Scouting
program and information, and is a major point of contact between the organization and the
volunteers. VikingBSA has developed its own
applications of Internet and Web technology, and observes the rules and
regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, as required by their charters.
The Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, No. 57-492, and
the Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America, No. 57-491, provide
primary resources for these guidelines. There are other guidelines
issued by the National Council to provide more specific and detailed
guidance. While the web is considered a primary means of disseminating
information, the VikingBSA website is designated to supplement existing
correspondance, publishing and
advertising by the Viking Council B.S.A.
Representation: While the
National Council provides guidelines by which it will acknowledge local
councils' sites and refer others to them, each of these sites is the
product and representation of the local council, and as such is representative
only of the council that maintains it.
National Council Standards: While
local councils may establish their own policies concerning their use of
the Internet, the term "approved council Web site" used in this document
refers to any local council Web site the National Council determines to
have followed the numbered guidelines below. The National Council will not
acknowledge or provide links to any council site that does not meet these
eight guidelines. The guidelines may be altered or amended to provide
updated information, and councils will be notified when that happens.
VikingBSA conforms to these eight approval guidelines and was granted
official approval on December 4, 2000.
The council must have direct control
over the content of its official Web site.
The content of the council site must be
appropriate to the Scouting movement.
The council site cannot contain links to
any sites that contain material that is not appropriate to the Scouting
The council site cannot contain any
advertisements or commercial endorsements.
The council site cannot engage in the
electronic sale of BSA Supply Division merchandise or competing
The council site cannot replicate any
BSA publication currently for sale through the Supply Division.
Council sites must abide by all laws
regarding copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property, and
by those pertaining to the Internet.
Council sites must consider the safety
and privacy of their members and participants by obtaining the necessary
permissions to release information about or images of any
The information that follows supports
these guidelines by providing more specific information on practices and
procedures that may be implemented for producing and maintaining a site
that successfully meets the guidelines. Additional information is
presented that extends into areas that the guidelines do not address to
cover topics and procedures that are advisable, but are not strictly
When considering whether to
acknowledge or link to a local council Web site, the National Council does
assess the council's Web site in comparison to the guidelines themselves
(those given above) rather than any ancillary advice or recommendations
(such as that which follows).
Site Ownership: The
council's membership and the general public regard a council's official
Web site as an authorized publication of that council. Because the council
will be held accountable for the content of its site, the site should be
wholly owned and controlled by the council.
Viking Council BSA has legal ownership of the domain
name and site content, and the server space is provided by a commercial
agreement between the Viking Council and the Internet service provider
(ISP) that is currently hosting the site. As of November 2002, ISP
service is provided by Omnera Interactive.
Domain name: Viking Council BSA is the legal
holder of the of the following proprietary domain
are registered, and the "registrant" on file
with the InterNIC (http://www.internic.net) is the Viking Council. The
"administrative contact" designated is the webmaster of the site
as designated by Viking Council and the "technical contact" is designated
as the technical support department of the current ISP.
Content: The content of the site is owned by
VikingBSA and has a copyright statement on the site. In some
situations, the VikingBSA has reproduced (with permission) material from other
sources, but the site itself is owned by the Viking Council. The copyright
statement "(c) 2002 Viking Council BSA" must appear at
the bottom of each web page.
Site Administration: The
administrative components of a Web site, namely its ownership and the
process by which the content decisions are made, are
not necessarily visually evident in the Web site itself. The Viking
Council retains final authority over all content decisions.
Site Hosting: Viking Council has made
commercial arrangements for Web site hosting. The Web site host has a written service
agreement that guarantees the council complete control over the content of
its site. These clauses are essential to maintaining reliable control over
the council's Web presence.
It's worth noting that there are a number
of services that offer "free" Web site hosting, but require
sites they host to display banners and/or contain links to other member
sites, whether within a page or in a separate window that pops open when
the site is visited. These services are not appropriate for Council use
and will not be allowed on VikingBSA. Wherever possible, they should
be avoided by all units within the council in favor of inexpensive
alternatives that provide "no-banner" hosting.
Domain Registration: Viking Council BSA has
registered its own domain names for the Web site, as this level of
ownership is customary among organizations similar in size and prestige to
a BSA council. The registered domain name includes a top-level (.org
preceded by a second-level domain name (vikingbsa.org & vikingbsa.com).
The council may, at its own discretion,
issue third-level splits on the domain (camp.vikingbsa.org,
districts.vikingbsa.org) to its own districts and/or facilities, or establish
them for its own use, understanding that the Viking Council may be held accountable
for the content of any site housed on a third-level split as if it were
part of the council's own Web site, even though the content may not be
hosted at the same location. The Viking Council is the only one authorized to issue
Control of Server Access: While it
is common practice for volunteers to develop files and programs for
VikingBSA, a professional employee of the council or their designee is in control the
content of the Web site by maintaining administrative access (FTP,
etc.) to the files on the Web server as well as to the programming
interface that provides the ability to add or edit content on the Web site
and its services.
Control of Content: The Viking Council Web
site is governed by the Viking Council Executive Board which
includes both volunteer and professional Scouters, and this board or its
appointed committee shall
define the goals of the Web site and determine the content and resources
that will be published in pursuit of those goals.
All materials destined for the council Web
site are subject to review and approval by designated council professional staff
before they are published. At the very least, the council's Scout
executive or public relations director, should sign off on
all overall content decisions before it is presented to the public as part of the
site. Reproduction of Viking Council printed program materials shall
be deemed to be an acceptable source of pre-approved content.
District and Unit Web Sites: Guidelines
for district and unit sites, and the decision as to whether districts
and/or units may maintain officially representative sites at all, are
completely at the discretion of the Viking Council. These sites are permitted,
and if the Viking Council site provides links to them, they must be
pre-screened prior to linking. The Viking Council will provide space for
district to have web pages containing information applicable to supporting
the district calendars, contact information, district-level marketing and
service initiatives. The district will be subject to the same guidelines
as the council. Guidelines and advice provided in this document is appropriate
for districts and units as well.
District Sites: The degree of a
district's identity to membership and to the public is a the primary
factor in deciding to have provide separate areas/sites for
each district. The council will support its
districts on VikingBSA, accommodating unique information for
the districts (such as calendars, contact information, etc.) in the
The council will provide districts
with "directory-level" Web sites (http://www.VikingBSA.org/districtname),
so that districts may have a self-contained module of information that
suits the needs and goals of the district, but the council will review and
monitor the information published by its districts just as closely as any
other information on the council site. District sites are free to
develop appropriate District-related content, but are expected to maintain
the same "look and feel" as the overall site.
Unit Sites: Many units lack
adequate resources to develop respectable and safe Web sites which can
result in unit sites with safety and liability issues. The Viking Council will not
endorse unit sites as officially representative of the council. The
council will provide links to sites that provide content that is
appropriate to the Scouting movement and will carry the following
disclaimer on the link page.
Disclaimer: "Units as well as youth and adult
members do not represent or serve as agents of the Boy Scouts of America
or the Viking Council BSA when disseminating information over the
Interactivity: In these guidelines,
interactivity means direct communication via the Web site among Viking
Council's personnel, its membership, and the public.
National Council Perspective: The
National Council has chosen not to provide contact information on its Web
site because usually it is more appropriate for people to contact their
local council rather than the National Council. Exceptions are made very
rarely, on individual pages where under normal circumstances the content
makes it appropriate for individuals to contact the National Council
In contrast, local councils communicate
directly and bilaterally with program participants, volunteers, and the
general public through other media, and it would be is just as appropriate
for the council to extend this practice to the Internet. The lack of
interactivity on the National Council site should not be construed to
imply a policy that applies to councils.
Audience Location and Council
Boundaries: Due to the world-wide reach of the Internet, a local
council can interact with the members of other councils and with the
public outside its geographic domain. Communication across those
boundaries could create or worsen problems between councils. Councils are
advised to avoid Web site content and Internet communication that might
affect another council adversely, such as taking resources (sales,
financial or volunteer support) from other councils or "seeding"
volunteer/professional disagreements over interpretation of council
policies or practices that differ. There will be a disclaimer posted where
the policies or practices are applicable to the Viking Council and
may differ slightly from other councils due to size and/or resources
To prevent such incidents from
occurring, the Viking Council
will determine the physical location of the other party and when
appropriate, we will refer individuals to the appropriate local council.
Though a site visitor's location is not
immediately evident, and technology provides no definite way to determine
it, there are a few techniques that may be used to assist in determining
the geographic locations of the Internet correspondents:
Any on-line form that enables the user
to communicate back to the council can ask (even require) the visitor to
give their city and state.
A password may be provided to council
members to ensure resources in one or more "restricted" areas
are viewed and used only by the council's own members.
In any dialogue (such as an e-mail
exchange), it may be necessary to ask.
On-Line "Conversation": Chat and bulletin boards are forms of interactivity that
will be prohibited from VikingBSA because they require dedicated
resources to monitor and control them sufficiently. These resources,
while useful, represent a significant legal and public relations risk.
Chat Rooms: These are on-line
forums in which users "converse" by typing messages to one
another in real time. Recent advances have also made it possible to audio-
or videoconference on the Internet. The first concern of the Viking
Council is youth
protection issues; also "chat" makes it impossible for the
to control the text content of the sites. Because conversations take place
in real time, messages are immediately posted to the site for others to
view. Also, because chat participants are anonymous, often there is much
less discretion exercised than in most forms of conversation.
The public area of VikingBSA prohibit "live
conversation" technology altogether.
If it becomes appropriate to use VikingBSA capabilities for a
special non-public or secure purpose, protective measures will be taken, such as:
the "chat" forum will be open
only during a designated time period
the forum will be held in a secure area only. Access to the forum will be restricted
so that only those who have been given a password may participate
an authorized moderator will stay online
and eject participants that are not authorized
software counter measures will censor
Guest Books: Guest book programs
allow site visitors to leave a message, and are generally not a problem
unless the log file (which contains all the comments visitors enter) is
visible to the public. In that case, anyone can add text, graphics, and
even programmatic components to the council's Web pages that will
immediately be viewable to other visitors. If a guest book is used, the
log file will be kept in a location that is not visible to other visitors,
but which must be administratively downloaded using administrative tools. The council will then review the material before posting
it to a publicly accessible interface.
Bulletin Boards and News Groups:
These are a form of chat in slow motion: Users post messages and others
may read and respond at a later time. Bulletin boards have the same
inherent risks as chat, but since conversations do not occur in real time,
there is opportunity for better moderation. Users may be allowed to send
their remarks to a private section of the Web site, but the remarks will
not be posted to the site for others to read until the Viking Council has
approved the content for publication on the site.
Electronic Commerce: "Councils
are prohibited from engaging in the sale of BSA Supply Division
merchandise or competing products via the Internet." This does not
prevent the Viking Council from promoting their Scout shops or the merchandise they
Electronic sales of items other than Supply Division
merchandise or competing products is not prohibited. Viking Council
reserves the right to engage in electronic commerce via a secure site
within VikingBSA or a commercially available webstore front.
The Internet is perceived as a
threat by some individuals, and they are vehemently opposed to having
their images or personal information available to others. This perception
is not unjustifiable, as demonstrated by periodic media coverage of
predators who exploit the Internet to select, locate, and contact their
victims. See our Privacy Statement
Collecting Personal Information: The
Viking Council will be discreet when collecting personal information via the Web
sites. Privacy is a delicate issue on the Internet, and many people are
reluctant to use sites or interfaces that require them to provide personal
information such as their name, address, telephone number, e-mail address,
etc. The Viking Council will avoid using the Internet to gather this information
about users unless it is necessary to accomplish the user's goals. For
example, we would have to request a telephone number and contact name from
an organization that wishes to be contacted about starting a unit, but it
is not be necessary that they provide this information merely in order to
read information about starting a unit.
It is especially important to treat
contact information carefully: contact information will be used only for
the purpose for which it was provided. It is unethical and in some cases
illegal to use this data for any solicitation or communication outside the
context in which it was provided. The issue is particularly serious
regarding contact information for children under 13.
Data may also be collected electronically via a practice
called "cookies", which are web files that allow the host server and
client to exchange bits of data to personalize a web visit. At the
current time, VikingBSA does not utilize this technology.
FTC Guidelines: The Federal Trade
Commission recommends that charities and companies that collect personal
information from online visitors use the following set of four
standards-known as "fair information practices" in creating
privacy policies to post on their Web sites:
Notification. Visitors to the Web site
should be notified as to what personal information is being gathered,
how that information is used by the organization, and with what third
parties, if any, the organization will share it.
Choice. Visitors should be provided with
a means by which to contact the organization or take other actions to
ensure that their personal information is not shared, if they so
Security. Users of the site should be
notified of the means by which the organization protects personal
information, including protection from any misuse, alteration, or access
by unauthorized users. Organizations should strive to ensure that the
same level of privacy protection is extended by any third parties with
whom they share individuals' personal information.
Access. Web site users should have
reasonable access to any personal information about themselves that the
organization holds, as well as a means of correcting or amending the
information if it is inaccurate
Providing Personal Information: Regarding
e-mail specifically, there remains the potential for a flood of
correspondence to overwhelm the council staff if e-mail addresses are
published on the Web site. The presence of e-mail addresses on a majority
of council sites would seem to suggest that this potential has not become
an actual problem, but the Viking Council will evaluate and publish this
information in accordance to the demand and/or resulting utilzation of the
resource. There are current internal office limitations that do not
justify publishing an entire directory of email and staff data.
Visitors using e-mail as the means of
communication must recognize that they will not receive an immediate
response. Incoming e-mail is not reviewed as frequently as voice-mail.
Therefore visitors should use the most appropriate form of communication
for the message and response. Contact information will only be published
for a reason-specifically, whether there is a valid need for the members
and/or the public to speak directly with a given individual because of
that person's role in the organization. The council's policy addresses
these three groups separately, for these reasons:
Youth Participants and Parents: Contact
information for youth participants will not be provided on the Internet.
If the Viking Council maintains contact information for youth participants, these
lists are kept entirely off-line.
The Viking Council recognizes that there are computer
programs that crawl the Internet compiling lists of e-mail addresses that
appear on Web pages. These lists are often sold to e-mail marketers who
regularly send unsolicited advertisements, primarily for pornography and
Adult Volunteers: Contact
information for adult volunteers will be treated with caution, as it is
likely this information will be personal in nature (home addresses,
residential telephone numbers). It is not the
intent to provide this information on the VikingBSA web site. If it becomes
advisable to maintain this information, it will be provided in a
password-protected area of the Web site to which the general public has no
access. Exceptions may be made for those volunteers whom it would be
necessary for third parties to contact in order to obtain information
about joining, starting, or supporting individual units.
This information will be published only
after obtaining written authorization, and that the individuals can
request the prompt removal of their information at any time by contacting
the Webmaster. Any adult volunteer that agrees to allow their email
ID to be used on VikingBSA acknowledges that Viking Council is not
responsible for the harvesting of such data from the VikingBSA site by
Council Employees: Potential
liability issues arise for the council as an employer if a third-party
exploits information such as individual telephone numbers and e-mail
addresses to harass or threaten employees. For that reason, the
Viking Council provides only its main telephone number and
generic e-mail addresses ("firstname.lastname@example.org", "email@example.com",
"firstname.lastname@example.org", etc.) on the site.
Personal contact information-home
telephone numbers, addresses, and private e-mail accounts-for council
employees will be treated with the same discretion as that of adult
**** E-mail address links will be provided
only with prior authorization and only for currently registered adult
volunteers and professionals. It is recommended that a "free"
e-mail account be established for scouting related correspondence.
**** Photographs and Names: While
the Viking Council will publish photographs that they own or have received permission to
reproduce, they will still obtain specific permission before using
anyone's photograph on the Web site. (Permission of the adult subject or
of a parent/guardian in the case of youth participants) .
This concern is separate from copyright
ownership issues; the council may have the right to use the photograph on
the Internet, but the person who is the subject of the photograph may be
opposed to having their likeness on the Internet. And so, while obtaining
specific permission for using an image on the Internet is not necessary to
have the "right"" to do so, it is certainly a worthwhile
consideration in order to maintain good relations with members.
In the case of a photograph where the person(s) in the
image are not the specific subject of the photo or if the person is among
a larger group of people, only a group or event would be named. It
would be impractical to attempt to identify all incidental people that may
appear and VikingBSA will be responsive to any requests received to remove
or crop someone from the photograph.
When using photographs of members,
especially youth, it is also important to consider their safety and
privacy when choosing captions or ancillary text. The VikingBSA policy is that there will only be the "first name, last initial" for youth under the age of
The content of council Web sites
generally falls into two categories: marketing material presented to
generate and direct public interest in joining or supporting programs, and
service material presented for existing members. Both are valid and useful
applications of Internet technology.
Non-Exclusivity: Though the
Internet is a popular medium, and though its popularity continues to
increase at an astounding rate, it's important to remember that it is not
yet a universal medium. While the Viking Council's Web presence may support
traditional channels of distributing information, it is not intended to replace
them, and is treated as a secondary (rather than preferred or exclusive)
channel of communication with members and volunteers. As materials
become more universally for posting on a Council level, the VikingBSA site
may become a main distribution point. VikingBSA will always note
other means to obtain the same information, wherever possible.
Content Sources: It is important to
know the original source of all council Web site content and to be sure
the council has permission to use it. The only content the council owns
outright are the text, photos, illustrations, design, and programming
developed by the council's employees in the course of their jobs.
Materials developed or programmed by volunteers that have been appointed
to provide such material will also be considered property of Viking
Council unless specifically agreed to otherwise, prior to delivery to
Viking Council. Permission must be given by the owner for using all other material.
National Council Publications: The
National Boy Scouts of America has authorized local councils to reproduce
the content of any BSA "bin resources" publication it feels is
appropriate for the Web sites' audiences. However, councils may not
replicate any part of any publication currently for sale through the
Supply Division. The difference between "bin" and
"supply" items may seem unclear for those items the council
purchases but then redistributes without charge to its members. Item
numbers provide a reliable method of differentiation: bin items have
five-digit numbers separated with a hyphen (00-000) whereas Supply
Division items have four or five digits (the first is typically a 3 or 4)
that are not separated by a hyphen (0000 or 00000). (The item number is
generally printed on the back cover or at the bottom of the contents
Specific exceptions to this rule have been
made so that approved council Web sites can link to certain Supply
Division forms (medical forms, tour permits, certain applications, etc.)
that are posted on the National Council site. Likewise, the Guide to Safe
Scouting, a Supply Division item, has been approved for approved council
Web site links. Such exceptions are rare, and generally focus on service
to members through the local council.
Content of Boys' Life and Scouting
magazines is not to be reproduced on the council Web site without first
obtaining permission from the Magazine Division. Many articles and images
are included in the magazines under limited license and copying them could
violate copyright law. Councils may employ "frames" technology
to include either magazine's pages from the National Council site into the
council site, but should never copy any magazine files or text excerpts or
images without explicit permission.
VikingBSA employs a combination of links and "frames" to
other sources, inclucing National BSA, and is in compliance with the
standards described here.
Third-Party Material: If a council
wishes to include any content (whether text, photographs, illustrations,
design, or programming), that is not developed by council employees or by
third parties under the terms of a contract or agreement with the council,
it is important to obtain written permission from the owner of that
material. Even if the material is owned by a volunteer or donor and is
provided with the understanding it will be used in the council's site,
written permission remains important.
In its simplest form, this written
permission can be provided in a letter that explicitly states that the
owner will permit the council (or the Boy Scouts of America) to use the
material. It is also common to indicate the duration (dates) for which the
permission is granted, the medium (media) in which the reproduction may
occur, and any restrictions that may apply.
Materials from Other Web Sites: Reusing
material found on the Internet is especially dangerous. It is all too
common for amateur Web publishers to take copyrighted material and
reproduce it on their own Web sites and say that it is "free" or
"public domain." A written agreement is prudent, regardless of
any explicit disclaimer on a Web site, before using any material
downloaded from the Web. It is especially important to obtain permission
in advance for materials used on the Internet. Unlike newsletters, which
are distributed only to members, the Internet is available to the public,
and it is inevitable that the owner will discover the use of their
material on the Web site.
Photographs: For photographs taken
by council personnel or by photographers hired by the council, a
"talent release" should be obtained for every person shown in
the photos. Appendix A is a talent release form similar to that used by
the National Council. This particular release obtains permission for the
Boy Scouts of America (the National Council, any local council, district,
or unit) to use the image in any medium. It is especially important to
obtain this release, with the signature of a guardian, for youth.
While obtaining the permission of the
owner (photographer) of an image or obtaining talent releases for
photographs taken by the council is adequate to satisfy ownership issues,
it is also prudent to obtain the permission of the subject(s) specifically
to use their likeness on the Internet. See "Photographs and
Names" on page "Privacy and Youth Protection" for more
Links to Other Web Sites: In
general, VikingBSA is cautious about linking to other Web sites. A
user may follow a link from the council's site to another, which links to
another, and another ... and the chain of links may lead to a site that
contains unacceptable content. Though experienced users recognize the
ownership of Web pages, inexperienced ones may feel the council is
culpable for content they are exposed to after clicking links that lead
them several sites removed from the council's site.
The safest course of action would be not
to link at all. At the very least, the Viking Council will review any site to which
it provides a link to ensure its content is appropriate to the Scouting
movement, and is prepared to delete links in a timely manner in the event
the content of these sites changes.
Another significant implication about links is that a
link to a third-party site implies an endorsement. It will be assumed that
the council endorses the content for use by its audience, which is
primarily composed of its membership. For this reason, the VikingBSA will
be especially cautious about making links to any outside site.
National Council Web site: The Viking Council
will provide a link to the National Council site but the VikingBSA site
is the primary source of information, in every medium, to individuals in
this geographic area.
Unit Sites: The link
to a unit site could imply that the council has authorized that unit site and that it is officially representative.
Obviously, this is not the case and we will post disclaimer on any page
that contains a link. While these
links may be made, the VikingBSA will review these sites before providing a link
and will monitor the sites periodically.
Third-Party "Scouting" Sites:
There are numerous Scouting-oriented sites on the Internet that are
not maintained or authorized by the BSA. These sites provide a wealth of
general-interest information on topics of interest to members and program
participants (camping, games, songs and skits, crafts, etc.). Some of
these sites also provide information such as program helps, advice for
leaders, requirements, procedures, forms, publications, ceremonies, and
other resources that would seem to be of an official nature, but which are
not authorized by the BSA. In some cases, this information is misleading
or incorrect, and could cause conflict with members who refer to
unofficial sources the council "endorsed."
Worse, these sites
may suggest activities that are unacceptable or unsafe by BSA standards,
causing potential liabilities for a council that "authorized"
(by linking to) the site for use by its members. The following disclaimer
will be made anytime that there is a link to a third-party
"scouting" site: "The following link(s) are provided for
information purposes and are not endorsed by the Viking Council or
some cases, the information provided may be out of date, misleading or
Third-Party Commercial Sites: While
many commercial sites provide valuable information of a non-commercial
nature, the VikingBSA should show extreme caution when linking to these sites to
avoid the impression that the council is endorsing commercial products or
services. Annotation often makes the difference, as in this example: A
link to xyzboots.com (the XYZ Boot Company's home page) appears to be a
commercial endorsement. If the sentence "The XYZ Boot Company
provides excellent advice for avoiding hiking injuries," and then
linked directly to the page about avoiding hiking injuries, you clarify
that the council endorses the information the company is providing rather
than the product it is selling. The following disclaimer will be made when
linking to a third-party commercial site: "The following link(s) are
provided for information purposes and are not endorsed by the Viking Council."
Current VikingBSA policy is that we will not ink to any
third party commercial sites. This is presently the safest way to
manage the exposure and there is no overwheming need to do so. The
exception to this is where a program component that is essential to the
software operation of VikingBSA launches such a connection to enable the
page to operate.
Advertisements and Banners: Councils
are prohibited from endorsing commercial products or services in any
medium, including the Internet. Banner advertisements for commercial
products and services are thus inappropriate for council Web sites. (NOTE:
any use of the Internet for fund-raising is subject to the same policies
and procedures as other fund-raising activities.)
Another popular type of banner on the
Internet provides site owners with free promotion on other Web sites in
exchange for promoting other sites on theirs. Though not strictly a
commercial endorsement, these banners remain unacceptable because they
provide a highly visible link from the council site to others, and the
council does not control either the graphic that is displayed or the site
to which it links - one or both may be patently inappropriate.
Web Site Awards and Certification: There are a
number of Web sites that offer "awards" or "certification" for other
sites. These awards/certifications often require the honoree to display an
URL or provide a click-through link that promotes the grantor's site. In
many cases, such "honors" are ploys to draw traffic to other sections of
the grantor's site, with a commercial or political motive. VikingBSA does
not allow this type of posting on its site.
I hereby assign and grant to the
Boy Scouts of America the right and permission to use and publish the
photographs/film/video tapes/electronic representations and/or sound
recordings made of me this date by the Boy Scouts of America, and I hereby
release the Boy Scouts of America from any and all liability from such use
I hereby authorize the reproduction, sale,
copyright, exhibit, broadcast, electronic storage and/or distribution of
said photographs/film/video tapes/electronic representations and/or sound
recordings without limitation at the discretion of the Boy Scouts of
America and I specifically waive any right to any compensation I may have
for any of the foregoing.
Top of Form
City, State ZIP:
Photo session date:
BSA Council/Unit Number:
(if subject is younger than 18)
Obtaining the right to republish
material (illustrations, photographs, multimedia, text, etc.) from other
original sources is usually fairly easy: Send a letter to the owner of
that material requesting permission. The letter's tone may be formal or
informal, but it should contain these elements:
A specific description of the
A print-out or photocopy if
The specific purpose(s) for which it
will be used
When or how many times you plan to use
it, if that might be an issue
If the request is not on council
letterhead, it would also be important to indicate that permission is
being sought for the council to use the material, rather than for the
individual author of the letter to use the material.
It is important to understand that you do
not have the right to use these materials until you receive a reply from
the owner that grants permission. Also, if the owner sets any conditions
or limitations, you must abide by them. For example: if the owner granted
permission for the request in Example B below, but asked to be notified by
e-mail of the URL of any unit site that also used the images, you would be
required, as a condition of having the right to use the material, to send
those notifications. Or permission might be granted only for a limited
time, after which you could not use the material.
Finally, keep a copy of your request,
along with the reply, on file just in case there is ever a dispute.
Example A. Simple Request
I am seeking your approval for the XYZ Council of the Boy Scouts of
America to use three photographs of mountains and a lake from your Web
site at http://www.website.com/bobsmith/. I would also like to use the
descriptive text that accompanies them. I've attached print-outs from the
site to indicate the precise images and text to which I'm referring.
I would like to use these images on the
"outdoor skills" page of the VikingBSA Web site (http://www.vikingbsa.org).
Example B. Request for Multiple and
I am seeking your approval for the Viking
Council of the Boy Scouts of America to use an illustration from page 34
of Teaching Archery (Doe, John. Teaching Archery, XYZ Press, 2000). The
illustration depicts a young man stringing a bow. I've attached a
photocopy to show the image to which I'm referring.
If you can grant the council permission
for unlimited use of the illustration, we would use it in several ways:
(1) I'd like to place it on the "outdoor skills" page of the
Council's Web site (http://www.vikingbsa.org). (2) Since some of our packs
and troops use images from the VikingBSA site, I hope it would also be
acceptable for them to use this image as well. (3) We would like
permission to use the photograph in a booklet on the outdoor skills areas
of our council camp. The booklet will be given free of charge to our
members. We will include an acknowledgement in the form you prefer with
each use of the illustration and we will be happy to pay postage costs and
reproduction costs, if any, for a print-quality copy of the drawing.
These Viking Council/VikingBSA standards are originally adapted from the
Boy Scouts of America National Council Web site, and are used as reference for
developing the VikingBSA standards. Materials from numerous
other councils were also used to compile this total document.