Tree of Life Copyright Policies
The Tree of Life is a collaborative project, featuring materials provided by hundreds of contributors. Most Tree of Life content is protected by copyright, and visitors to the ToL site may view, browse, and/or download these materials for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial, personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, displayed, published, or sold in whole or in part, without prior written permission from the copyright owner.
Note that there is no single copyright owner for all the materials displayed on the ToL web site. Rather, ToL contributors usually retain the copyright for their contributions (see below). Therefore, Tree of Life project staff cannot generally grant permission for the use of materials displayed on ToL branch pages, leaf pages, articles, notes, or treehouses. If you would like to use ToL content for your own projects, you need to check the associated copyright notices to find out who owns the copyright for the things you are interested in. If a copyright owner's home page url or e-mail address is published on the ToL site, you can contact that person directly. If no such information is provided, you have to assume that the copyright owner is not interested in receiving permission requests for alternative uses.
Educators: Under certain circumstances, you and your students are entitled to use portions of copyright protected works in educational multimedia projects without asking copyright owners for permission. For more information about this topic, please refer to the Fair Use Guidelines For Educational Multimedia. If you would like to use other people's materials for your own projects but aren't sure whether you need to ask for permission first, please take the time to brush up on your copyright knowledge with Georgia Harper's Crash Course in Copyright.
Overview of the Copyright Ownership for Different ToL Materials
- Tree of Life Scientific Content and Learning Materials
- The copyright for the text, images, and other media on ToL branch pages, leaf pages, other articles, notes, and treehouse pages generally belongs to the authors, photographers, and other artists who have created these materials. Except for the purposes of fair use as defined by copyright law, this content cannot be used without prior permission from the copyright owner.
- Tree of Life General Design and Documentation
- The Tree of Life Project owns the copyright for the design of the web site along with any graphics that define the general look of the site. We also own the copyright for all the text and images provided on the ToL documentation pages (the pages providing background information about the project). Reference to the Tree of Life Project and its web site may not be used in any advertising or publicity to endorse or promote any products or commercial entity.
- Tree of Life Glossary
- The Tree of Life Project owns the copyright for the ToL Glossary. The content of the ToL Glossary is made available to the public under the terms of the Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons License. This license allows people to copy, modify, and redistribute ToL Glossary definitions, subject to some restrictions.
- Tree of Life Tree Structure XML File
- The Tree of Life Project owns the copyright for the ToL Tree Structure XML File. This file is made available to the public under the terms of the Attribution Creative Commons License. This license allows people to copy, modify, and redistribute the ToL tree structure.
Copyright Infringement on the Tree of Life Website
Tree of Life contributors are expected to respect the intellectual property rights of others and agree to use materials according to the instructions of copyright owners, or get permission in writing for their specific use. If you believe that your work has been used on the ToL web site in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, you have the option of filing a Copyright Infringement Complaint.