The students in Mrs. Abbott’s class (blog) are working on creating posters to encourage students to behave fairly and respectfully. The inspiration for their posters is Atticus Finch, the fair-minded lawyer from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. To tie all the posters together, the students wanted to create a tag line to add at the bottom of each poster, accompanied by a picture of Atticus Finch. The problem was, all the recognizable pictures of Gregory Peck dressed as Atticus Finch are owned by the movie studios and other companies. None are free to be used by students.
I asked one of these companies, MPTV Images, for permission to use one of them. They declined stating they would not waive the fee for usage, even for educational purposes.
I did some Googling and found an illustration created by Adran Owen displayed on his website. Mr. Owen is an illustrator who lives and works in South Africa. I found his email on the website, and asked for permission to use the image. He was very generous and gracious in his reply, and the students now have what they need.
It took no more than ten minutes of my time to give this group of students a good example of digital citizenship. I could have grabbed a screen shot and left it at that, claiming “fair use” like so many educators do. However, that is not what Atticus Finch would do.