Licensing Process

With the exception of assets owned by PSEG and donated to NEI, each still image, video, animation, audio track and interactive software package owned by a third party must be licensed for use at each exhibit site. Hundreds of use licenses are typically required for each exhibit installation. Licenses, and typically the digital content comprising each asset, are obtained from firms specializing in the packaging and licensing of graphical and audio-visual content, and occasionally from private parties, organizations or companies. Acquisition of licenses can be handled by the staff of an Energy Education Center, but this work is tedious and labor intensive and can usually be performed much more efficiently by a “Picture Researcher” or “Image Acquisition Specialist.”

Picture Researchers and Image Acquisition Specialists perform three tasks. First, they identify the origin and ownership of assets. Second, they process the licensing and acquisition of assets for use by their clients. Third, when necessary, they physically acquire digital or printed assets after licensing payments are processed. In the case of the Standardized Energy Education Exhibits project, the ownership of each asset has already been identified. However, each Energy Education Center owner will still be responsible for obtaining licenses for use of assets at their site(s).

Economies of scale

Multiple site licenses for assets are not available. However, economies of scale can be achieved by retaining a single entity to acquire licenses for each Energy Education Center exhibit that is built.

Using Image Acquistion Services

After reviewing bids from several suppliers, NEI has selected Image Acquisition Specialist Martha Witte, who will service the Standardized Energy Education Exhibit project. The company ordering the image is responsible for any of the expenses and fees for work by picture researchers/image acquisition specialists. Because the scope of their work varies based on your selections, it is not possible to provide more than approximate cost estimates. Please see the “My Exhibit” section for cost estimates for each zone.

Martha Witte, image acquisition specialist, charges a fee for her services, and image sources frequently require a permissions fee to use their images. Contact Martha Witte directly at or 215 551-0846 to agree on arrangements and payment for any work she carries out in your behalf.

Here is how the process works:

Once you have secured project funding and know what visuals you are looking for:

  • Provide Martha Witte with a deadline for having all assets in place. (It helps to plan ahead: A good rule of thumb is to allow 2-3 months for the full image acquisition process).
  • E-mail clear guidelines on what you are looking for (For example, assuming you are installing zones 1, 3, and 6, you might specify that you are going to use all the standard content in those zones, plus any particular non-standard content you want to include).
  • For content already in the standardized exhibit program, e-mail the referenced visuals in the Graphic Production Sourcebook; for any non-standard content, e-mail visual references and/or specific descriptions.
  • Specify image sizes and all use: For example, for each image, indicate its size for Exhibit Zone 1, as well as any other sizes to be used, such as postcard sizes to market your center.

Next, you and Martha Witte agree on terms and payment and:

  • Martha Witte will notify Walter Hill at NEI that you have launched your project, which will help her identify others who may be ordering the same images so that you can take advantage of volume discounts.
  • Martha Witte will e-mail contractual documents for the full image acquisition, which you will then finalize through your company’s processes.
  • You and Martha Witte will hold either a kick-off meeting or conference call to agree on a date to begin image acquisition and review necessary details.

In addition, if you are ordering non-standard (new) content:

  • Indicate who will review and approve the new content, and how they would like it submitted for approval (i.e. web or e-mail).
  • Indicate who will receive the final images, what they should be called, and how they should be delivered.

Martha Witte will then do the following:

  • Coordinate content by source.
  • Contact sources, register at sources, correspond as appropriate, procure permissions and pay associated fees.
  • Supply image credits.
  • Prepare and deliver documentation of usage agreements and fees paid.
  • Maintain and provide updated Excel database identifying costs, sources, and contact information for graphic and video content.

If you are ordering non-standard (new) content, Martha Witte will:

  • Research new visual content and obtain approvals from you.
  • Procure images.
  • Review image quality and make adjustments.
  • Deliver final images.

Service Fees

Martha Witte’s picture research and image acquisition fees for labor are as follows. At her discretion, she may hire an assistant picture researcher whose work she will supervise. The assistant’s hours, if applicable, will be minimal; a “blended” rate is not used in the estimate that follows:

  • Martha Witte, picture researcher: $50.00/hour
  • Picture research assistant: $20.00/hour

Estimated Expenses

Because the scope of her work will vary with your selections, it is not possible for Ms. Witte to provide more than approximate cost estimates. The below estimates are based on actual work done on similar projects, and should help “ball park” your project.

  • Usage fees for graphics vary widely: from no-cost/low-cost, $0.00-$50.00; mid-range, $100.00-$300.00; and high-cost, $600.00
  • One ream of paper per NEI member organization: $10.00
  • Telephone/mail costs per NEI facility: $20.00
  • Set-up fee for each final non-standard (new) image delivered: $10.00

Using a service fee of $50/hour and including estimated expenses exclusive of the usage fee (which will vary), the estimated budget for Martha Witte picture research to complete work on one exhibit graphic is:

  • One standard SEEE graphic or video (digital file of asset has already been acquired and is on file at NEI): $100.00
  • One non-standard, new SEEE graphic (image has not yet been researched or approved, and/or no digital file has been acquired): $182.50
  • One non-standard, new SEEE video (image has not yet been researched or approved, and/or no digital file has been acquired): $220.00

Once Martha Witte begins aggregating the resources, savings will increase. For example, if one NEI member orders multiple images from one source, the fee is going to be less than $100 x the number of multiples, and will be based on actual hours worked. Also, if volume orders are placed for several NEI member organizations at the same time, the unit fee is going to be less, and a discount will be calculated based on actual hours worked. All savings, including usage fee discounts (if applicable), will be passed along to the company purchasing the use of the image. With the exception of usage fees, Martha Witte’s rates for labor and expenses will remain valid for 1 calendar year from March 2, 2011.