Last updated 6/12/12
Isothermal Community College
P.O. Box 804, Spindale NC 28160
(828) 395-1307 fax (828) 286-8208
Charles P. Wiggins, Director of Library Services
Requesting Copyright Permissions Directly
Sometimes, when seeking to use copyrighted material it is either prudent or necessary ask permission. Below are some examples of situations that almost always exceed fair use and require permission:
Copyright Clearance Center: Isothermal Community College holds an Annual Copyright License from Copyright Clearance Center. Before you put forth the effort to request permission directly from the rightsholder be sure to check their database to determine if the content is already covered by the license. For more information on this see CCC Academic Annual License section of the Copyright Compliance Decision Guide.
Identifying the Rightsholder: When dealing with published works the publisher will almost always hold the reproduction and distribution rights. In most published works there will be a copyright notice that will tell you exactly who the rightsholder is, and in some cases include contact information.
Books generally display this information on the verso, which is the page just after the title page.
Contacting the Rightsholder:Some publishers print contact information regarding reprint permissions in their material, but many publishers now have permissions pages on their websites that include the most current contact information, and in some cases, forms that can be filled out and submitted online. Some publishers will refer you back to the Copyright Clearance Center as the agent that handles permissions for their company. If a request must be sent by snail mail it should be addressed to the to the permissions department of the publisher or rightsholder in question, and include a self-addressed return envelope. Whether by email, online form, or letter, permissions requests should always be made in writing, and permissions should always be given in writing. If it is not in writing it didn't happen.
Crafting a Request: When requesting use of copyrighted material, you should communicate complete and accurate information to the rightsholder. The information communicated should include, at minimum, the following:
Request Letter Template: Use the Copyright Permission Request Letter Template as a starting point to craft a letter or email to the rightsholder.
Allow Time for Processing: The process of granting permission requires time for the publisher to check the status of the copyright and to evaluate the nature of the request. It is advisable, therefore, to allow enough lead time to obtain permission before the materials are needed. In some instances, the publisher may assess a fee for the permission.
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This document is not legal advice. It is intended to provide general information regarding copyright and is provided on an "as-is, as available, and with all faults" basis. Consult a qualified attorney for proper legal advice when necessary.
Comments, questions, or corrections should be submitted to Charles P. Wiggins, Director of Library Services.