Copyright Corner

Q: How do I know who to ask for permission to use a copyrighted work?

A: If your use of copyrighted material does not meet the standards for fair use allowed by copyright, you will need to contact the copyright owner to request permission.  In most cases, this is the publisher.  Many publishers offer a “Rights and Permissions” option on their website so you might want to check that option first.  The larger publishers are using Copyright Clearance Center’s Rightslink service and you will only need to set up an account one time.  Publishers are free to set the charges to reuse their copyrighted material so you may be required to pay a fee.

You may run into problems locating the publisher for older materials as many of the smaller publishers are no longer in business.  Remember that if a second source reproduces an image with permission (you should be able to tell as there should be a “Used with Permission” statement), that second sources is not the copyright holder and therefore cannot grant you permission to use the image.   You will need to seek permission to reuse your work (i.e. an image, figure, etc.) in another work  if you signed away the copyright to the publisher without retaining your right to reuse that item.

You can contact the library for help in obtaining copyright permission.

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