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Copyright: How to ask permission?

A guide to understanding copyright laws and applications in the classroom and research.

About Asking Permission

After determining that there is a copyright, that there is no relevant exception and that no license allows you to use the materials as you want you will have to ask permission.

Essentially when seeking permission you are asking for a license from the rights-holder or licensing agency.

What you need to request permission

When asking for permission you will want to have the following information available:

  • The name of the author, editor, or translator
  • The title of the work and any edition or volume number
  • Exact material you want to use, being as specific as possible
  • Copyright date of the work
  • How you will use the material
  • The audience to whom the work will be distributed or otherwise made available
  • Whether the material will be sold
  • Name of your organization—note if it is a nonprofit
  • Your name and contact details

Whom to contact?

Most publishers have a permissions request page that you can get more information from:

Penguin-Random House Publishers has a database (Links to an external site.) that can be searched to determine who owns a work and their contact information.  Often times publishers print works under license from the rights holder and so you will have to contact the person listed.

However some smaller publisher don't have dedicated copyright clearance services, so you will have to contact them for more information.

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