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Determining Copyright Ownership
guide is designed to share information on copyright and related topics.
This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace
the advice of legal counsel.
Obtaining Permission to Use a Work
Permission from copyright holders is sometimes necessary, especially when republishing content online or with traditional publishers. You need to obtain permission when you use a work in a way that infringes on the exclusive rights granted to a copyright holder.
- Circular 22: How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work. U.S. Copyright Office.
- Identifying the Copyright Owner. Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University.
- Locating U.S. Copyright Holders. WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders). The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Reading.
- Licensing and Rights Agencies. Center for Intellectual Property, University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Includes links to licensing and rights management agencies.
- Locating Copyright Owners. CopyLaw.com. Law Offices of Lloyd J. Jassin. List of organizations and web sites that assist the researcher to identify and locate copyright holders.
- Collective Licensing Agencies. Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University. List of collective rights organizations that can grant permission online.
- WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders). The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Reading offers a database that provides information about whom to contact for permission to publish copyprotected text and images.
Sample model permission letters from other universities:
UC Policy and Guidelines on the Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials for Teaching and Research, Appendix 2.
- Sample permission letters. Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University. Includes overview and lists of sample model letters for different types of uses and material.
- Sample written request for permission. Office of General Counsel, University of Texas System. A simple, general-purpose model permissions letter
Model Permission Form Letters from Columbia University.
Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center - Basics of Getting Permission.
Vassar College Guide to Asking for Permission.
List of Collective Licensing Agencies from Columbia Universtiy.
Citizen Media Guide to Obtaining Permission.
DLib Magazine Article on Obtaining Permission.