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When do I need to ask permission?

When considering whether permission is needed to use a copyrighted work, the best policy is to assume permission is needed. When in doubt, ask permission. However, there are cases when asking permission to use a work are not required. If the use of the copyrighted materials falls in favor of fair use using the Fair Use checklist, and:

1. The work is used one time (ex. for use in a single course for a single semester);

2. The use of the work is spontaneous. It would not be feasible to obtain permission before its intended date of use;

3 The use of the work is for instructional, not entertainment purposes;  

4. The work has been legally obtained; and

5. The use of the work is not plagiarizing or infringing upon the owners' rights.

6. Access to the work is restricted to only those with an interest in the course, presentation, or seminar.

It may be necessary to obtain permission to use a part or whole of a copyrighted work. if planning ot use a copied article to hand out to class for more than one semester or more than one course (not section), it is necessary to obtain written permission from the copyright holder. This permission can be in the form of an email, written letter, or facsimile.  Once obtained, provide a copy of the granted permission to the campus Copyright Officer, to the Print Shop if requesting copies for in class use, and retain a copy for personal records. 

How do I ask permission?

When requesting permission to use a copyrighted work, the copyright holder(s) must be located. The request for permission must be for a legally obtained copy of the work. 

The following information should be included in the permission request letter. 

  • Title of the material
  • Creator/author of the material
  • Publisher of the material
  • Description of material
  • ISBN or ISSN, if applicable
  • Date of publication, if applicable
  • Purpose for which you wish to reproduce the item (research, commercial, educational, etc.)
  • How the material is to be reproduced (e.g., photocopied, digitized)
  • Where the reproduced material will be used or will appear and for how long

The Book Getting Permission: how to license and clear copyrighted materials online and off  is a valuable resource for guiding instructors through the permissions process

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) copyright licenses were developed to allow creators to retain ownership of their copyrighted work while still allowing for others to copy and make use fo their creative works legally. There are six CC license types, each with its own set of protection and permissions. When utilizing a work covered by a creative commons license, be sure to check the license type to verify compliance.

The six types of licenses are: 

1. Attribution (CC BY) Allows others to use, distribute, re-imagine, etc, either for non-commerical or commercial purposes as long as the original creator is properly accredited when doing so. 

2. Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA) Allows others to use, distribute, re-imagine, etc, either for non-profit or commercial purposes as long as the original creator is properly accredited when doing so and so long as the newly created or derived work is licensed CC BY-SA. 

3. Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY-ND) Allows others to use or distribute, either for non-profit or commercial purposes as long as the original creator is properly accredited when doing so, and so long as the original work remains in tact and in whole. 

4. Attribution Non-commercial (CC BY-NC) Allows others to use, distribute, re-imagine, etc. for non-commercial purposes only, as long as the original creator is properly accredited when doing so. 

5. Attribution Non-commerical Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) Allows others to use, distribute, re-imagine, etc. for non-commercial purposesonly, as long as the original creator is properly accredited when doing so and so long as the newly created or derived work is licensed CC BY-NC-SA. 

6. Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) Allows others to use or distribute, for non-commercial purposes as long as the original creator is properly accredited when doing so, and so long as the original work remains in tact and in whole. 

Information on Creative Commons licenses obtained from https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ . Refer to this site for more information on Creative Commons licenses and permissions, or visit the SC4 Library Creative Commons guide (http://esearch.sc4.edu/cc).

Public Domain

If a work is considered a part of the public domain, this means that it does not has an active  copyright associated with it. This usually applies to older works that have aged out of the copyright limitation as well as to works expressly created to be open resources. As a general rule, if the work you would like to use is found in the public domain, it is available for use.

Creative commons

Wanna Work Together? from Creative Commons on Vimeo.

Pays tribute to the people around the world using CC licenses to build a better, more vibrant creative culture.

To view subtitled versions, or to contribute a translation, visit the dotSub page for this video: http://dotsub.com/view/fbdc3bd1-d1c2-4b63-be02-4fcb66aac443