Do you need to seek permission?
If you answered YES to any of the questions above, good news! You do not need to seek permission to use the work. However, it is still a good idea to provide a citation to the original work, and in some cases, this is required (e.g. Creative Commons works).
IF YOU DO NEED TO SEEK PERMISSION, here are the basic steps you would take:
NOTE: Seeking clearance can be a lengthy process that can take anywhere from 2 days to several months. Keep this in mind as you plan your courses. In most cases, it is best to NOT use the work while you are waiting for permissions from the rights holder.
Copyright owners can be identified in a number of ways:
The Columbia University Libraries Copyright Advisory Office has a extensive list of Collective Licensing Agencies for print and online works, music, drama, visual arts, motion pictures, and religious works. Use the list to identify a likely agency for your work and start your search there.
Crews, K.D. (2006). Copyright law for librarians and educators: Creative strategies and practical solutions. Chicago: American Library Association.
Keep in mind that original authors are not always the owners of their copyrighted work. For books and periodicals, copyright is typically owned by the publisher, while music may be owned by a label or distributor.
This guide is intended to provide basic information and resources about copyright and does not constitute legal advice.
Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright and Fair Use section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.