If the material you wish to use is under copyright protection and your intended use of the material falls outside the scope of fair use, you will need to acquire permission to use it.
To support faculty and staff in compliance with the new copyright policy, Carleton has introduced new procedures designed to assist you with the permissions step for materials placed on eReserve and sold as coursepacks through the Bookstore.
- The Library will obtain copyright permission for materials placed on eReserve, and fees will be covered by the College. The Library procedures for eReserves are described on their website.
- Copyright permissions for materials included in coursepacks sold by the Bookstore will be obtained by the Bookstore, and fees are covered through the sales of the coursepacks.
Copyright permissions for materials not handled by the Library or the Bookstore are the responsibility of the individual or department seeking copyright permission, as are copyright fees for those materials. You can request the permission directly from the copyright holder (once you've determined who that is) or you can use one of several fee-based services to do that for you (see below). Please be aware that the cost of obtaining copyright permission varies from one copyright holder to another, and in most cases depends on the number of pages copied and the number of copies made. Copyright fees can be significant.
Using a service to request permission on your behalf
One fee-based service is operated by Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). This is a convenient way to request permission to use copyrighted material in an educational environment. At Copyright.com you can search a database of copyright holders and often get approval of your requests in seconds. You may search the database before you decide to login and request permission in order to estimate your costs. If CCC doesn’t have licensed authority to grant immediate permission, it will next make a direct inquiry of the copyright holder for all remaining items. If CCC’s attempts to locate the copyright holder for any items ultimately fail, the requestor will be told to pursue the matter themselves.
CCC will bill the requestor for both the royalty fees that need to be paid to the copyright holder and the fees for the service provided by CCC.
CCC handles permission requests primarily for print materials and digital resources.
Obtaining permission directly from the copyright holder
Publishers of print and online publications can usually grant copyright permission. In some cases you will have to contact the author or creator of the work directly. If you have difficulty identifying the copyright holder, you may request a search for it from the U.S. Copyright Office. The material needs to have been registered in order to for a search to be successful. Prior registration of a work is not a requirement for copyright protection. Online search engines as well as publishers are resources locating copyright holders.Necessary information for requesting copyright permission should include:
- Your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address
- Your title, position and institution's name
- The date of your request
- The title of the work to be copied with a description and citation of that work
- A description of how the work is to be used, by whom and for how long
- A signature line for the copyright holder to sign, signifying that permission has been granted
Some works may require copyright permission from multiple copyright holders. Please request permission from all those necessary. Acknowledgment of the source of the content is not sufficient. Copyright permission must be obtained if it is needed.
The University of Minnesota Copyright Permissions Service has compiled a useful chart of publishers' royalty fees and estimated processing time for requests made directly to publishers. Go to The Permissions Process and click on "Publishers and Journals: A Guide to Fees and Response Times."