Examples and Forms

Simple Copyright Release Form

This Copyright Release Form is intended for campus projects in which copyrightable content (by students, community partners, or other collaborators) is incorporated into ongoing or future scholarship or will otherwise be made publicly available. This form does NOT apply to situations where people are performing or speaking live, as live performance is not copyrightable content.

Example use: Students create written or visual material that will be part of a digital collection. Each student would sign a release form, and the faculty member or other project leader would maintain these signed releases with the project documentation.

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While this simple release is binding for anyone over 18, there may be times when it would be better to enter into an actual contract, signed by both parties. Contact the Copyright Group (copyright.group@carleton.edu) to talk through your needs, and we can help you determine if a contract is advisable and direct you to resources.

Copyright Release for Streaming Media

This Release for Streaming Media is intended for those times when Carleton faculty or staff need to convert and host video or audio for online streaming. This is intended for course-related streaming only and prohibits public display, even on campus.

Example use:  A film maker grants permission for her documentary to be shown to a class, and the faculty member hopes to provide online streaming access for students enrolled in that course. The faculty member would have the film maker sign this form. Both parties would keep signed copies for their records.

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Example Letter Requesting Copyright Permissions

If the work you want to use is formally published, generally the publisher either holds the copyright or knows who does, so contacting the publisher is a good first step. Look on the publisher's website to see if there is guidance or a request form there for you to use. If not, or if you are requesting permission from an individual, here is an example letter you can use as a guide.

Be sure to ask permissions for all anticipated uses you plan to make of a work, but be prepared to be flexible if the copyright owner stipulates restrictions on use of the materials. And always keep copies of any correspondence you send or receive as part of your permanent files.

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(This template letter is free to use in any way you wish - we claim no copyright ownership)

Many more examples are included in the books Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators and Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials, both of which are available in the Gould Library reference collection (4th floor).

Example Letter Requesting Permission to Deposit your work in the Carleton Digital Commons (our forthcoming institutional repository)

SHERPA,  a long-standing and respected partnership of institutions in the UK leading the way for Institutional Repositories, recommends the following wording when writing to publishers (copied here under their CC BY-NC-ND license).

Dear [insert name of publisher's rights manager or similar],

I am writing to ask permission to mount a copy of an article of mine which was published in one of your journals in my institution's repository.

The article is:

[authors names] , [date], [title]

[journal name], [volume or number], [pages]

The institutional repository is a not-for-profit service for academic authors, providing access to the full-text of their publications. Full bibliographic details are given for each article, including the journal of original publication, etc.

If possible, I would like to use the finalised pdf version as it appears in print. The pdf version has an advantage over mounting my own version, in that it maintains consistency in appearance of the article wherever it is read. This also maintains a closer association of the article with the Journal, through the running headers and the journal house-style.

I would be grateful if you could contact me to give your permission for including this article and to pass on any conditions that are associated. If it would be possible to use the published pdf version of the article for this purpose, then please confirm this.

Thank you for your attention with this and I look forward to hearing from you.