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Information on Obtaining Copyright Permissions

Legal Research Guides

Updated January 17, 2006.
Prepared by Ann Hemmens

This guide is geared toward members of the academic community seeking permission to use copyrighted materials for teaching, research, or scholarly activities. The guide links to selected, online sources. Section I has links specific to the University of Washington community. Section II covers sites with links to publishers' permissions offices and copyright organizations and includes sites with sample forms. Section III provides links to publishers' websites, for both legal and nonlegal materials. Section IV provides links to sites with individual author contact information. Section V includes links to organizations providing copyright information. Section VI has links to copyright ownership policies from selected colleges and universities. The links in Section VII provide substantive copyright information and Section VIII provides links to websites containing large amounts of information on copyright, including primary legal material, information on fair use, and forms for registering copyright material.

  1. University of Washington
  2. Publishers' Permissions Offices & Copyright Organizations
  3. Publishers' Websites
  4. Authors' Websites
  5. Government Agencies
  6. Digital Media
  7. Selected Academic Copyright Ownership Policies
  8. General Copyright Websites
  9. Mega-Sites

  1. University of Washington
    1. Copyright Connection - University of Washington, http://depts.washington.edu/uwcopy/
      This website was created by Catherine Innes, Copyright Information Officer at the University of Washington, to serve as a reference guide on copyright issues related to the use and creation of copyrighted works in an academic environment.
      1. http://depts.washington.edu/uwcopy/use/index.shtml
        Information on how and when to obtain permission to USE works created by others.
      2. http://depts.washington.edu/uwcopy/create/index.shtml
        Information on owning copyrighted works and managing those rights. This webpage includes information on copyright law, factors related to copyright ownership and management of those rights, University of Washington owned works, and agreements used to grant and transfer rights.
      3. http://depts.washington.edu/uwcopy/information/index.shtml
        Collection of information on copyright law, University of Washington Policy (including a link to the University Handbook, Volume Four), a list of University of Washington contacts for copyright-related questions, fair-use guidelines, and licenses.
    2. Copyrights Permission Center - University of Washington Publications Services (Copy Services Division) http://www.puserv.washington.edu/copy/cpc/
      The services described in this website are available to members of the academic community who are preparing printed course packs to be sold at University of Washington copy centers. The Center obtains permissions from publishers to use selected materials, prints and sells the course packs, and incorporates the cost of the service into the price of the course pack.
    3. The Copyright Court, http://www.researchchannel.org/inside/participation/production.asp, is a streaming video presentation on copyright, fair use, and permissions.

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  1. Publishers' Permissions Offices and Copyright Organizations
    1. Copyright Clearance Center, http://www.copyright.com/.
      This company provides four services marketed to the academic community including the following two:
      1. Academic Permissions Service http://www.copyright.com/Services/APSacademic.asp for use in obtaining photocopy permissions for course packs and class handouts.
      2. Electronic Course Content Service http://www.copyright.com/Services/ECCSacademic.asp for use in obtaining permissions to use copyrighted materials in electronic course packs, electronic reserves and distance learning.
    2. Copyright Management Center - Giving and Getting Permissions, http://www.copyright.iupui.edu/ 
      This website is provided by Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. The "Permissions Information" section includes a step-by-step guide for obtaining permissions and links to organizations (such as CCC mentioned above) that assist in the process, and sample permission letter forms. The "Fair Use Issues" section includes a checklist, guidelines, and an explanation of the four factors for determining use. Additionally the website contains a brief overview of copyright (Quick Guide) and information on securing and managing copyrights. The full-text manual by noted copyright scholar Kenneth D. Crews, Copyright Law and Graduate Research: New Media, New Rights, and Your New Dissertation (2000), is available at the site. This work includes information for the graduate student on copyright compliance, how to obtain permission (including sample permission letters), and how to protect one's copyright interest.
    3. Academic and Educational Permissions, http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter7/index.html. This is chapter 7 of the Copyright and Fair Use Overview website from the Stanford University Libraries. It provides information and sample form agreements for educators to use when obtaining permissions for the compilation of coursepacks and an analysis of academic fair use guidelines.
    4. Copyright Resources on the Internet, http://groton.k12.ct.us/mts/pt2a.htm.
      This website was created to help teachers and librarians comply with the Groton (Connecticut) Public Schools Copyright Policy. In the "Obtaining Permission and Licensing" section there are links to permission and licensing sources, the later organized by material type (such as print, music and theatre). Additionally the site contains links to the copyright statute, fair use guidelines and links to copyright resources on the web focusing on legal issues, libraries and news.
    5. Intellectual Property, Copyright and Fair Use Resources, http://library.albany.edu/reserves/copyright.html.
      The University at Albany Libraries maintains this website which is targeted towards faculty and students in an academic environment seeking information on how copyright law affects their use of material for educational purposes. Under the heading "Getting Permission to Make Copies" there are links to resources for obtaining permissions (including University Microforms International). Additionally the site contains links to sites addressing fair use issues, links to copyright guidelines and a bibliography of print and online sources.
    6. American Publishers Permission Department Contacts, http://www.publishers.org/about/rights.cfm.
      This portion of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) website contains direct links to the copyright permission departments of the member publishers (over 20), and tips for requesting permission to use literary works. This site also contains an AAP approved permission request form, http://www.publishers.org/about/copyrequest.cfm.

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  1. Publishers' Websites
    1. AcqWeb's Directory of Publishers and Vendors, http://www.acqweb.org/pubr.html
      This website is an international directory of publishers and vendors of various types of materials and is edited and maintained by Anna Belle Leiserson at Vanderbilt Law Library. Links are provided to publisher e-mail addresses and websites. There are alphabetic, geographic, and subject (education, business, law etc.) directories of publisher websites and an alphabetic directory of publisher email addresses. Includes links to other organizations and associations connected to the publishing industry worldwide.
    2. Bowker's Books in Print - Publishers, Distributors & Wholesalers of the U.S., http://www.lib.washington.edu/types/databases/
      This database contains contact information for more than 165,000 publishers, wholesalers, distributors, software firms, museums and association imprints, and other trade organizations. This complement to Books in Print contains the editorial addresses and phone numbers for all types of publishers for various media formats. This database is accessible through the University of Washington Libraries Research Databases and is limited to University of Washington faculty, students, and staff, or to persons physically present in the University Libraries.
    3. Legal Journals on the Web, http://lawweb.usc.edu/library/resources/journals.html
      Wendy Nobunaga, at the University of Southern California Law Library, maintains this website, which includes links to online law reviews and journals, indicating whether the full-text, abstract, table of contents or subscription information is available. The journals are organized by type (e.g., general law review, subject specific law review, commercial law journals, foreign law journals, ABA journals and newsletters, general interest and computing periodicals) and then alphabetically by title. The contact information for publishers and editorial staff are generally located on the websites. Electronic journal and law review locating services are also listed.
    4. A Legal Publishers' List: Corporate Affiliations of Legal Publishers, 2d ed. http://www.aallnet.org/committee/criv/resources/tools/list/
      This list, originally created by Rob Richards, and now maintained by the Committee on Relations with Information Vendors of the American Association of Law Libraries, contains links to legal publishers' webpages.
    5. List of Law Review Addresses, http://lib.law.washington.edu/cilp/period.html
      This website contains the addresses for all periodicals indexed by the Current Index to Legal Periodicals, which is published by the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law. The list is organized alphabetically.
    6. Legal Publisher (Vendor) Contact Information, http://www.aallnet.org/committee/criv/resources/tools/vendors/
      The Committee on Relations with Information Vendors of the American Association of Law Libraries maintains this website which contains links to contact information, including customer service and copyright contacts, for various legal publishers and vendors.
    7. Literary Market Place and International Literary Market Place, http://www.literarymarketplace.com/lmp/us/index_us.asp from Information Today Inc., are directories of American and Canadian book publishers and publishers from over 180 other countries. The database, containing publisher names and addresses, can be searched or browsed by alphabetical listing. Registration is required for free access to a portion of the database (including publisher contact information).
    8. On-line Directory of Law Reviews and Scholarly Legal Periodicals, http://lexisnexis.com/lawschool/faculty/lawreviews/ 
      This directory, compiled by Law Professor Michael H. Hoffheimer, includes contact information for law reviews and scholarly periodicals edited by students or faculty at ABA accredited law schools as well as selected journals published by academic associations, trade publishers, and bar groups in the U.S. The contact information provided includes each journals' editorial address as well as telephone and fax numbers and email addresses as appropriate. An alphabetical listing of publications by title is provided.
    9. Publishers' Catalogues, http://www.lights.com/publisher/ This online directory of more that 7400 publishers worldwide contains links to publishers' websites. The directory allows keyword searching in the publishers' name field. One can browse the directory by country, city or state (in the U.S.), topics (e.g., biography, economics, law, maritime), or type of material (e.g., books, newsletter, software). The entries typically contain location information, a brief description of the publisher, and a link to the publisher's website. The directory is edited by Peter Scott of the University of Saskatchewan Libraries.
    10. Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, http://www.lib.washington.edu/types/databases/
      This directory contains contact information for more than 240,000 academic and scholarly publications, consumer and trade magazines, monographic series, newsletters, newspapers, and electronic publications published throughout the world on various subjects. The publisher contact information provided includes addresses phone numbers, email addresses and websites. This database is accessible through the University of Washington Libraries Research Databases and is limited to University of Washington faculty, students, and staff, or to persons physically present in the University Libraries.
    11. Yahoo Directory of Publisher Websites, http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Shopping_and_Services/Publishers/ contains hundreds of links to publisher websites organized into categories (e.g., history, law, politics) and listed alphabetically.

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  1. Authors' Websites
    1. American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), http://www.ascap.com/. This organization maintains an online database of song titles licensed by ASCAP in the United States labeled the ASCAP Clearance Express (ACE), http://www.ascap.com/ace/ace.html. For each title, you can find the names of songwriters and artists who made commercial recordings as well as the contact information for publishers. The database can be searched by song title, writer, performer, or publisher.
    2. American Society of Journalists and Authors Member Websites, http://www.asja.org/memsites/weblist.php. This website contains an alphabetically organized directory of the websites of the approximately 1,000 nonfiction writers who are members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Contact information typically found on these websites.
    3. WATCH: Writers, Artists and Their Copyright Holders, http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/. This website, maintained by the University of Texas, contains a searchable database containing contact information (names and addresses) for copyright holders or their contact persons for works found in libraries of North America and the United Kingdom.

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  1. Government Agencies
    1. U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress http://www.copyright.gov/
      This is a vast source of copyright information covering copyright law, the copyright registration process, information circulars and form letters. Two information circulars may be of interest to the academic community in particular, No. 21 "Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians" (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf), and No.22 "How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work" (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.pdf). The Copyright Office maintains a searchable copyright registration database, LOCIS (Library of Congress Information System (http://www.copyright.gov/records/), which contains records for materials registered for copyright since January 1978. The site also has a collection of copyright forms, http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/forms/.
    2. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, http://www.uspto.gov/
      This site contains information on patents and trademarks including printable forms, searchable patent and trademark databases, and a list of patent and trademark libraries.
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  1. Digital Media
    1. CS-SIS Resource Page for Copyright and Licensing Digital Materials, http://www.aallnet.org/sis/cssis/meetings/2005/programK1.asp
      The Computing Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries maintains this resource page. It includes a July 2005 PowerPoint presentation by Professor Lolly Gasaway on the topic of "Multimedia Presentations: How to Get Copyright Clearance and other Permissions for Digital Projects."

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  1. Selected Academic Copyright Ownership Policies
    1. Copyown: Copyright Ownership Policies from Selected Universities and Colleges, http://www.inform.umd.edu/copyown/policies/index.html
      The University of Maryland and the Association of Research Libraries created this webaite containing a collection of copyright ownership and intellectual property policies from academic institutions that are members of the Association of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries. It is organized alphabetically by school or by characteristic (copyright policies, intellectual property policies, computer software policies, etc.).
    2. Copyright Resources Online, http://www.library.yale.edu/~okerson/copyproj.html.
      This website incorporates work by Eileen Gifford, Janet Erickson, and Ann Okerson and is maintained on the Yale University Library web server. This site consists of a collection of "University Copyright Resources" on the Web organized alphabetically by school and in either list format or annotated for more comprehensive information (although the links in the annotated and the non-annotated lists are not the same). This website contains links to selected U.S. and Canadian university and college intellectual property and copyright policies and copyright offices, as well as links to scholarly works from professors at particular institutions. The annotated version of the "Non-University Intellectual Property Resources" page contains links to national and international organizations working with copyright issues.

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  1. General Copyright Websites
    1. Copyright Clearances: Using Copyrighted Works in the Classroom, http://www.copycense.com/2006/01/copyright_clear_1.html.
      This articles by K. Matthew Dames, hosted on the weblog Copysense, provides an overview of the fair use exception for the use of cpyrighted works in schools under certain circumstances. See also his article "Copyright Clearances, Part 1: Risk Analysis, http://www.copycense.com/2006/01/copyright_clear.html.
    2. Copyright Crash Course, http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/IntellectualProperty/cprtindx.htm.
      This website is provided by the Copyright Management Center of the University of Texas System Administration Office of General Counsel. It provides background information on fair use and copyright ownership and management, as well as information on copyright in the digital library environment. It has prepared presentations focusing on the copyright concerns of faculty, administrators, students and others.
    3. Copyright Information for Educators, http://www.lib.washington.edu/help/guides/copyright.html. The University Libraries at the University of Washington maintain this website of links to new copyright legislation, websites covering copyright basics, copyright in academia, the draft guidelines proposed by the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU), and Internet copyright issues.
    4. Copyright and Intellectual Property Information, http://arl.cni.org/info/frn/copy/copytoc.html
      This website is maintained by the Association of Research Libraries and it contains information on legislative activity relating to intellectual property and copyright. It includes information on the topics of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Copyright Term Extensions and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). Additionally there are links to information on international activities such as a summary of International Copyright and IP activities and links to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
    5. Copyright: An Overview, http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/copyright.html.
      The Legal Information Institute from Cornell Law School provides this website which contains links to the text of copyright statutes and cases as well as key internet sites providing overviews of the topic and links to permission forms.
    6. Information Policy: Copyright and Intellectual Property, http://www.ifla.org/II/cpyright.htm.
      This website is provided by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. It includes a bibliography, links to organizations and copyright collections, selected copyright policies, and selected legal organizations and instruments from the Americas (including Canada), Asia-Pacific countries, and Europe.
    7. Interactive Guide to Using Copyrighted Media in Your Courses, http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/tutorials/copyright/.
      Baruch College of the City University of New York and Kognito Solutions LLC, created this free guide to help academic faculty members determine the appropriate copyright compliance guidelines to be complied with when using various materials in a course.
    8. Nolo Press, http://www.nolo.com/encyclopedia/pct_ency.html#Subtopic115.
      Nolo Press, a legal publisher known for delivering legal information to nonlawyers, provides basic information on copyright law under the heading "Patent, Copyright & Trademark," in the Encyclopedia section.
    9. When Works Pass Into the Public Domain, http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm.
      Professor Laura Gasaway, at the University of North Carolina School of Law, created this chart delineating when a work passes out of copyright protection and into the public domain. It is regularly updated.

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  1. Mega-Sites
    1. Copyright and Fair Use, http://fairuse.stanford.edu/
      This site, provided by the Stanford University Libraries, contains links to primary legal materials, current legislation and cases dealing with copyright as well as an extensive collection of links to other websites including government agencies and organizations in the publishing field.
    2. Copyright Management Center, http://www.iupui.edu/~copyinfo/
      This site is provided by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, under the direction of Professor Kenneth D. Crews, Associate Dean of the Faculties for Copyright Management. It contains information on the topics of fair use for teaching and research, rights and claims of ownership, distance education, libraries, obtaining copyright permissions, and special media (e.g., visual arts).
    3. The Copyright Website, http://www.benedict.com/
      Attorney Benedict O'Mahoney maintains this site, which provides copyright information on materials in a variety of formats including, video arts, audio arts, digital arts, and literary works. It includes links to forms for registering copyright material.
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