All requests for permissions must be sent to the copyright holder of record or their agent. Requests should include the following information:
- Your name, address, telephone number, and fax number.
- Your title/position and name of university.
- The date of your request.
- A complete and accurate citation.
- A precise description of the proposed use of the copyrighted material as well as when and for how long the material will be used.
- A signature line for the copyright holder including their title if they are representing a company and the date.
Sample Permission Letters
Copyright Management Organizations
There are many organizations that manage the permissions for authors.
The following are some of the organizations categorized by material type.
Copyright Clearance Center
A company that represents many authors and publishers, and can provide non-exclusive licenses and/or permissions.
The above organizations provide licenses to perform musical works in public.
Harry Fox Agency, Inc.
The above agency licenses the music for others to record and distribute.
Orphan works are works where the copyright holder cannot be identified and/or located. With the duration of copyright increasing, more works are becoming part of this category. It is sometimes difficult to locate the copyright holder to request their permission to use the work. Use due diligence in trying to identify and locate the owner of the copyrighted work and maintain records of all correspondence. However, if you are unsuccessful in your quest, then consider the following options:
1. Re-evaluate the fair use exception
The fourth factor, market effect, might be weighing more in favor of fair use under the new circumstance. Apply the factors again to your use.
2. Revise your use of the copyrighted work
Think creatively about how you might chose to use the intended work. For example, consider reducing the amount or the scope of the distribution.
3. Substitute comparable works
Investigate the use of other works that could provide the same or similar outcome.
4. Assess the risk
Decide how much risk you are comfortable in assuming should the copyright holder come forward and seek payment for your use of their work.