You can use a paid service like the Copyright Clearance Center and in many cases get an instant price for your proposed use. If the work is not in their database, they will attempt to locate the copyright holder.
Finding Copyright Owner
Finding the copyright owner can be challenging. The following links provide additional information.
You can do the research yourself to locate the copyright holder, and then write to them explaining how you will use the material. You may get permission to use the work at no cost, at a reasonable cost, at an exhorbitant cost or not at all.
- Sample Letter Requesting Permission
- Sample Permission Letter for Music
- Sample Permission Letter for Movies