How to Request
When requesting permission to use copyrighted material, don't ask permission to blanket copy, be specific. Address your request to the copyright holder directly or to the publisher. Your request should include the following information:
- Title, author, and/or editor, and edition of material
- Exact material to be copied
- Number of copies to be made
- How the copied material will be used
- How the material will be copied (downloaded, digital transfer, photocopy, etc.)
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
Sometimes the copyright owner is not apparent and finding the owner can be challenging. The following links are sites created specifically to assist in finding copyright owners. Remember, if you don't have permission to use copyrighted material (and most works are copyrighted), then you can't use the material.
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. These sites have information on asking for permission and sample letters to use as a template.
- Sample Letter Requesting Permission
- Sample Permission Letter for Music
- Sample Permission Letter for Movies