How to obtain copyright permission

Faculty may need to contact copyright holders directly for permission when planning to use copyrighted materials in a manner that does not constitute fair use.  The steps to follow for obtaining permission include:

  1. Identifying the copyright holder or agent. 
  2. Sending a written request for permission to the holder (see Columbia University Libraries' Model Permission Letters).  It is important to remember that receiving a response--let alone permission--may take several weeks.
  3. If there is no response from the copyright holder (or if it is impossible to identify the holder), then it is best to follow fair use guidelines for find other materials to use.

(Source: Copyright Clearance Center, Obtaining Permission.)