How to Get Permission Of Copyright Owners

By Brenna Davis

Copyright infringement, which can include something as seemingly innocuous as using a photo on a blog, carries stiff penalties, so you should seek permission from copyright owners before using their material. A copyright grants exclusive rights to "original works of authorship," which includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and some certain other categories of original works. This copyright enables copyright owners to reproduce, sell, perform, display and create derivative items from their own copyrighted material. However, copyright owners will often grant permission to others who wish to use their copyrighted materials, and they may offer licenses that prospective users can purchase through an agent or copyright licensing company.

Copyright infringement, which can include something as seemingly innocuous as using a photo on a blog, carries stiff penalties, so you should seek permission from copyright owners before using their material. A copyright grants exclusive rights to "original works of authorship," which includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and some certain other categories of original works. This copyright enables copyright owners to reproduce, sell, perform, display and create derivative items from their own copyrighted material. However, copyright owners will often grant permission to others who wish to use their copyrighted materials, and they may offer licenses that prospective users can purchase through an agent or copyright licensing company.

Step 1

Locate the copyright owner. If there is a copyright notice on the work, the name published next to the copyright symbol is the person or entity who owns the copyright. If there is no copyright notice, conduct a copyright search at the U.S. Copyright Office's web page. You may search according to the item's title, keywords associated with the item and several other search terms. You can also request that the U.S. Copyright Office perform a search for you for a fee. Because copyright registration is not mandatory, it is possible that you may not locate the copyright records and that you'll have to find another way to locate the copyright owner. If the item is published online, try to contact the webmaster or website owner. If you see the item in a store or library, an employee may be able to tell you where the item was obtained. Locating the place of origin can help you locate the copyright owner.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now

Step 2

Draft a written request to the copyright owner seeking permission to use the item. Provide information about the specific intended use, the number of people you anticipate will see the item and whether you will be making a profit off of the use. Send the request.

Step 3

Negotiate copyright terms with the copyright owner or with the agent or entity who represents the owner. The owner may want you to make minor alterations to your anticipated use, may place limitations on how the item may be used or may seek further clarification. It is important to provide precise and exhaustive information, because using the item for a use other than that for which you are granted permission could constitute copyright infringement.

Step 4

Execute a licensing agreement. This is an agreement wherein you agree to pay a fee for use of the item. You must pay the fee to use the item, and failure to do so could be copyright infringement. If the owner does not wish to use a licensing agreement or does not want to be paid, a more informal agreement is acceptable. The agreement, however, should be in writing and should explicitly dictate the terms of use. Save the agreement for your records.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How to Identify a Copyright

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Use Copyrighted Material in Self Promotion

Copyright vests initially in the author of the work. When material is made for an employer, the employer is considered the author for copyright purposes, unless the parties have agreed otherwise. There are some uses for which you may not need to obtain the rights to use copyrighted work. These uses include criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. For purposes of self-promotion, however, you must obtain the rights to use copyrighted material.

How to Use Copyrighted Stencils

The U.S. Copyright Office allows artists to register copyrights to their work that limit others' ability to create derivative works or sell the work without seeking permission from the copyright holder. Stencils may be copyrighted in one of several categories, including two-dimensional or three-dimensional artwork or, if they are a design for jewelry, as jewelry designs. The Fair Use Doctrine allows people to use copyrighted items for personal and some educational use, so simply using stencils in a classroom art project or to trace a design does not constitute copyright infringement. If, however, you intend to use a stencil to create a design you are going to sell, or if you wish to sell the stencil, you may need permission.

Is an Original Work Without a Copyright Label or Disclaimer Still Protected by Copyright Laws?

Copyright infringement can carry civil and criminal penalties, and many people mistakenly believe that items are copyrighted only when there is a copyright symbol or when the copyrights are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. However, copyrights are automatic, and creators do not have to use a copyright symbol or register their creations in order to obtain copyright protection.

Related articles

What Does "Image May Be Subject to Copyright" Mean?

Images are widely available on the Internet. In fact, doing a simple search can yield hundreds of images that can ...

How to Obtain Copyright Permissions

Copyright law protects original works of authorship, including artistic creations and software algorithms. A copyright ...

How to Request Use of a Copyrighted Song

A copyright represents a legal monopoly on the right to reproduce, sell, publicly display, publicly perform, adapt or ...

How to Get Permission to Print Copyrighted Literature

Copyrights grant exclusive rights to reproduce and sell intellectual property to the person who created the item or who ...

Browse by category