Tips for Seeking Permission

In the event that you should be unable to utilize the options given in the Obtaining Copyright section to secure copyright permission for an item, you may need to contact the copyright holder of that item to ask for permission directly. In this event, it is important that you, the faculty member, contact the copyright holder yourself (i.e. send the copyright holder an email from your own email address) as the faculty member is best able to attest to the copyrighted item’s relevance to the course and is more likely to receive a favorable response from the copyright holder.

When contacting a copyright holder it is best to do so by phone or email. While a phone call can be good way to initiate first contact and ask any questions you may have, email is the preferred method as it allows you to have a written record of your conversation and correspondence. If you do contact a copyright holder via a phone call, be sure to follow-up with an email and receive any approvals or agreements in written form. Contact via a written letter is not preferred as it is unlikely to receive an answer.


Example Email to Copyright Holder

Please feel free to copy and modify the below email or use it as a guide in writing your own email to ask a copyright holder for permission to use a copyrighted work.

I am interested in using your production of _____________ in my online course ___________ with __ number of students from (start date) to (end date) at the University of Kentucky.

Because this course will be offered online, I would like to ask for your permission to change the format of the material from the distribution format (of _____ if applicable fill in DVD, VHS, etc) to a digital format that can be streamed over the internet from our password-protected server to students enrolled in my course, which is hosted by Canvas (or other LMS) and is only accessible by enrolled students with a secure ID and password.

Thank you for your consideration--please submit your written response via email to me at _______________.


Other Tips

Tips on obtaining copyright permission are provided below for instructors who must obtain permission for items for which the library was unable to obtain permission through CCC.


Helpful Hints

1) Publishing companies usually control copyright permission for many in-print trade books and scholarly journals.

2) Copyright ownership for literary magazines and out-of-print works is usually held by individual authors.

3) Usually, in a book or a journal, the page containing the copyright notice reveals the copyright owner, the publication year and the name of the publisher. Many times, this notice also contains useful permission information, such as the publisher's address.

4) If you cannot find the address of the copyright holder, please use one of the reference sources from the "Sources for Publisher Information" section or search the publisher's website for contact information on the internet.

5) A sample letter for obtaining copyright permission is available on the Reserve Form page.

6) Remember to supply your complete address and contact information to the publishers in case there are any questions pertaining to your request.

7) To speed up this process, you may want to provide your email address or a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to the publisher.

8) If you know that an article will be used for reserves in future semesters, request permission for the longest intended use of time. This will save you time in future semesters by reducing the number of times you must request copyright permission.


Sources For Publisher Information

Often, the most efficient method for contacting a publisher is to search the publisher's website. However, if an internet search fails to produce results, the following sources may be helpful.

Print Source (Located in the Young Library Reference Department):

1) Literary Market Place Young Reference-- PN161 .L570 Ready Ref. (Non-Circulating)

Online Resources:

1) WorldCat

2) Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory


Other Helpful Resources:

To find information about copyright ownership by individual authors, the Authors Registry can serve as guidance. Its address is below:

The Authors Registry

330 West 42nd Street, 29th Floor

New York, N.Y. 10036

phone: 212-563-6920

fax: 564-5363