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Obtaining Permission

Respecting the copyrights of other is probably an important attitude for schools to model for today's students.  While "fair use" offers some protection, a review of generally accepted fair use guidelines indicates that it generally does not provide for as broad usage as many mistakenly believe. Another option is to see if the copyright owner will approve the use of their material.

Remember, copyright owners need to enforce their copyrights, otherwise their work will fall into the "public domain."   Many authors will grant permission to use their work if it is for a use that they approve.  Some authors will be grateful that others have enough respect for their work and rights to ask for permission to use.  Copyright owners are free to grant permission and expect limitations or terms of use.  

Obtaining permission to use copyrighted materials involves:

  1. Determing who has ownership
  2. Verifying that they have the right to grant permission (still have full ownership)
  3. Negotiating terms of use
  4. Obtaining permission
  5. Documenting permission (in writing is best)

While this 5 step process sounds may easy, any number of difficulties can arise.  Fortunately, there are some excellent copyright Web resources that can help people obtain copyright permission.  The resource section of this Web site has a page of links dealing with copyright issues

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Copyright Notices
Fair Use
Fair Use Guidelines
Obtaining Permission
Distant Education
Issues on the Web


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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is being made available in an efforts to advance understanding of educational, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.