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Copyright Quick Guide

Creighton University Libraries

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Creighton University Libraries
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Omaha, NE 68178

Requesting Copyright Permissions

The first step to requesting permissions is to find the copyright owner.  Because authors sometimes transfer their copyrights to publishers during the publication process, the copyright owner is often the publisher and not the original creator.  Please visit the publisher website to locate information on permissions requesting.  Some publishers have developed tools to help you locate the right person to ask for permissions.  For example:

Once you've located the copyright owner, and if they do not have a proscribed method of accepting permissions requests (like RightsLink), you should remember to include as much information about your proposed use as possible in your request. Below are several key points of information to include:

  • Your name, address, telephone number, and email address;
  • Your title/position and name of the university;
  • The date of your request;
  • Exact material to be used, giving the amount or portion(s) of the work to be used, with as much specificity as possible;
  • A precise description of the proposed use of the copyrighted material (when it will be used, how many people will have access, how long it will be available).

 For further suggestions on requesting permission please see the How to Obtain Permission guide from the US Copyright Office.

In some instances, you may not be able to identify the copyright holder. If this occurs, you may have encountered an orphan work. Unfortunately, there is currently no legal solution to using orphan works other than finding a substitute resource or reanalyzing your use to make a fair use determination. 


Resources for Requesting Permissions: