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Copyright & Fair Use: Getting Permission

A guideline to assist the ACPHS community in using copyrighted materials responsibly and fairly. It provides education and access to appropriate decision-making tools.


If your analysis does not favor fair use or if the material is not covered under the Annual Copyright License you can request permission in a number of ways:

  • If the material is not covered under the Annual Copyright License, you can click on the "Request Coverage" option and the Copyright Clearance Center will contact the publisher in an effort to add the material to their catalog for use under our annual license agreement.  The will notify you with the outcome of their efforts.  Note: Some titles take time to add.
  • You can utilize the Pay-Per-Use option from the Copyright Clearance Center. Click here to learn more about this service.  
  • If you wish to ask for permission directly, first you must identify the copyright holder. Use this guide if you are having trouble identifying the copyright holder. It is best to confirm ownership by email or telephone before officially asking permission. Give yourself several weeks lead time. When requesting permission, include the following information:
    • Your name, address, telephone number, and email address
    • Your title, position, and institution’s name
    • The date of your request
    • The title of the work to be copied, with a description and citation of that work
    • A description of how the work is to be used, by whom, and for how long
    • A signature line for the copyright holder to sign, signifying that permission has been granted

Model letters from Columbia University may be viewed here.

When using Pay-Per-Use or pursuing permission on your own be prepared to pay a fee. Note: Library Services is not responsible for any fees incurred.  If the fee is too high or if you receive no response from the copyright owner, use other materials or investigate alternate means of using the material legally (i.e. licensing, adjusting the nature of your use to favor fair use, etc.).

Just as you would fair use checklists, keep your permissions on permanent file.