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Copyright and Fair Use: Faculty - Requesting Permissions

Where to start?

Advice for Faculty

Due to the complexities of copyright it is extremely difficult to create one resource or policy that addresses all situations. Generally speaking, however, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the format, my intended use of the format, and the amount that I wish to use?
  2. If the source is multimedia (i.e. DVD or CD) might I be better served by showing the work in class or placing it on course reserve?
  3. Will the amounts permitted in Section 107 (fair use) meet my needs? (See the Fair Use tab)
  4. If not, will the limits outlined in Section 110 meet my needs? (allows for classroom showing of legally acquired multimedia)
  5. If the previous amounts are too restrictive, should I contact the publisher directly and request permission to use the material?

Seeking Permissions:

Once you have identified the materials you want to use and determined that copyright permission is required, you must identify the copyright holder and secure permission to use their work.  A good explanation of the steps for securing permission for copyrighted works can be found on the Columbia University’s Copyright Advisory Office website. This site provides direction for obtaining permission for many different types of materials. The site also provides several Model Permission Letters that faculty can use when seeking permission from copyright right holders.

Obtaining Permissions for Repeated Blackboard use:

Multiple uses of the same document weigh against Fair Use. If repeated use is expected, faculty and staff are advised to contact the rights holder and seek out the appropriate permission.  When doing so please utilize the Model Permission Letters found at Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office.

Please note that obtaining publisher permissions is a process that can take up to four weeks. Therefore faculty and staff are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Obtaining Streaming Rights:

It is recommended that faculty and staff only stream small portions of multimedia.  If there is a need to stream large portions (i.e. the entire work) it is advised that faculty contact the rights holder and ask for permission.  When doing so please utilize the Model Permission Letters found at Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office. 

Please note that obtaining streaming rights is a process that can take up to four weeks. Therefore faculty and staff are encouraged to plan accordingly.

 

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