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Scholarly Communications: Fair Use

Includes information on Copyright, Creative Commons, Fair Use, Public Domain, Open Access Resources and More.
Fair Use Infographic 2020 by Sketchlibrarian

Fair Use- Web Resources

Obtaining Permission Resources

Song Mashups - Stealing, Appropriating, and Subconsciously using.

How to obtain permission

When you use someone else's work it is important to make sure that you cover all your permission bases. Even if you are using the material for educational use, it is best to ask for permission. Here are some steps to take when determining if you need permission.

  1. Is permission needed? 
    Is the work copyrighted? Is it in the Public Domain, licensed under creative commons or listed on a copyright free site?
  2. Who owns the copyright? 
    Find the creator or copyright holder of the work. 
  3. Identify the rights needed. 
    If the work is copyrighted, then you must ask for permission or pay for permission. If the work is licensed under Creative Commons, you must abide by those restrictions. 
  4. Start asking for permission as early as possible. 
    Many times, copyright owners do not respond very quickly to copyright inquiries. Do not wait until your project is due before asking for permission. Just because you haven't heard back from the copyright owner, doesn't mean you are in the clear.
  5. Contact the owner and negotiate whether payment is required.
  6. Get your permission agreement in writing. 
What do I need when asking permission? What else should I include?
  • Title of the source
  • Creator/author of the material
  • A description of the material you would like to use
  • The page number(s) of the material (if appropriate)
  • The ISBN or ISSN number
  • Year of the publication and edition if applicable

1. The purpose of your use

2. Whether or not the use is for profit or not

3. How the item is to be reproduced
4. Where the item will appear
5. If you will distribute the work mechanically or digitally

Artist Negotiations

Special Considerations 

  • Retain a contract lawyer if possible 
  • Secure everything in writing 
  • Consider your rights as an artist, Who will retain the copyright 
  • Royalties – How much will you be paid? 
  • Ask how your work will be used 

The Hollywood Reporter. (January 11, 2019). Why Original 'Lion King' Writers Are Losing Out With This Year's Remake. Retrieved from

Vanity Fair. (January 11, 2019. Original Lion King Writers Might Not Get Credits, Residuals from the Remake. Retrieved from