Material presented here is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Specific legal questions pertaining to Eastern Michigan University should be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs.

How to Obtain Permissions to Use Copyrighted Materials

If an exemption is not clearly available, permission must be obtained to use copyrighted materials. 

The EMU Library may have blanket copyright permission for the journal you need an article from. Before sending your request(s) to a publisher, check with the library. The Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is able to give permission for most materials for a fee.

If your are using a course pack from commercial copying services such as Kinko’s, they will obtain copyright permission for materials and add the copyright fees to the price of your course pack.

Letter of Request

A letter of request to use copyrighted materials should be sent to the copyright/permission department of the publisher of the work you wish to use. Allow four to six weeks for a request to be processed.

Be sure your request includes:

  • Title, author and/or editor, and edition.
  • Exact material to be use.
  • Number of copies to be made.
  • Intended use of the material, e.g. educational.
  • Form of distribution, e.g., hard copy to classroom, internet use.
  • Whether material is to be sold, course pack.

Examples of Letters

Below are examples of letters you could use to obtain permission to use copyright materials.  Always use University letterhead.  Be sure to allow sufficient time before you need to use the materials to obtain permission.


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Julia Nims
Subjects: History, Technology