Obtaining Permission & Royalty Free sites

When to Obtain Permission

How to Obtain Permission

Obtaining permission requires that you contact the copyright holder. If you know the author and publisher, you can visit the publisher's website and view their copyright permissions information. For example, visit the Wiley or Pearson Education permission's page. In general, permission should be sought at least two months prior to using the copyrighted material.

You may be required to write a letter, send e-mail or fax. See model permission letters from Columbia University, and sample letters from College of DuPage.

Obtaining permission to photocopy book chapters, journal articles, and material for library reserves, can also be sought by visiting the Copyright Clearance Center. Just click through the permissions online. In addition to the service charge, you pay a royalty fee set and paid to the copyright holder.

If you are having difficulty identifying the owner, the University of Texas maintains a permissions website with helpful information.

Need help finding the right contact? Try this Source and Permission Contact List provided by the National Archives.

Video and Music Permissions

Obtaining permission to use a video or music clip is sought in a similar way. See the Warner Music Group FAQ, the MGM Media Licensing site or the Vanguard Records contact website.

If you are using a video clip from a DVD or video stream, to create a  new work, you’ll need to ask permission to use a clip.  Usually 30 seconds of music and three minutes of video is all that is allowed under Fair Use (see the CONFU Multimedia Guidelines). 


Library Access & Royalty Free Media

Remember, the library has access to licensed streaming videos and music that can be linked (in full) to Blackboard.   

At the Prelinger Archives you can find royalty free videos, acquired by the Library of Congress.  If you use anything from the Prelinger Archives,  you still need to attribute the clip in your work.

See Pixabay, Dreamstime or Public Domain Pictures for roaylty free, stock photos.

See Ball State University's Royalty Free Music site.


Public Performance Rights

A Public Performace License allows for the showing of an entire video at a campus event. (Classroom teaching is not a campus event.) Some of the library's DVDs do include Public Performance Rights (PPR), meaning the license to have a non-classroom public performance has been paid, upon purchase of the DVD. All of the library's DVDs published by Bullfrog Films, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, and New Day Films, for example, include Public Performance Rights. Campus events that include video viewing should contact Swank Motion Pictures to buy a one-time viewing license, if the video is not already part of the Library's PPR video colletion.