A time will come when you might find that you need to use someone else’s work in order to make your own work more solid. There are times where you might need to ask for the creator’s permission should you want to use their creations. But, how would you know when to do so? This is what we want to share with you in this article. You may also see sample personal statements.

We would like to let you know when there would be a need for you to ask for permission and when there is no need to do so. Just make sure that you keep reading this article and we are sure that you will find a lot of helpful information on how to obtain permission to use copyrighted material.

When to Seek Permission

If you are going to use someone’s material or if you feel like there is a need for you to use someone else’s material where it is not considered to be of fair use, there is a need for you to ask for permission. Just because you are crediting someone in your own work does not mean that it excuses you from asking for permission from the creator. You may also see sample personal statements.

The task of asking for permission starts with getting in touch with the person who created the material or the agency who published the work. Oftentimes, when you start asking for permission, you may end up having to sign a contract release form that would give the person asking for permission the right to use the material. You might also be charged a specific amount for wanting to use the material.

When to Not Seek Permission

There are times when you will find that there is no need for you to ask permission from the creator especially if the material is available in the public domain. But, how do we determine works where there is no need to ask permission from the creator? It can be a bit tricky but here’s a little tip: works produced before 1923 are already considered to be already in the public domain. However, you still have to be careful as there are items that are available in the public domain. The internet and other sources have a wide variety of references that you can look into, so you have to make sure that you are careful with which ones are available to the public and which ones need some permissions. You may also see personal statement samples.

If you are using the material under “fair use,” then there is definitely no need for you to ask permission. Now, this is going to be a tough one to determine but we have you covered!

Should you want to take a sneak peek of what permission forms may look like, do not hesitate to check out our permission form templates.

Criteria for Fair Use

1. The Reason Why You are Using the Material. Determine whether you will be using the material for commercial or nonprofit purposes. Using the material for commercial purposes does not necessarily mean that you are violating fair use, but you might be asked for a higher fee or the producers may ask for a percentage of the sales that you make. However, creators and producers will usually go for purposes that are nonprofit in nature. You may also see personal statement format samples.

2. Facts are Not Copyrighted. If you are just enumerating things that are based on facts, then there is no need for you to worry about asking for permission. However, creative works such as literary pieces are usually the ones that are protected by copyrights, so you have to be careful when it comes to these. You may also see sample personal statements.

3. The Amount of Quoted Work. There is no set amount of word count that a law will state in order for your own work to not be considered as plagiarized. However, a publisher or creator may be the one who will set the parameters.

4. Consider the Potential Market. If your work will cause a drop in the sales of the original work, then you are definitely violating fair use. Limit the number of phrases that you are quoting or you may opt to paraphrase and add in your own words in order to not affect the target market of the original work. You may also see personal statement samples.

To make the long story short, here’s what we mean: if you happen to be quoting just a couple of lines from a literary work, then there is no need for you to ask for permission and you are highly likely not violating fair use. However, take note that every case is different. You might find yourself still getting a notice of copyright. If you want to know more about notice of copyright, you may want to read up on Why Is Notice of Copyright Important?

What is Included in a Permission to Use Quote or Personal Statement Form?

This document is typically brief. One page is enough for this document. So, what is typically included in the form?

  • Logo. This is the company logo of the producer or the creator. If a company logo is not available, it can also be a company letterhead template.
  • Title of the Document. The title is just basically “Permission to Use Quote or Personal Statement Form.” It will typically be center aligned and in bold.
  • Statement of Permission. This will be a one-paragraph statement that basically gives the requesting party permission to make use of the original material under certain parameters. It will also include contact information.
  • Other Sections:
    • Signature line over printed name of the requesting party
    • Date signed
    • Name of organization (if applicable)
    • Complete address
    • Phone number
    • Signature of parent or guardian if requesting party is under 18 years of age

Avoiding the Need to Seek Permission

What is the easiest way of avoiding the need to ask for permission? Avoid the need to quote any copyrighted work. Paraphrasing the original work will not completely get you off the hook. What you can do is take inspiration from the original work and use that inspiration to come up with your own original write-up. Using work that is under Creative Commons can help to save your work from being tagged as plagiarized. You may also see personal statement residency samples.

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