Get permission for copyrighted materials

If you want to use text, photos, illustrations, tables, charts, or graphs from another publication or website, the material is likely copyrighted. Using them without permission is illegal. Therefore, EESC requires that you submit written documentation (email is acceptable) granting you permission to reproduce anything from another source.

Whom do I ask for permission?

Obtain written permission from the copyright holder, usually the publisher. For illustrations or photos, you sometimes also need to ask the artist or photographer.

If there’s no copyright notice, can I use material without permission?

It depends on when it was published. If it was published before March 1, 1989, you can use it. All works published after that date are considered copyrighted even if they don’t contain a notice.

Do I need permission to use material from a government publication?

Federal-government materials are not copyrighted. State-government materials might be.

Do I need permission to use copyrighted material from an out-of-print publication?

Yes. Ask the publisher. If the publisher is no longer in business, try to locate the author.

Do I need permission to use material from or to copy an OSU Extension publication?

If you’re part of OSU, you don’t need permission. The University is the copyright holder, so everyone at OSU can use the material. The exception to this is if someone else’s copyrighted material is in a publication and permission was only granted for that specific use.

Do I need permission to publish photos of people?

If there are people in your photographs, videos, podcasts, or other media and they are recognizable, it is best practice to get their permission in writing to use their likeness. University Relations and Marketing provides model release forms.

University Relations and Marketing can help you decide what your legal obligation is. Other resources include:

Have questions?

Contact: Jim Sloan, Publishing Team Leader