Copyright & Permissions
We know how frustrating clearing permissions for reprinting in your document can be. Copyright requests are sometimes bumped from publisher to agent to estate in trying to find out who holds rights to a work. Permission to reproduce material in a book or textbook may have to be obtained from one publisher, while electronic rights to the same material may have to be cleared with another.
Most written and creative material is protected by copyright. This includes:
- short stories
- newspaper and magazine articles
- TV scripts
- website materials
- graphs and tables
- cartoons/comics (see note below)
- photos and illustrations
… well, just about anything that someone has created. If it is under copyright protection, you must clear permission to reprint it in your publication.
On your behalf, TEC permission editors will
- contact the copyright holder and request permission to use the materials
- negotiate a fee and handle the contract or licensing agreements
- identify the rights being granted
- keep track of the fees to help you stay on budget
- create the source lines the copyright holder specifies be used
Some publishers and organizations allow you to use a certain amount of material at no charge and without permission. In addition, we can confirm if any of the material you wish to include is considered fair use or is in the public domain.
If you know what you need to clear, send us your list. If you are not sure what might need permission to reprint, we would be happy to read through your manuscript and make that determination for you.
Please note that permissions can take time. The sooner you begin permission clearances, the better. It's best not to wait till the last minute! It can several months to clear one permission.
Are you not sure what your manuscript might need? We can assess your full manuscript to determine which items require permission clearance.
- Assess manuscript for permissions items
- Compile a permissions report of what requires permissions clearance
- Consult with the author to determine areas where paraphrasing and trimming are possible
- Compile final list of copyrighted material to be cleared
Permissions fees from copyright holders are a separate cost. While we will negotiate the best fee possible for you and handle the licensing, it is your responsibility to cover these fees.
A Note for Authors about Reprinting Cartoons, Comics, Graphic Novels
In September 2015, we had been hired by authors who were publishing an essay in a forthcoming cultural studies anthology and wanted to use illustrations from The Deadwardians published by DC Comics. We prepared the permission request and found an email for permissions at DC Comics that we used to send the request. We also located a phone number in New York City for this department, but the phone message told us the number was out of service. We tried the number repeatedly a few times a day for several days.
In December 2015, we still had not heard any response from the DC Comics permission department. While we are leaving the request “open,” the authors decided not to use the illustrations since we could not clear the request in time. If we do hear from DC Comics in the future, we will let the authors know, just to see how long it took for the response.
If you are a scholar wanting to use graphic material from graphic novels, please give yourself a good year for clearing permission requests. And be prepared that your request will not receive a response. As of 2018, we have not received a response to this request.