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How do I ask permission to use copyrighted material?

  1.  First determine if you need to ask permission.  There are certain uses of materials that fall under ‘fair use’.  Please use the following to determine whether or not your request would be considered ‘fair use’ and therefore not require permission:

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

In short, if you would like to quote a sentence or a paragraph from one of our books that doesn’t contain the full essence of the book, you are welcome to do so under the ‘fair use’ act.  But don’t forget to include the bibliographic data in a footnote or endnote.

  1. Once you have determined that you do need permission for a more substantial bit of material from one of William Carey Library or William Carey Publishing books, please send a request to or submit it from our website contact page.  In your request letter, please include the following information:
  • Your name and organization/institution you are submitting this request for (if applicable)
  • Title, edition (if applicable), and author of the book you are requesting information from
  • Page(s) you are requesting permission to use, title of the chapter/article, and contributing author’s name (if applicable)
  • Purpose of requested use (for an academic class, for a Sunday school class, as part of a book or research paper, to post on a secured website, etc) – please be specific
  • How the material will be reproduced (retyped, photocopied, PDF file, etc)
  • How many copies will be made or to how many individuals the electronic version will be sent
  • Whether or not the copies will be sold for profit
  • Any additional information you believe would be helpful for us to make our decision on your request
  1. Once we receive your request we will make every effort to get back to you in a timely manner.  Please note, however, that some of the material in our books has been licensed to us by 3rd parties.  In such cases we don’t own the copyrights to that material.  For requests that fall under this exception, we will not be able to grant you permission to use such material, but we will happily refer you to those whom you should seek permission from.  However, as a courtesy, it is always appreciated when you reference that you obtained the material from our books.

If you have any additional questions, please let us know.