What Is a Copyright?
As an author, you have two concerns with copyright law as
the copyright proprietor of your own work and as the user of copyrighted
works by other authors.
Your manuscript is protected by copyright from the time of its
creation. Copyright protection means that the copyright owner has
the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, or adapt a work for
any purpose, with certain limitations as specified by Canadian copyright
law. Currently, the term of a copyright (with a few exceptions)
is the life of the author plus 50 years, which may be extended to
70 years under pending legislation. When you sign an agreement to
publish with Wiley, in addition to publishing the work, Wiley will
seek to maximize income for the work by licensing rights to other
publishers and granting appropriate permissions to others to use
excerpts from your work. Also, in consultation with you, we may
pursue infringements that come to our attention.
The second concern, the "other side of the coin" relates to use
in your manuscript of material copyrighted by others. It is your
responsibility to obtain permission to use others' material in your
work. This document will assist you in meeting your obligations.
Although the copyright statute and court cases call for a fact-based,
case-by-case analysis to determine whether use of third party copyrighted
material requires permission, it is not realistic or practical to
assume that all authors are aware of the legal parameters. Hence,
industry practice has resulted in a consensus on guidelines reflected
in this advice. These guidelines apply whether the source material
is old or recent, as long as it is in copyright. They apply whether
the source material or your work is in print or in electronic form,
and whether you change from one format or media to another. However,
there are special issues that relate to new media noted below.
Material That Requires Permission
As a general guide, permission is more likely to be needed if the
source material is short or the excerpt which you wish to use represents
a significant portion of either of the work in which you found it
or in which you intend to use it. Also, any material that constitutes
or represents the heart or key elements of the source material,
such that your use could possibly serve as a substitute for the
original, will also require permission. More specifically, you should
always secure permission for:
1. A single quotation or several shorter quotes from a full-length
book, more than 300 words in total.
2. A single quotation of more than 50 words from a newspaper,
magazine, or journal.
3. Artwork, photographs, or forms, whether or not from a
published source. Sometimes more than one permission is required
for a photograph, e.g., from the photographer and also from the
creator of the underlying work shown in the photograph. If the project
is assigned to our Permission Department, they will provide support
needed to research photo, clear permissions and obtain releases
4. Charts, tables, graphs, and other representations where,
inevitably, you are using the entire representation, since the copyrighted
features are complete in themselves and inherent in the whole work.
5. Material which includes all or part of a poem or song
lyric (even as little as one line), or the title of a song.
6. Computer representations, such as the depiction of results
of research on computerized databases, the on-screen output of software,
reproduction of web pages, and the capture of Internet or other
online screen shots. (For small and insignificant portions, "fair
use" may apply; see description below). Please note, however, that
if a website invites or authorizes copying and there is nothing
to indicate it contains material which is original to others and
therefore would require permission from the original source, then
you do not need to get permission.
7. Any third party software to be distributed as an electronic
component with your book. A separate form letter and tracking table
are available for such permissions. Please contact your editor.
8. Use of materials from other Wiley publications, and from
your own previously published works. Note that while Wiley will
not charge you a fee to use Wiley-published materials, we may collect
a fee on behalf of the author and/or the artist, and you still need
to insert a credit line in the text of your work. Contact the Wiley
Permissions Department if you need permission for use of Wiley-published
materials.For additional information regarding copyright, fair use
and permission, go to Wiley Canada's Permissions
In addition to the above guidelines to obtain copyright permission,
you are also responsible for securing all other required clearances,
including permissions for the use of trademarks and releases from
privacy claims. For example:
- A release may be required for photographs or reproductions of
specific brand-name products and for use of trade names and logos.
Contact the company.
- You may need releases for photographs of people, especially
private citizens as opposed to public officials and public figures.
This is particularly necessary if such material will be used on
the cover or in part of the promotion of the work and does not
specifically illustrate material in the text. You should contact
your editor for the Wiley-approved release form.
Material That Does Not Require Permission
The copyright law recognizes the value of the free flow of information
in society and encourages authors to expand knowledge by building
on the work of those who wrote before them. Copyright does not prevent
the use of facts or ideas, but only the author's expression, which,
as discussed below, is more than just the words, or pictures. In
addition, even when material is protected by copyright, there are
situations where permission to reproduce is not required.
1. Fair use. "Fair Use" is a legal term, so you should not
assume it will permit your use of copyrighted material from other
authors just because such use seems "fair" to you. Generally, a
use will constitute "fair use" if minimal, commercially insignificant
portions of an existing work are copied, quoted or paraphrased for
purposes of comment, criticism, illustration or scholarship. In
a commercial context, the doctrine of "fair use" is quite limited.
If you are in doubt about whether your use of copyrighted material
is a fair use, go ahead and request permission. Even if your use
constitutes "fair use," and you do not have to obtain permission,
you should give proper credit to the original source in the form
2. Interviews. Generally, you can use material from an interview
you conduct, including direct quotes, without securing a signed
release if the circumstances and your notes clearly reveal that
the source knew you were conducting an interview for possible publication
and did not indicate an intent to restrict your use of the material.
Otherwise, you should ask the interviewee to sign a release. You
should contact your editor for the Wiley-approved release form.
3. Facts, Information and Ideas. Generally, you may use
facts and information you obtain from another work. However, this
does not permit you to use the author's original literary expression,
which includes, for example, more than just the words or the specific
lines of a drawing. Copyright encompasses the format, organization,
sequence and style of presentation as well as the sense or feeling
of the original. When paraphrasing from another work, even if you
do not have to request permission because you are paraphrasing a
very limited portion of the source, always give credit to the original
source. You do not need to credit well-known concepts or theories
or strictly factual information, however, as long as they are expressed
in your own way.
4. Public Domain. You do not need to obtain permission for
materials that are in the "public domain." This includes all official
government publications as well as materials for which the copyright
has expired. The copyright expiration date is often difficult to
determine. It is safe to assume that anything copyrighted in this
century is still protected. Modern translations of older works are
also protected, as are photographs and other portrayals of public
domain images. Other materials may be in the public domain because
they were published without a notice of copyright at a time when
such notice was required to preserve copyright. Once again, this
is hard to determine. Some material is intentionally and explicitly
made available to copy or use, such as "clip art." Clip art includes
standard line drawings that are available in books and on disks
and are classified by subject area (sports, animals, etc.) specifically
for free use in other publications.
Who is Responsible for Obtaining Permissions?
Obtaining written permission to use copyrighted material is the
author's responsibility. The author should use the written Permission
Request Form described below.
In a multi-author volume, the chapter authors must obtain permission
to use copyrighted material in their chapters, and the volume editor
is responsible for making sure that they have done so.
When Should You Apply?
Request permission as early as possible. Response time of from
four to six weeks is not uncommon, and it can take much longer.
Follow-up calls after a few weeks can help to avoid further delay,
but there are often additional snags, such as unexpected fees or
rejections or people who are difficult to reach. Under the terms
of your publishing agreement, you should submit all permissions
to us along with your final manuscript. If this is not possible,
you should advise your editor of any permissions requests not yet
granted and when you expect to receive them. Since publication of
this material in your work is contingent upon receiving permission,
it's important to follow up with your editor on any problems, in
order to avoid jeopardizing the scheduled publication date.
To Whom Should You Apply?
Send your written request to the permissions department of the
publisher whose material you wish to use regardless of who holds
the copyright. Always check credit lines on the sources you use
to see if the material is actually original or from another book.
If the material is credited to another book, then request permission
from the original publisher. If the publisher does not control the
rights, your request will be referred to the appropriate party,
but you may have to call and follow up. You need to obtain the author's
approval only if the publisher instructs you to do so. Rights might
also belong to illustrators, photographers, agencies, or corporations.
In addition, rights can be sold or willed to others, so it can be
difficult to track down the actual copyright holder. Publishers
usually respond to requests for permission within a reasonable time.
The need to consult the author or refer your request to another
copyright owner may, however, extend the time required for granting
The Permission Request Form
Use the attached Permissions
Request Form to request permission to use third party copyrighted
material. Prepare it in quadruplicate, retain one copy in your file,
send one copy to your editor at Wiley, and mail the other two to
the copyright owner. Enclose a photocopy of the requested material
with your request and make sure that Wiley also has a copy. If you
wish to delete or edit portions of a selection, say so in the request.
Under the terms of our publishing agreement, the author (or contributor
in a multi-author volume) is responsible for the payment of permission
fees. Fees charged for reprinting copyrighted material must be agreed
on, in each case, by the seller and buyer of the rights. Most large
publishers have standard rates for various classes of books, but
there is no generally accepted set of rates for all publishers.
Many publishers do not charge fees at all for small uses, and other
publishers are willing to negotiate fees. If rates seem unusually
high or require a pro rata share of your royalties, or if the rights
holder makes any other demands (such as credit on the cover or a
large number of free books), consult your Wiley editor before you
sign an agreement with the copyright owner. If you decide not to
use copyrighted material because of a high fee after permission
has been granted, you should inform the copyright holder to avoid
being inadvertently billed.
What to Do With Permissions Granted
When you send your manuscript to Wiley, include copies of the permission
letters, all related correspondence and the completed Permissions
Summary Form described below. Retain duplicates of all these
documents for your records. These documents become part of our permanent
record, which is used, for example, in determining market rights
and in work on future editions. Signed permission forms should be
sent to your editor along with the final manuscript. Failure to
do this may delay the publication of your book. If you are still
waiting to get signed forms back at this point, you may have to
consider dropping the material in question from the book.
How Do You Use the Permissions Summary
The Permissions Summary Form
is an aid we provide to help you keep track of your requests and
the permissions granted. An explanation is on the form. Write in
the permission number you put on your request and your manuscript
page and figure and table numbers. Enter the appropriate codes.
For example, in the "Editions" column enter FU for permissions granted
for this and future editions of your work or ED for permission covering
this edition only. In the "Market" column enter W for world rights
in all languages or NA for North American rights. The standard Permission
Request Form asks for all rights, but the copyright holders may
note limitations when they sign and return the form. It is important
that Wiley knows about any limitations. You must notify your editor
if the permission granted to you is restricted in any way. If the
restriction limits Wiley's rights in any medium or format, territory
or language, it may be necessary to delete this material from your
If the grantor of the permission is to receive one or more copies
of your book, state the number and attach the grantor's address.
When you have all your permissions finalized, send a copy of the
summary form with your permission letters to your editor at Wiley.
How Should You Give Credit?
Be scrupulous in giving credit for material used from someone else's
work. Whether or not permission was needed for its use, do acknowledge
all material taken from another work and make clear which portions
of your work come from another source. Acknowledgment, however,
is not a substitute for permission to use material. It is your responsibility
to include all necessary credit lines in your manuscript before
sending it to us. Credit lines may be inserted on the page where
the borrowed material appears, or they may all be grouped together
in the front matter of the book. In granting the permission, the
copyright owner may specify the form or the location of the credit
line, or both. Note the line at the bottom of the Permissions Request
Form where a credit line can be specified. Follow such instructions
regardless of the style and method of acknowledgment used in the
other credit lines in your book. If the form and location have not
been specified, check the copyright page of your source material
for the style to use. Indicate first that the quote is being used
with permission. For example, to give credit properly from a Wiley
book, you would use this form:
From Brown, The Best Book in the World, 4th Edition. Copyright
© 2000 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reprinted by permission
of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
When you get permission, the grantor usually specifies the proper
copyright notice for you to use. However, when you simply give credit,
the correct copyright notice for you to use will be found on the
copyright page of the source material. It is not necessary to include
any material beyond the copyright notice as given in the above example.
Generally, a figure is credited in its legend/caption, a table in
a source note, and a quotation in an endnote. If most of your reprinted
material comes from a single source or only a few sources, you may
wish to acknowledge it collectively in the front of the book unless
it's specified in the permission letter that the credit lines must
appear with reprinted material. You should supply a separate list
of credits for this material with your manuscript. Note that even
when full acknowledgment is given elsewhere, the source of each
item should normally be indicated (Author, date) wherever the item
Why Go Through All This?
There are two reasons for clearing permissions. The first is your
status as an author: you will want other authors to respect the
copyright in your book by getting permission, crediting your book
and paying any appropriate fees when they use material from your
Secondly, if your published book includes material copyrighted
by third parties for which you did not obtain permission, you could
face legal action for copyright infringement. The copyright holder
has recourse to several remedies through the courts, including suing
for fees and damages. It is even possible that all copies of your
book would be taken off sale immediately, impounded or destroyed.
It is in everyone's best interest that you take the time to apply
The following checklist may help you organize your effort. (If
you have further questions, be sure to ask your editor.)
- Make a list of all items including photographs and illustrations
for which permission may be required.
- If you need to go over any questionable items with your editor,
do it early. If you encounter any legal issues, your editor will
take advice from the Permissions Department as appropriate. For
additional information regarding copyright, fair use and permission,
go to Wiley Canada's Permissions
- If you suspect it may take time to locate the copyright holder,
start early and call first rather than writing immediately. When
you find the copyright holder, apply for written confirmation.
- Write out all your forms at once, numbering them and listing
them by number on the Permissions Summary Form.
- Make four copies of the permission requests and of the material
for which you have requested permission. Send two to the copyright
holder and one to Wiley. Keep one for yourself.
- Four to six weeks after sending the letters, follow up with
a phone call on any that have not been returned to you.
- When you receive a signed permission form, make a note of it
on the Permissions Summary Form. If there are restrictions, contact
your editor because such restrictions may make the inclusion of
the material unacceptable. If, for example, Wiley is considering
publishing excerpts from your work on the World Wide Web or in
a CD-ROM, you must be sure to avoid restrictions on re-use in
derivative works or in other media.
- If the grantor requests complimentary copies of the book, indicate
the number and provide Wiley with the grantor's address. (Note
that Wiley will not provide an unusually high number of comp copies
without prior approval.)
- Check the signed form for any specific directions concerning
format or positioning of credit lines and follow them.
- Add credit lines either to the manuscript as footnotes or source
notes or to a separate legend in the manuscript, or compile a
list of all credit lines for front matter and include it in the
- Keep copies of signed permission forms and send the originals
to Wiley with your final Permissions Summary Form.