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Copyright for Educators: How to Get

Getting permission

Obtaining copyright permission is often needed when using copyrighted-protected works, that exceeds fair use or the TEACH Act, for course material, posting on a web site, or use in a Course Management System.

The following web sites have good resources to help you to understand and obtain copyright permission of copyrighted-protected works.

Getting Permission Directly

Obtaining Permission Directly from the Copyright Holder

Plan ahead when requesting copyright permission directly from the copyright holder. It may take several weeks—or even longer—to identify and locate the copyright holder and to receive a reply to your request.

For most print and online publications, the publisher is usually the copyright holder.

If a copyright holder is deceased, contact the executor of his estate.

At the minimum, your permission request should include the following:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address
  • Your title, position and institution's name
  • The date of your request
  • The title of the work to be copied with a description and citation of that work
  • A description of how the work is to be used, by whom and for how long
  • A signature line for the copyright holder to sign, signifying that permission has been granted

It is important to note that a lack of response from the copyright holder does not, under U.S. law, convey permission. In addition, some works may contain materials—text, images and graphics—from multiple copyright holders and may require separate authorization from each one. Also, simply acknowledging the source of content is not a substitute for copyright permission.

Obtaining Copyright Permission

ASCAP License for Music in Schools


 Here are some common uses legally available under the license:

  •  Popular music played over the intercom before, during, or after classes.
  •  Popular music played over the PA system during athletic or other events held on school property.
  • On-hold background music.
  •  Popular music played at a dance, sports banquet, craft fair, carnivalor similar event held on school property.

The license does not provide permission for the following:

  •  Making copies of music in any format, other than what is allowed under Fair Use. 
  • Broadcasting music via radio, television or the internet.

The license covers only music with “ASCAP” on the label.  Consult the ASCAP database of covered music (over 8 million titles!)  @

QUESTIONS? Please call Stacy Lickteig or  Laura Pietsch at Library Services (402)-557-2520.



Public Performance Rights for Copyrighted Movies

Vendors that Grant Public Performance Rights for Copyrighted Movies

If you want to show a copyrighted film in a public setting, you will need to contact one of these licensing service companies to obtain permission.

  • Modern Sound Pictures
  • Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC)
    5455 Centinela Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90066-6970
    1-800-462-8855 or 1-310-822-8855
    Fax 1-310-822-4440
  • Movie Licensing USA(This company is the one most schools use)
    A division of Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
    201 South Jefferson Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63103-2579
    Schools: 1-877-321-1300
    Libraries: 1-888-267-2658
    Other organizations: 1-800-876-5577
    Fax:1-314-287-1748 (schools), 1-877-876-9873 (libraries)
    Email: or

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).