2Leaf Tip: Getting permission to use the work!

As an author or editor of a contributed volume, it’s your responsibility to request and secure any permissions required for the use of material created by others, including images and text quotations. It may also be necessary for you to request permission to reprint your own previously published work, even if it’s been revised. Written documentation of permission from the publisher or individual holding the copyright to the item must be obtained before we begin typesetting your book.

Once you make a commitment (in your mind) that you want certain works for inclusion in your book, you should go ahead and do the research and find out who the copyright holder is and if you can obtain permission. You should never wait until the last minute, or assume that you will receive permission to reproduce their work. For one thing, you may be required to pay a fee, which may not fit in your budget. Also, the copyright holder may not want to give you permission. Worst case scenario: you may have to do additional research and find alternative work; or you may not be able to find an alternative and have to rewrite or edit passages in your manuscript to compensate for the loss.

Either way, if you have pending permissions upon acceptance of your manuscript, it will certainly delay publication of your book. Therefore, you should know up front that once we’ve informed you of acceptance, you will be required to supply us with licenses and documentation for all works requiring permission.

For additional discussion of Copyright and Permissions as they pertain to publishing, please refer to the The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, Chapter 4, or to the Chicago Manual of Style Online. Also, check out Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyrights, Trademarks and Contracts in Plain Language by Tonya Marie Evans and Susan Borden Evans; and The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs to Know by Stephen Fishman J.D.

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