You need to ask permission to reproduce a work if:
- It is protected by copyright.
- The use you plan to make of it does not respect the limitations and exceptions provided in the Copyright Act, including fair dealing. Consult Exceptions to copyright and Alternatives to copyright for more details.
Note: If a permission is required for use in a print course pack, on the Virtual Campus, or in the classroom, visit the Instructors section. This page details the process for requests other than for use in a print course pack, on the Virtual Campus, or in the classroom.
Obtaining permission directly from a publisher's website
Leading scholarly publishers and platforms often provide a copyright permission request link on their website. Here are a few examples.
Note: For publishers and platforms that use RightsLink, you will be asked to create an individual account to complete the request process and obtain a licence, even if the permission is free.
Contacting a copyright owner directly to ask for permission
If there is no link to complete the request process for the work you wish to use, you will need to ask the copyright owner directly. Here are some elements to consider when requesting a permission:
1. Identify the copyright holder. It could be the author or the publisher. Find the contact information for this individual or publisher, preferably an email in order to have a written record.
2. Introduce yourself, i.e. University of Ottawa student, professor, researcher, etc.
3. Identify which item you are talking about and where you found it.
4. Confirm with the recipient that they are in fact the copyright owner and therefore have the authority to provide permission.
5. Describe how you want to use this item. Be specific. For example:
- for a [Master’s thesis/PhD dissertation] entitled [title of thesis or dissertation], which will be made available to the public through uO Research (uOttawa’s institutional repository)
- for an assignment on [subject] in [course code and title]
- for an article entitled [title of article] submitted to [title of journal]
- for a poster about [subject] for [name of the conference and when]
- for a website/blog post about [subject] (provide website or blog URL)
6. Do not hesitate to ask. Depending on the type of use, permission may be at no cost.
7. Give yourself plenty of time. A response can take a couple of days or many weeks.
8. Keep your correspondence.
If you have questions concerning the permission request process, including identifying a copyright owner, contact the Copyright Office [contact information below].