Welcome to the Obtaining Copyright Permissions guide from the University of Michigan Library Copyright Office. If you want to use a copyrightable work that is not in the public domain in a way that would implicate one of the rights of copyright holders and is not permitted by a user’s right, you must get permission from the copyright holder. For more information on these topics, please consult Copyright Basics.
This guide covers the following topics:
Last revised on April 24, 2017. This guide was initially prepared by Robert Spence in 2011.
When the University of Michigan holds copyright in a work, university policy dictates that “the University units most closely associated with the creation of [that work] may authorize uses of [it].” In an exception to this general rule, the Office of Technology Transfer controls uses of certain software as well as deliverables funded by sponsored activity agreements.
Thus, to obtain permission to use a work whose copyright is held by the University of Michigan, you will need to determine what unit is most closely associated with the creation of the work you want to use. Then, you will need to find a contact person within that unit. The work itself, the university website, and the university directory are likely to be the most helpful tools for this search.
For permission to use works published by the University of Michigan Press, please send permissions requests according to the directions on its website.
Our office provides information to help you make decisions about sharing and using copyrighted material in your research, learning, and teaching. In addition to copyright guides like this one and online resources on our website, please take advantage of our person-to-person services.
Use our email address to ask questions about copyright.
We offer in-person appointment slots on Friday afternoons. Please sign up via Google Calendar using a university email address. To make an appointment at another time or to schedule an online appointment, email us.
We offer public workshops on copyright. We also offer customized copyright education (presentations, workshops, etc.) for university groups, including faculty, staff, and students. Please email us to request this.
Although we provide information and education about copyright, we are not able to provide legal advice.
Some copyright-related issues are handled elsewhere at the university:
If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.
If you believe your copyright has been infringed on a web site hosted by the university, please contact our DMCA agent.
If you have questions about using the university trademarks, including the Block M, please consult the Permissions Guide from the university's Office of Communications.
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