In most cases, the use of these materials will not qualify as a fair use. Writers often want or need to include text, photographs or other previously published materials in their books. For example, a writer preparing a book on sports may want to use a newspaper photograph of a winning touchdown, or a novelist writing contemporary fiction may want to include lyrics from a popular song. In most cases, the use of these materials will not qualify as a fair use. Accordingly, the writer will have to obtain permission from the copyright owner in order to avoid liability for copyright infringement. In addition, the writer's agreement with his or her publisher will usually require the writer to deliver permissions for all third party materials to be included in the book before the publisher will accept and publish the book.
A permission to use third party material will almost always be in the form of a non-exclusive license. This means that even though the writer receives permission to use the material, the copyright owner will retain the right to grant the same or similar permissions to others. In most cases, this will not create a problem for the writer, since the material will not be the central feature of the writer's book, and the use of the same material in other contexts will not affect the writer's book.
A permission will often limit the use of the material to a single edition or a specific number of copies of the book, and will apply only to copies distributed in a particular territory. For example, a "basic" permission may limit the use of a photograph to the first English language hardcover edition of the book, for distribution only in North America. In addition, a permission may apply only to a particular publisher's publication of the book. If this is the case, it will be necessary to approach the copyright owner again to obtain an additional permission before paperback, foreign language or other reprint rights can be licensed to another publisher.
TheThe fee for a permission will vary with the scope of the uses included. fee for a permission will vary with the scope of the uses included. A publisher will often want the writer to obtain as broad of a permission as possible. However, since the writer will most likely be obligated to pay the fees for obtaining the permission, the writer should try to limit the permission only to those uses that are reasonably anticipated. In some cases, the writer may be able to get the publisher to share some portion of the permission fees, and may be able to shift the fees for future uses to the licensees of those uses. In addition, it may be possible to get the copyright owner to agree in advance to the charges that will apply in the event it becomes necessary to seek permission for other uses not covered under the original permission.
The owner of the material for which permission is granted will usually require a credit in the book. The writer and the copyright owner should agree on the exact wording, style and placement of the credit at the time the permission is granted, and the writer should make sure that the form of the credit is acceptable to the publisher.
Finally, the writer should insure that the person or entity granting the permission is the owner of the copyright in the material, and that the permission will not violate any other grant that might have previously been made. The letter or other document which grants the permission should contain representations to this effect, and should be signed by the copyright owner.
Permissions are a necessary, but often expensive and time consuming, part of many publishing projects. A writer who wants to include third party materials in his or her book should determine what permissions will be required, and should begin the permissions process as soon as possible.