Leeds University Library
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The Library website is changing. Our new website will go live at the start of semester 2.

Contacting rights owners

Books and journals - publishers

Check the publisher's website - some have their own pages about rights permissions, and prefer you to contact them via a form.

Otherwise, write to, fax or email the rights department of the publisher or other copyright owner.

Your application to use material

State exactly what you hope to use:

  • Book - give the full bibliographic reference including ISBN, author, title, year of publication, and inclusive page numbers
  • Journal article - give the ISSN, title, volume/issue, date, author and title of article, and inclusive page numbers
  • Image - give the book or article reference as above, page number, and figure number/title.

State exactly how you plan to use it


  • Reproduce text or image, or a printout of a webpage, in a module handbook or handout for students. (Specify whether they are campus-based, distance learners in the UK or distance learners outside the UK (if the latter, from which countries))
  • Scan and mount material on the VLE/web server for access only by students on this module, from date [a] to date [b]. (Specify whether they are campus-based, distance learners in the UK or distance learners outside the UK (if the latter, from which countries))
  • Include in an openly available webpage on topic [x]
  • Include in an article for submission to journal [z]. (Provide the author and title)
  • Modify an image and do one of the above. (Include a copy of the proposed modified version)
  • Include the image or other material in a book. (Provide the author, title (or working title), publisher, territory for which rights are requested (UK/world), expected number of pages, expected publication date, expected print run, and expected retail price).

Separate permission will be needed for each category of use. For example, if you want to include copyrighted material in your lecture handouts and then put them up on the web, even if it's only for a restricted group of students, you must have permission for both uses.

It will be much more difficult to get permission where there are multiple rights owners (for example, for film clips or sound recordings), and the costs may be much higher than simply quoting from printed material.

The Strategic Content Alliance IPR Toolkit contains email and letter templates for requesting permissions (sections 3.8 and 3.9).

Remember to include your own contact details - post, phone, email, fax. 

Lack of response to your enquiry must not be taken as permission for your use of the material.

You must wait until permission to use the material has been granted before doing anything towards reproduction or republishing.