Excellence in Scholarship and Learning



•   Please note that there are exceptions to the “fair dealing” rule, and the Press is happy to give advice on picture & prose permission issues.

Permissions Clearance Advice

This section gives information on applying for permission to reproduce material under UK copyright law. If you remain in any doubt as to your position vis-à-vis copyright permission, please contact the Press.

•   Unless it has been otherwise agreed in your contract, it is your responsibility to clear all copyright permissions for your book and to pay any permission fees

•   If you are in doubt over responsibility regarding permissions clearance, or who bears the cost, check your contract

•   It is important that you begin clearing permissions as early as possible. Permissions clearance can be a long, drawn-out process, as invariably you will be dealing with publishers who can be slow to respond to permission requests

•   It is very important that all permissions are cleared before the final script is submitted to the Press, as obtaining copyright after this deadline can be very costly and can result in a delay in publication

Applying for permissions

•   When obtaining rights, please request non-exclusive World English language rights (including the United States). Use form at end of this file to clear permissions>

•   The copyright owner has the right to specify the position and the exact wording of any acknowledgement of their work. Please alert the Press to any specific requests of this nature

•   It is the responsibility of the person seeking permission to make all reasonable efforts to track down the copyright owner and get them to reply. Do keep a record of all correspondence, as proof that attempts to obtain permission have been made

•   Permissions secured for text or figures in a previous edition of a book do not usually qualify as permission clearance for future editions of the book. Permission clearance for new editions must be separately and freshly obtained


•   A source list will form the foundation of your Acknowledgements page

•   A complete acknowledgements list, numbered in the order that material appears in the text, should be supplied when you submit the final manuscript

•   Please alert the Press editor if there are any outstanding copyright queries

The “Fair Dealing” Rule

•   In the UK and EU, quoting for purposes of “criticism or review”, you may choose to utilize the “fair dealing” rule, enabling writers to quote more freely from texts. It is also worth noting that the 1988 Copyright Act (UK) does not specify a quantitative value with regard to the reproduction of copyrighted work. It only refers to the idea of the “substantial part” of a text

•   The US code regarding fair use is generally accepted as permitting no more than 400 words from a book, or more than 50 words from a chapter in an anthology

Prose Extracts

•   Prose extracts require permission when being reproduced for the purposes of:

»   A single extract of more than 400 words
»   A series of extracts, over 800 words, from a single publication
»   A single extract, or a series of extracts, that totals more than one-quarter or more of an original work


•   Fair dealing regarding poetry differs to prose regulations. Small extracts from poems may be used “for the purposes of criticism and review”

•   Limits on the amount of poetry you can freely quote do exist. The number of lines you can quote is determined by the length of the poem – you can quote no more than a quarter of its entire length. For a poem of 80 lines, for example, 20 lines can be used in your book. There is an upper limit of 40 lines

•   The 1988 Copyright Act (UK) declares that permission must be sought when a “substantial” amount of material is used. “Substantial” can also relate to the recognizability of the author as well as the length of the extract.

Illustrations, Works of Art and Photography

•   Even if permission is obtained to use an article or a chapter from an anthology, that permission will not include what is termed “third-party” copyright material, such as illustrations or tables and figures. Such material copyright must be separately requested

•   In order to reproduce a work of art, you will need to find a source photograph of that particular work. For paintings, you will need to find out who owns the copyright, so that you can apply for permission from the correct source

•   A reproduction fee may have to be paid to the owner plus a copyright fee to the artist. Do keep in mind the costs involved in reproducing artwork

•  For photography, please apply to the publisher or photographer for any material copyright

•   Bear in mind that the owner of the copyright has a “moral right of integrity” with regard to illustrations; this moral right is infringed if the photograph is cropped, or if the colours are changed in an artwork reproduction

•   Special advice should be sought by the author when considering requesting art or photography permission. Please contact the following organizations for further advice:

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)
Parchment House
13 Northburgh Street
London EC1V 0JP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7336 8822

Artists Rights Society (ARS)
536 Broadway, 5th Floor (at Spring Street)
New York
NY 10012
Tel: (1) 212 420 9160
Fax: (1) 212 420 9286

Permissions Clearance – When is it Completed?

•   The author should make every effort to clear all copyright queries before the book goes to press. In some cases, however, due to Press deadlines, a book will have to be published with outstanding permission requests. In the event of this happening, a disclaimer must appear at the beginning and end of the list of acknowledgements:

“The author/editor and publisher gratefully acknowledge the permission granted to reproduce the copyright material in this book.”

“Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. The publisher apologizes for any errors or omissions in the above list and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future reprints or editions of this book.”

Copyright Permission Request

A form is supplied below to enable you to apply for permission to reproduce copyrighted material. The copyright holder may request specific credit line wording and position; if no request is made, please use the wording as exampled below:

Reprinted with permission from T. Andrews and V. Pritchard, Reproducing Material: A complete guide, third edition. Brighton & Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2004.

Copyright Permission Request Form

Click here to download a Word file that you can modify for your particular permission request.