If you reproduce material from another source in your publication, you must generally get permission from the copyright owner in writing. This is in addition to the normal academic practice of referencing sources. Your publisher will expect you to secure these permissions yourself and to warrant that you have done so. Publishers often demand that you provide copies of the permissions. This is often referred to as obtaining copyright clearance.
Examples of material for which you will have to get permission to reproduce include:
long quotations – your publisher may give you guidance on the maximum number of words they will accept without a permission
figures and tables
test items and questionnaires
samples of music
clips of video or film
musical compositions and sound recordings
Permission is not required if copyright has expired (i.e. the work is in the ‘Public Domain’)
In writing for permission, you should be very clear about exactly what you want, how you intend to use it, the nature and purpose of the new work you are creating, the size and nature of the intended audience, and how you intend to distribute it. If you consult the websites of major publishers, you will often find quite detailed guidelines on how to ask for permission, or even an online form. You need to allow plenty of time for the process – plan months in advance. If you do not receive a reply from the copyright owner, you still cannot use the material. When you receive a permission, please send a copy to the University Copyright Officer for recordkeeping.
The Australian Copyright Council website provides information sheets that give further advice on seeking permissions and tracing copyright owners.