Rights and Permissions FAQs

1. What is copyright?
2. Are out-of-print books still protected by copyright?
3. What is Fair Use?
4. What is permission?
5. How can I get permission to reuse Cengage Learning material?
6. Is there a limit to the amount of material for which Cengage Learning will grant permission?
7. What if the material I want to use has a credit line with it?
8. How do I find out who owns the title I want to use?
9. How long will it take to obtain permission from Cengage Learning?
10. What can I do to speed up turnaround time on my request?
11. How can I change or follow up on a request I submitted?
12. When is my payment due?
13. What kind of documentation should I send with my payment?
14. Why did Cengage Learning deny my permission request?
15. How can I get the material if I can't copy it?
16. A student with a disability wants electronic files of a book. What do I do?
17. How do I obtain a software site license?
18. Do you grant permission to translate into other languages?
19. I am a Cengage Learning author. Who can I talk to about my out of print title?
20. What if I believe something belonging to Cengage Learning has been infringed?
21. What is copyright infringement?
22. Why are authors, publishers and other copyright holders concerned about infringement?
23. What are the penalties for copyright infringement?
24. What is contributory infringement?
25. What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
26. What if I didn't know that what I was doing was illegal? Am I still liable?
27. Does a cease and desist letter require that the recipient remove materials that are alleged to infringe?

 
1. What is copyright?

Copyright is the legal right of creators of "original works of authorship" that have been fixed in a tangible medium of expression, which include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other creative works, both published and unpublished. Copyright law provides the following exclusive rights for copyright owners:

  • to reproduce all or part of the copyrighted work
  • to prepare derivative versions based on the original copyrighted work
  • to distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public
  • to perform or display the copyrighted work publicly

Generally speaking, works that have been published in the United States since 1923 are protected by copyright. For more information on copyright, see the U.S. Copyright Office's FAQs.


2. Are out-of-print books still protected by copyright?

Whether a book is out of print or not does not affect its copyright status. The majority of Cengage Learning textbooks that are out of print are still protected by copyright.


3. What is Fair Use?

The doctrine of Fair Use permits, in limited situations, the use of portions of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research. The four factors that are taken into consideration when making such a determination are:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

No one factor can determine a person's right to use a copyrighted work without acquiring permission. Additionally, there is no set number of words or lines that may be taken without permission. Simply citing the source of the copyrighted material cannot take the place of obtaining permission.


4. What is permission?

Permission is authorization to make a copy (printed or electronic) of material that is protected by copyright. Examples of copying for which permission is required include photocopying or re-publishing printed works, duplicating electronic products, posting material to a web page and transmitting or broadcasting via cable or satellite.


5. How can I get permission to reuse Cengage Learning material?

To request permission to photocopy, duplicate, republish or otherwise reuse Cengage Learning material, please fill out the online permission request form.


6. Is there a limit to the amount of material for which Cengage Learning will grant permission?

In general, we do not allow photocopying or reprinting of more than 10% of an in-print publication. You may be given permission to copy greater percentages of out-of-print titles.

However, many in-print titles are available for purchase online in print or electronic form, either by the chapter or the book. Check for the title you want at www.cengagebrain.com.


7. What if the material I want to use has a credit line with it?

Please review the acknowledgments carefully. These are usually located on the same page as the material itself or in the Credits section (usually in the back or front of the book).

A credit line means Cengage Learning requested and obtained permission from the rights holder to use the material in our work. In that case, you must direct your request to the original rights holder, since Cengage Learning is not allowed to grant permission. The credit line should give you information on the original rights holder.


8. How do I find out who owns the title I want to use?

You should consult the copyright notice in the book or other work. If you have a photocopy that does not contain a copyright notice, the U.S. Copyright Office maintains records of registered works by author and title.


9. How long will it take to obtain permission from Cengage Learning?

The more complete your request, the faster we will be able to process it. We strive for a five day turnaround, but this may be longer during the busiest seasons.


10. What can I do to speed up turnaround time on my request?

If you have used the same material in previous semesters or publications, include the prior Permission ID number in the request. If you have an immediate deadline, include that on the request and we will make every effort to accommodate you.


11. How can I change or follow up on a request I submitted?

To inquire about requests submitted or for further information about accessible product, email , phone +1 800.730.2214 or +1 650.413.7456, or fax +1 800.730.2215 or +1 650.595.4603.


12. When is my payment due?

For classroom photocopying, payment is due within 90 days. For publication in another work, payment is due prior to publication.


13. What kind of documentation should I send with my payment?

Please include the Permission ID number from the top of your agreement. Including a copy of the agreement will allow us to credit your account most quickly. If you are paying for multiple permissions with the same check, please itemize the amounts and include the agreement number for each item.


14. Why did Cengage Learning deny my permission request?

Cengage Learning cannot grant permission if we do not hold the rights to the material or the title. We may not grant permission if the amount of material requested exceeds 10% of an in-print publication. We may choose not to grant permission for other reasons as well.


15. How can I get the material if I can't copy it?

Many in print titles are available for purchase online in print or electronic form, either by the chapter or the book. Check for the title you want at www.cengagebrain.com.


16. A student with a disability wants electronic files of a book. What do I do?

To request an electronic file, please fill out our online permission request form. Upon submission, you will receive an immediate email confirmation with a request ID number. Files should follow within fifteen (15) business days. If files are not available or will be delayed, a staff member will advise you within five (5) business days. Click here to get to our online permission request form.


17. How do I obtain a software site license?

Contact he.sitelicense@cengage.com or +1 800.225.1464 with the product ISBN. If a site license is required, Customer Service will issue the license.


18. Do you grant permission to translate into other languages?

Cengage Learning welcomes all foreign rights inquiries from publishing companies or agencies. Please contact our Foreign Rights Office at emea.foreignrights@cengage.com.


19. I am a Cengage Learning author. Who can I talk to about my out of print title?

Please email our Copyright staff at copyright@cengage.com.


20. What if I believe something belonging to Cengage Learning has been infringed?

Please contact our Product Security and Anti-Piracy staff at infringement@cengage.com.


21. What is copyright infringement?

Copyright law gives a creator of music, literature and other works a limited monopoly to reproduce or distribute the created work. A person or entity is accused of copyright infringement when someone claims they violated copyright by copying part or all of a work without authorization or enabled other people to make such copies.


22. Why are authors, publishers and other copyright holders concerned about infringement?

Copyright law provides incentives for creating. One of the incentives for creating music, literature and other works is being able to reap the financial benefits as the creator. Illegitimate distribution of copies may prevent the copyright holder from benefiting from the sale of legitimate copies of the product. Significantly fewer people would buy copies from the copyright holder if other copies were available cheaper or for free.


23. What are the penalties for copyright infringement?

In a civil suit, an infringer may be liable for a copyright owner's actual damages plus any profits made from the infringement. Alternatively, the copyright owner may avoid proving actual damage by electing a statutory damage recovery of up to $30,000 or, where the court determines that the infringement occurred willfully, up to $150,000.


24. What is contributory infringement?

Contributory infringement is form of indirect infringement. Contributory infringement requires 1) knowledge of the infringing activity and 2) a material contribution—actual assistance or inducement—to the alleged piracy. Even though you may not actually make the illegal copy, providing assistance in locating unauthorized copies of music, literature or other works on download sites, server space or support for sites that do the above may be considered contributory infringement.


25. What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (or DMCA) limits the liability of "online service providers" (OSPs) for copyright infringement by their users. These limitations, or "Safe Harbor Provisions," apply to:

  1. Storage of material on a system at a user's request (e.g., pirated software, serial numbers or cracker utilities posted on message boards or in chat rooms).
  2. Referral to other online resources (e.g., linking to other sites that make infringing material available).
  3. Caching of online materials from other sites (e.g., temporary storage of other web pages on one's own server).
  4. Acting as a conduit between users (e.g., automatic delivery of email between users).

In order to be protected for storage and linking you must:

  1. Lack actual knowledge and immediately remove or block access to the material when becoming aware of the infringement.
  2. Not benefit financially from the activity.
  3. Comply with the notice and takedown provisions and set up an agent to deal with complaints in accordance with the Act.

26. What if I didn't know that what I was doing was illegal? Am I still liable?

Yes. Copyright infringement actions do not require that you actually knew that the material was protected by copyright or that your use of the material violated federal law. Claims of ignorance cannot be used as a defense to direct copyright infringement. Lack of knowledge, is, however, a defense to contributory infringement.


27. Does a cease and desist letter require that the recipient remove materials that are alleged to infringe?

A cease and desist letter gives the recipient notice that someone believes you have infringed their copyright. If the materials that are the subject of the notice are in fact infringing, then you do have a duty to remove them, although there may be statutory provisions (DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions) that protect you from a lawsuit if the materials were posted by someone else. If you do not believe that the materials are infringing, or if you believe that you are making fair use of the materials, you may choose to take the risk of not removing the materials, but a lawsuit might follow. If the accuser obtains a court order, then you must take down the materials.