Copyright: Permissions

Getting Copyright Permission

Saint Michael’s College maintains an account with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to manage permission to copy or scan items beyond the limits of fair use.  If you determine, after consulting the SMC Copyright Guidelines, that you need to obtain copyright permission to copy or scan items for your class, use the process outlined below.  The CCC can obtain permission the majority of the time that it is needed, although some items may require contacting the copyright holder directly.  Copyright fees for each course are billed to students as part of the registration process.  Copyright permission must therefore be obtained no later than November 1 for spring courses and March 1 for summer and fall courses.

How to Create An Account

Follow these steps to create an account:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Manage Account” (upper right hand side of the screen)
  3. Click on “Add Additional User” (found near the middle of the screen)
  4. Add your information under “Contact Information.”
  5. Fill out the “Existing Account Information” section.
  6. Create a password and keep your password in a safe place for future reference.

Learning How to Use the Copyright Clearance Center Process

In order to learn to familiarize yourself with the CCC process, it is recommended that you view the Copyright Clearance video and review the instructions. You may also contact our Copyright Clearance Customer Relations Representative, Brook Whicher, at 978.646.2752, email: and schedule an appointment for an individual instructional session.

Request Permissions for Copyrighted Material

1. Once you have selected materials for use in your courses you can proceed to request copyright permission.  The process works best if you have the following information available when you place your request for copyright permission:

a. ISBN or ISSN number
b. Length in number of pages of the material
c. Estimated number of students who will use the material
d. Start and end dates of the academic term
e. Process that you will use to distribute the material – digital (Canvas), paper, library reserve, etc.

2. Using your account credentials, log on to the Copyright Clearance Center site to search for items and obtain pricing.

3. If the Copyright Clearance Center has the authority to grant you rights to use the requested material, you will receive the authorization and the fees as soon as you submit your online form.  Sometimes, however, CCC may need more time to authorize the copyright permission.  You will receive a notification and subsequent email(s) letting you know if you can receive permission via the CCC process.

The Copyright Clearance Center is not authorized to grant copyright permission on all material, so you may receive a message that copyright cannot be granted for your request.  You may need to contact the rights owner directly to obtain the permission to use certain material. If the copyright owner cannot be located or contacted, this may expand the boundaries of a fair use determination and allow you to use items you otherwise would not.  While inability to locate a copyright holder does not exempt the faculty member from responsibility for honoring copyright, a good faith effort to do so could be a significant factor in avoiding litigation.

4. Submit the copyright fees to Student Financial Services.  The deadline for submitting copyright fees for spring semester courses is November 1; the deadline for summer and fall courses is March 1. Student Financial Services will work with the Registrar to notify students of the copyright fees that will be added to their student bills.

If you decide that the copyrighted material will not be used in the course, contact Student Financial Services so that they may refund the student fees.

If later you decide that you will not use the copyrighted material or the course enrollment does not meet the estimate used when obtaining copyright, contact Brooke Whicher ( / 978.646.2752) at Copyright Clearance prior to 60 days after the start of the term so that Saint Michael’s College will be refunded for unused copyright fees.  You can also make these changes online by going to “manage account”, “view your order history”.

5. If you would like to use a copyrighted text but the deadlines for submitting the fees for student billing have passed, you may ask your chair if department funds may be used to pay for copyright fees.

6. If you have used copyrighted materials in a class and plan to use them again the following year, you can go ahead and request permission at any time.

7. Note that CCC cannot grant permission for more than 25% of an in-print work. unless otherwise stated. If you have an out of print book, please place the request and contact Brooke Whicher with your confirmation number so that she can obtain special terms and pricing for you.

8. While Copyright Clearance grants the permission to use material, the tasks of copying or scanning, distributing, and uploading text to Canvas will still need to be completed by the faculty member.