Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Deposit Guide

Copyright Permission Statements for Copyrighted Materials

Permission statements

Students must be aware of the existence of copyright laws and are personally responsible for full compliance with the laws governing copyright. They must obtain copyright permission statements for any materials they intend to quote at length or reproduce in their manuscripts beyond the limits of fair use, including music, poems, short stories, tests, magazine or newspaper articles, photographs, and computer software.

  1. If in doubt as to "fair use," consult The Copyright Handbook, by Stephen Fishman, or Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook by Lloyd Jassin and Steven Schechter, copies of which are in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library.  See the sample forms section for a form which a student may adapt to request permission from copyright owners.
  2. If permission from the copyright holder is necessary to reproduce materials which a student wishes to include in the thesis/dissertation, the student should be very specific in the request, including the author/editor of the material, title, edition, publisher, date of publication, exact material to be used (inclusive page numbers, etc.), number of copies, how the material will be distributed, statement as to whether the material will be sold, type of reprint, and how the material will be used.
  3. The library will not accept any documents which fail to comply with copyright law.


Students must follow standard academic requirements regarding the footnoting of research material, according to the style manual approved by their department.

Images and Fair Use

If you are using images, maps, or other illustrative material in your paper, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure they are used in a manner consistent with the doctrine of fair use.  It is better to use images at a resolution adequate for your purposes, but not of such rich quality that they may encroach on any potential market for the original works.  Make sure that the images used are subject to a scholarly analysis, criticism or comment in your paper.  Do not use more of the work than necessary.  Attempt to gain permissions for any images you’ve used that are under copyright.  Gaining permissions may prove difficult.  Retain all documentation related to your efforts and submit such documentation to the Graduate School with your thesis or dissertation.