Copyrights and Permissions


In today's mainstream publishing industry, getting permission to use third-party copyrighted works in publications has become the mandatory norm. However, ever-changing technology together with consumers' demand for in-the-moment content has led to publishers finding themselves increasingly challenged on managing rights and permissions. This is an area where major time losses often occur in the publishing process. Sometimes, it can take up to few months to get all the approvals. There is an imperative need for a strategy that not only empowers users to re-use the most appropriate text, image, and rich media content but also efficiently integrates with publisher's book or journal production cycles.

Live Example: A leading international provider of high-quality content, publishing more than 900 journals and over 800 new books each year, uses a number of third-party logos/labels/magazine front covers/posters/adverts, which are subjected to copyrights permission clearance. The challenge was to obtain copyrights and permissions within the specified time frame.

The Solution-Obtaining Permissions for Copyright Resources

diacriTech has a simplified turnkey workflow that is managed successfully by the Rights & Permissions (R&P) team having decades of experience in communicating with third-party rights holders, publishers, and copyright agents regarding acquiring permissions. This workflow helps to promote transparency, minimize cost, and take the complexity out of the copyrights clearance process for third-party assets (images/photos). Here's a generic overview of the process.

Initiating the Clearance Process with Research: The first step is to review the manuscript and distinguish among publisher-owned items, exact third-party contents that are protected by copyright, and third-party contents that may belong to the category of fair use/public domain. We strategize on the best approach for the photos/images needed; re-using media content or sourcing from stock company like Shutterstock. This is subject to author's requirements. The final narrowed list of licensed items is reviewed, and estimated permission fees is provided to the publisher.

The Process of Rights Clearance: We determine the exact rights holder for the relevant content and subsequently contact the permissions unit of the corresponding publisher, author, or the appropriate party. The specific nature and format of the use of the material is conveyed to the pertinent stakeholder by providing as much information as possible to help expedite the request. Regular follow-up calls and emails are important not only in acquiring the contact of the rights holder but also in negotiation of rates for the maximum cost benefits. All this is done by keeping the project's budget in mind and a record of everything, starting from the preliminary attempts to locate the current copyright owner to final acceptance of license agreement or approval mails. An added advantage is that the team is also familiar with using permissions management services such as Copyright Clearance Center, PLSClear, and RightsLink service, which facilitate the process of acquiring permissions.

Weekly or biweekly status reports are shared with the customer to keep them posted on the progress of clearances and deterrents, if any.

Clarifying the Rules for Content Usage: Towards the end, the agreement received is reviewed to ensure that the requested rights have been granted. Following the receipt of high-resolution copy of each item, all the information and evidence pertaining to it are duly recorded.

The diacriTech R&P team compiles a project-close report that would include detailed rights received with citation information. This information is useful to the publisher for incorporating in publications.


This process workflow played an instrumental role in enabling the above mentioned leading international publisher to proceed with their print and digital publications as per their schedule and without any copyright infringement hassles.

A similar workflow is used for other third-party assets such as text, audio, and video. The R&P team has significant knowledge on US/UK/Australian copyright laws and is familiar with the copyright process of leading publishers such as Pearson, OUP, CUP, Macmillan, Springer, Wiley, University of Chicago/Nebraska Press, Harvard, Penguin, Random House, and Taylor & Francis.

Interested? Contact to learn more about how we can help you with your licensing and permissions needs.

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