Obtaining Permission

Copyright Home > Using Copyrighted Materials > Obtaining Permission


It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright owner to reproduce materials if your use is not permitted by a licence, or one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act, such as fair dealing. Consult our Before You Copy page to learn more about determining whether permission must be obtained.       


How do you get permission to use someone else’s work? You ask! Permission must come from the copyright owner or collective representing the copyright owner. The first step is to identify who the copyright owner is and whether there is a collective that represents the owner. There are a number of copyright collectives in Canada that can provide you permission (in the form of a licence) on behalf of the copyright owner to use a work. If the copyright owner is easily identifiable and locatable, it can often be easier to contact them directly. Often, you will be able to identify the owner somewhere on the work by looking for the copyright symbol, which should have the copyright owner’s name near it. You will often find this at the beginning of a book, at the side of a photograph, or at the bottom of a webpage.


It is important that the permission be in writing. Many copyright owners will give permission to academic users without requiring payment. You should keep a copy of any permission received.


If you need help obtaining permission, please contact the Copyright Office at copyright@saskpolytech.ca or chat with us at Ask Us! Live 


This website provides educational information. It does not provide legal advice. 


Source: University of Waterloo. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from https://uwaterloo.ca/copyright-at-waterloo/faq-page.  [Reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.]