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Policies and Guidelines - “Copyright-Safe” Checklist

Use this checklist when creating material for electronic or print publication. Be “copyright safe”!

Text, tables, illustrations, video footage, and audio segments from the works of others, regardless of the source, are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced unless the copyright owner explicitly grants permission. If you wish to reproduce materials from other sources in your publication, videotape, website, or other media-except for brief sections of text treated as quotations-you must obtain permission from the copyright owner to protect against copyright infringement claims.

Note that ideas or information from other sources may be used without obtaining permission, provided that you express that information in your own words and images. When you use information developed by others, professional ethics dictate that you give credit by citing the source (unless the information is common knowledge).

This checklist will help you determine whether written permission, a credit statement, or both are required for your project:

Q1. Is the title or any of the text copied directly from another source?

Q2. Is any drawing, photo, video footage, audio segment, HTML code, or other element of content copied wholly or in part from another source?

Q3. Are any unique concepts, ideas, or information drawn from another specific, identifiable source?

How to obtain written permission to reproduce copyrighted materials

To request permission, write to the copyright owner or publisher indicating exactly what material you wish to reproduce, how it will be used, the publication or other work in which it will be incorporated, the purpose, and whether the publication or work will be offered free or for sale. Ask for written permission as follows:

Questions? Consult the Copyright and Libel Primer for Web and Print Publishers.

The copyright checklist was adapted with permission from the Copyright Checklist and Assignment for MSU Extension Service Authors, Office of Agricultural Communications, Mississippi State University, 2004.

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Web Office
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Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.3744 | Fax: 207.581.3534E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System