Obtaining Permission

Permission to use material protected by copyright is required if your proposed use does not qualify as fair use or another exception in the copyright law.

For assistance from the Copyright Licensing Office (CLO) in seeking permission for materials in your course select the Copyright Permissions/Electronic Course Reserve System (CPCR). For assistance in obtaining permission for materials for all other purposes, select “Other Copyright Permissions Requests” below.

RMEOCopyright Permissions/Electronic Course Reserve System (CPCR)

This system allows users to submit items protected by copyright for placement in the Library Electronic Course Reserve or BYU Learning Suite. CLO personnel will address copyright issues and seek permission when needed. Licensing fees for use of materials are paid by the Copyright Licensing Office, a free service for BYU faculty and staff.

Watch Tutorial

Other Copyright Permissions Requests

This system allows BYU faculty and staff to submit items protected by copyright for requesting permission that will NOT be in the Library Electronic Course Reserve or BYU Learning Suite. Payment for licensing fees are the responsibility of the requester.

Watch Tutorial

How to obtain Music Rights for Student Dance Productions

If you plan to use music for your student dance production, you must first get permission from the publisher of the music. Student choreographers for Senior Dance Projects, Ballet Showcase and DanceEnsemble are now responsible for obtaining their own music rights. A letter granting permission from the composer or publisher must be sent (emailed or delivered) to copyrightassistant@byu.edu or the Copyright Licensing Office 3760 HBLL. If the music is an original composition by you or someone you know, you must still submit a permission letter. It is imperative that you begin this process early. Don’t wait until your piece has been accepted into the production. Securing rights can take an enormous length of time (plan for a minimum of 4-6 weeks). Check with your Directors to see if they would like to be copied on all e-mail correspondence.

Steps to Obtain Music Rights

  1. Be sure you own a lawfully obtained copy of the music selected for your dance.
  2. Verify the title and composer(s) (use CD liner notes or Wikipedia)
  3. Find the name and contact info for the publisher of your musical selection by searching in the following databases*:
    a.  ASCAP  – www.ascap.com (click “ACE / Repertory Search”) / (212) 621-6160
    b. BMI  – www.bmi.com/search/ (use the “Search BMI Repertoire” box) / (800) 800-9313
    c. SESAC– www.sesac.com (click “Repertory”) / (615) 320-0055
    TIP: Use the “composer(s)” and/or “performer/artist” search option more often than the “title” option. (Titles can’t be copyright protected, so there can be multiple songs called “I Got Rhythm” but you might just be looking for the one written by George and Ira Gershwin.)
    TIP: Try calling ASCAP/BMI/SESAC if you’re having trouble finding your musical selection in the database and they can help.
    *If your choice of music is relatively unknown, you may also try contacting the musician directly at his/her website. There is often contact information listed on the website, or information regarding permission to use their music. Try the “Contact Us” or “FAQ” links.
  4. Draft and send a copy of your permission letter to copyrightassistant@byu.edu for review. Here is a sample permission letter .
  5. Once approved by the Copyright Licensing Office, email, fax or mail your letter to the publisher per their request. If they have not responded within ten (10) days, contact them again. If your timeline is more urgent, feel free to follow up more frequently but please maintain courtesy and professionalism. You may contact the Copyright Licensing Office for more help or if you have questions about appropriate follow ups. When contacting the publisher, please be courteous at all times and remember that you are representing BYU.
  6. Once permission is obtained, please keep one (1) copy of the permission letter for your records and submit one (1) copy to the Copyright Licensing Assistant.
  7. If the publisher denies you permission or is unresponsive, please contact the copyright assistant for more help.

Helpful Pointers
Sample Permission Letter

• Consider using fewer songs in your dances. The fewer the titles, the fewer the clearances needed.
• Consider commissioning an original composition for your dance.
• YouTube, DVDs, Broadcast, or other distribution of your dance with the music requires additional permissions and possible fees. However, you are permitted to make one (1) archival DVD (of your dance only) for educational/portfolio purposes. If you would like to make more than one (1) DVD copy and/or post the dance publicly to YouTube, you will need to request those rights in your initial letter to the publisher and also contact the record label who owns the recording. Contact the Copyright Office for details.
•  Omnimusic.com is an online source of royalty-free music available for use by students (Internet rights and production of up to 1,000 non-commercial DVDs is included under this license).
• Zoe Keating, Sigur Ros and Wintergatan have graciously offered their music to be used for free as long as the purpose is non-commercial and their name and website are credited in the program.
Public Domain – if the music was published prior to 1923 in the United States or 70 years or later after the composer’s death, it is in the “public domain” and you do not need permission to use the song. Please be sure to check with the Copyright Licensing Office to ensure whether or not a piece is in fact in the public domain.
• You may also visit copyright.byu.edu - “Obtaining Permission” for additional help and resources.

BYU Copyright Licensing Office
3760 HBLL location map
Ty Turley-Trejo, Music Licensing Administrator, ty.trejo@byu.edu, 801.422.5343
The above information adapted from the UC Irvine Dance Dept. Student Copyright Guidelines

Obtaining permission to publicly show a motion picture on campus

Contact Ron Jones, Campus Life/Events and Services, 3458 WSC, (801) 422-8136

Obtaining permission on your own

Permission should be received from the copyright owner or their representative and obtained in writing. Keep a copy of all permissions received and any related correspondence. Requests for permissions should include the following information:

  1. Your name, address, telephone number, email and fax number.
  2. Your title/position and name of your publisher, university or other entity.
  3. The date of your request.
  4. A complete and accurate source citation of the material you are requesting permission to use.
  5. A precise description of the proposed use of the copyrighted material as well as when and for how long the material will be used.
  6. A signature line for the copyright owner including their title if they are representing a company and the date.

The Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University provides the following resources for seeking permission.

  1. Finding the Owner
  2. Complex Searches
  3. Collective Licensing Agencies
  4. Requesting Permission
  5. Model Forms
  6. If You Cannot Find the Owner

Licensing and Rights Organizations

Research Guide: Obtaining Copyright Permissions

This Research Guide explains how to obtain copyright permission particularly when using music, movies, and images. Developed by the University of Michigan Copyright Office.

Church Permissions

For further assistance or information regarding Church copyrighted materials, you may contact the Church’s Intellectual Property Office at:

Phone: 801-240-3959 or 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2-3959

Fax: 801-240-1187

E-mail: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org

To request use of Church copyrighted material, please complete the appropriate form that pertains to your request:

For general requests: Copyright Request Form

For material to be used in a manuscript: Copyright Request—Manuscript Form

For the creation of musical arrangements: Copyright Request—Music Arrangement Form

The request form and any other needed material as outlined in the request form may be sent to:

Attention: Licensing
Intellectual Property Office
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-0018

You may also fax or e-mail the form to the fax number or e-mail address listed above.