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Permission Requests

Guide to Copyright

Permission Requests

How do I request permission?

Every copyright holder determines the policies concerning the way in which a particular copyright is administered. Most copyright owners require permission requests to be made in writing. If the copyright holder is a publisher, direct your inquiry to "Copyright Permission."

Requests are evaluated in light of the information provided. To speed the process, be sure to include the following:
  • What you want to use: Title, author or composer, pages or hymn numbers, copyright year, code number, a description of what is to be used (exact sentences, paragraphs, stanzas).

  • How it will be used: The rights requested (one-time event, permanent publication), intended audience, number of copies to be made, format (worship folder, songbook, textbook), name and date of the event (as appropriate).

  • Who you are: Name, address, phone number of the church, school, or other organization, as well as the same information for the contact person making the request.
After your request is received and researched, you will typically receive a written response either granting permission (including the terms of the permission and any required copyright credit lines) or an explanation stating why the permission cannot be granted.

Because of the copyright owner's financial investment in developing the material, many copyright owners charge a fee for the right to reproduce the material. If the request is for a one-time or local use, the fee may be reduced or waived, but permission is still required. Many publishers will not grant a blanket permission to use copyrighted material and instead will require you to purchase a reprint license or to contact them before each use.

While every request is evaluated individually, Augsburg Fortress generally follows the patterns described below when granting permission to use copyrighted material.

Magazines
The Lutheran, Lutheran Woman Today, Parish Teacher, and Lutheran Partners typically purchase only one-time rights to publish an article in a single issue of the magazine and thus cannot grant permission for it to be subsequently reproduced. Contact Us for information on who can give permission.

Plays and Skits
Since the only compensation an author receives is a royalty based on total sales, the publisher typically cannot give permission for a skit or play to be reproduced. You must purchase enough copies to meet your cast's needs. A work performed during a worship service is usually exempt from performance fees, but credit must be given to the author and publisher in any advertising or program notes.

Illustrations, Photographs, Charts, Diagrams, and Logos
Visuals, like the text of a publication, are protected by copyright. While you must obtain prior permission to reproduce those visuals in a print publication, most copyright holders will allow the creation of a single banner or other parament without permission. The source, as well as the publisher and copyright holder, must be acknowledged as your project is first introduced to the congregation or other organization.

Songbooks and Hymnals
Collections of songs, canticles, hymns, and worship materials contain works from many different sources. Typically the publisher of a collection obtains permission only to use those copyrighted materials in a particular publication and is not authorized to grant permission for their use elsewhere.


To request permission to use copyrighted material owned or administered by Augsburg Fortress, see our Request for Permission on our Contact Us page.

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