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Making Copies

Questions and Answers

Making copies

Because I've already bought the book, can I just make copies of the material in it?

The purchase of a book is just that — the purchase of physical copies. The right to make copies is one of the exclusive rights that always belong to the copyright holder and you will need to obtain permission before you make copies. While the fact that you own copies may influence the fee (if any) that the copyright holder charges to reproduce the material, it does not remove the obligation to obtain permission.


Since I'm only making copies for _____ (local use, church use, educational use, etc. ), do I need to obtain permission to photocopy copyrighted material?

Copyright law acknowledges that there are some limited circumstances where a "fair use" may be made of copyrighted materials. Those exceptions are very limited, and do not offer churches (or others) a blanket exemption from following the copyright law.

If a publication is out of stock, can I get permission to make copies?

If a publication is temporarily unavailable, the publisher will often grant permission to make as many copies as you have on order, provided the copies are destroyed once your order arrives.


If a publication is out of print, does that mean that it is no longer under copyright and it may be copied freely without permission?

The status of the copyright does not depend on whether a title is in print. "Out of print" means that the printed copies of the publication are no longer available for purchase from the publisher; it may, however, still be protected by copyright. Many out-of-print publications remain protected by copyright and are not in the public domain.


Why should I pay a fee for the right to reproduce out-of-print material?

Out-of-print publications often are still protected by copyright. (See above.) The fees charged for permission to reproduce out-of-print materials represent compensation to the copyright holder for use of only the copyrighted creative material in the publication and do not reflect the cost of manufacturing the publication. Thus, permission fees are usually far lower than the cost of purchasing the publication. The fees collected from permissions are typically shared with the creative contributors to the publication.

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