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Home > Using Copyright > Required Information > Describe the Work

Describe the work

You will need to know the following things about the copyrighted work:

  • Description of work
  • Portion of work to be used.


Your description should include:
  • Core Information: List what you know about the work itself: type of work, title, author, publisher, copyright owner, date of publication, etc.
  • Part: Identify exactly what part of the work you wish to use: for example, pages 17-22, chapter 12, 50 words from a poem, 30 seconds of a song, two minutes of a video, an entire photograph.
  • Amount: Describe the amount you want to use in terms of what percentage of the total work this represents: such as three pages from a 250 page book or 10% of a music or video selection.
You need to know the answers to these questions because
  • Fair Use: If you are considering whether or not your use qualifies as a fair use, you'll need to know how much of a work you intend to use.
  • Permissions: If you need to seek permission from the copyright owner, you'll find it is much easier to obtain permission for a specific, well defined use than a vague description. If you need to seek permission, you need to ensure you are contacting the right person for the portion of a work you want to use.
  • Identify Multiple Authors: Another thing to keep in mind is that for many works, such as music, web pages and multimedia, there may be many copyright elements and many copyright owners


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