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Copyright Toolkit

Copyright Information about Books

Do I need permission to use a book, eBook, or book chapter?      

Using the flowchart below, determine if your use of a book(s) requires obtaining permission from the creator or purchasing a license.

Scenario #1: Copying Textbook Material

Question:  Multiple students in the classroom have been asking me to make copies of the chapters we’re reading in the textbook. Am I able to do this?

Answer: No, making copies of multiple chapters for multiple students would not fall under fair sse. This could be considered a copyright breach due to such a large amount of material being copied and made available to so many. Ultimately, this could mean that the copyright holder’s sale of the textbook is impeded or reduced by your actions (which is a copyright violation). However, portions of chapters could be copied as requested by individual students. Review information about copyright and fair use by clicking on the Copyright Law Resources and Fair Use Guidelines tabs on the left.


Scenario #2: Using an eBook

Question:  I found an eBook on the internet that I’d like to use as a supplemental resource in my course, is this allowed?

Answer: It is possible that you may be able to use a copyright protected eBook in your online course; however, it depends on where you accessed the eBook. If you found the eBook within one of the library databases, such as eBooks via EBSCO , you likely can use the book; however, you must consult with your programmatic Librarian to ensure that the eBook has the proper licensing for use in your course. In addition, if the eBook is covered by Creative Commons licensing, and you provide attribution, you can utilize the eBook in your class. On the other hand, if you found the eBook via a simple Google search, and the eBook is not under Creative Commons licensing, then you must either obtain permission or purchase a license to utilize the eBook.


Scenario #3: Using a Print Book

Question:  I found a chapter in a print book that I own, can I scan and embed this text in my online class?

Answer: Typically, no, you cannot scan and embed chapters from a copyright protected print book into an online course. A better approach would be to work with your programmatic Librarian to determine if you can gain access to an electronic version of the print book through the library’s databases.  Alternatively, you could request permission , or obtain a license to digitize the work for your course.

Open Access Resources  

Some sites provide content (images, videos, music, etc.) that are freely available for use. This type of material is often called “open access”. Note: Though the resources may be readily available, they often have requirements for attribution and usecheck carefully! In addition, please review the site's Terms of Use. 
Project Gutenberg -
Nearly all of the eBooks in Project Gutenberg [PG] are freely available for use because their copyright protection under U.S. law has expired. However, some authors give PG permission to distribute their books. If you want to use an eBook, be sure to look at the license inside the eBook to determine if it is protected by U.S. Copyright or not.

Purchasing a License for Print Material

Copyright fees can be paid to the Copyright Clearance Center for protected text materials such as journal articles or books.

NOTE: Faculty are advised to work with their academic dean to gain necessary approvals prior to purchasing a license.
Permission Request Form
You've determined that you need to obtain permission to use material.  This form should be completed by faculty, SMEs, instructional designers, curriculum developers, or anyone working on behalf of Rasmussen University who wishes to incorporate copyright-protected information into a Rasmussen University course.
Please follow the steps below to obtain and document permission granted:
1. Complete the Copyright Permission Request Form provided at the bottom of the page
2. Save the Permission Request Form to your H: Drive or a personal folder
3. Send the completed Copyright Permission Request form to the designated copyright holder
4. Document any permission you obtain from your source (including email) and file with a copy of the completed Permission Request Form in the "Permissions Documentation" Library housed in SharePoint.


Upload permissions granted/received to the Permissions Documentation Library using the following naming convention:

Course number_Course Name_Date (mm/dd/yyyy)
Example:  J100_IntrotoCriminalJustice_10152015
Note:  In situations where a form is not required, please provide the relevant information specified by your source via the method they specify, such as an online request form.  In those cases, please provide a copy of the submitted information as well as any permission you receive. 
For additional information or questions, please submit a request to:
Permission Request Form
Click the link below to access the Permission Request form.