Frequently Asked Questions

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET COPYRIGHT CLEARANCES?

Some clear in only days, but others take weeks and require research to find the current rights holders. On average, it takes 2-4 weeks to get permissions cleared from the publishers.

HOW CAN I MAKE THE CLEARANCE PROCESS GO FASTER?

Providing us with accurate and complete information on your order form is the most important thing you can do. Otherwise, research is required which means added time.

WHAT IS THE KINKO’S COPYRIGHT CASE?

In 1989, a lawsuit against Kinko’s graphics Corporation was filed. The court held that Kinko’s practice of photocopying multiple page excerpts from copyrighted works without authorization to create anthologies, and that the selling of those anthologies for profit, violated publishers’ copyrights. Kinko’s was found guilty and fined in excess of $2 million . The Kinko’s case clearly reaffirmed that use of materials for “an education purpose” does not in and of itself constitute fair use. A second case filed against against Michigan Document Services in 1997 further affirmed the court’s position. For more information, see our Copyright Information page.

WHEN IS AN ARTICLE CONSIDERED TO BE “PUBLIC DOMAIN”?

This is a simple question with a complicated answer. Anything published before 1923 is considered to be in the public domain. Between 1924 and 1978, any creation of work not published with a notice of copyright was considered to be in the public domain. Without that notice of copyright, the work was considered to instantaneously fall into the category of “public domain”. If the work was published with the notice of copyright, the copyright was good for 28 years, with a renewal option for another 47 years. Since 1978, items are considered to be copyrighted upon creation. The copyright has been extended recently and does not expire until 70 years after the death of the author. Our experience tells us, however, that only a small percentage of requested material for readers is actually in the public domain. For more information, see our Copyright Information page.

ARE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS COPYRIGHTED?

Most items produced by the government are not copyrighted, and are considered “public domain” works. As these publications are provided for information to the general public, existing copyright laws do not protect governmental publications from unauthorized duplication.

DO YOU HAVE TO OBTAIN COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE FOR AN OUT-OF-PRINT BOOK?

Yes, you do. The fact that a book is not currently “in –print” does not mean that someone no longer owns the rights to those intellectual properties. Out-of-Print materials definitely require copyright permission.

CAN YOU COPY ILLUSTRATIONS AND PICTURES?

Please be aware that illustrations or pictures are often included in works, but are covered by copyrights owned by a different party from the original copyright owner of the material you wish to have reproduced. The author or publisher of that material has most likely received prior permission to include it with other works on a one-time basis. Consequently, you may need to make separate requests for permission to copy a photograph or illustration.

WHAT IF I HAVE AN ARTICLE AND DO NOT KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM ?

Unfortunately, without the basic information, we will be unable to process this as a permission, and the material can not be legally included in the course packet.

ONCE I HAVE RECEIVED PERMISSION, DO I HAVE TO ASK FOR IT EVER AGAIN?

Yes. Permission is usually granted for only one term, or for the specified time on the order form, and for that professor and their class only. You must ask for permissions for each subsequent semester. While there have been occasions where we have been able to obtain permissions for an extended period, it is highly unusual for publishers to grant permissions for indefinite time frames and/or quantities.

WOULD IT HELP IF I CALLED THE PUBLISHER MYSELF?

As tempting as this might seem, this actually creates delays. Some publishers permissions departments run fairly slow. Outside requests from individuals for single item responses is the one thing that publishers tell us slow them down the most. Our coordinators often ask for permission for multiple items when calling on publishers, and check on several items during one follow-up call. Rest assured we have a professional team dedicated to this process.

IF THE PROFESSOR IS THE AUTHOR, DOES HE/SHE OWN THE COPYRIGHT?

Not necessarily. If the material has not been previously published, then the professor most likely owns the right to those intellectual properties. However, if the material has been published previously, the appropriate publishing company should be contacted, as they may own the rights.

HOW CAN I ENSURE THE PRINT IN MY CUSTOM TEXT WILL BE OF GOOD QUALITY?

Good quality originals will ensure a professional looking packet. We would like to use originals whenever possible. If, however, the quality of the originals are yellowed, torn, faded, or in otherwise poor condition, we can not guarantee the look of the final product. We will, however, take every necessary step to ensure the document looks as professional as possible.

CAN I GET A DESK COPY?

One desk copy, or instructor copy, is provided free of charge per section (or 50 students copies ordered). More desk copies can be ordered free of charge to the professor, with the cost of the additional desk copies added into the number of student sets ordered.

WHY DIDN’T THE BOOKSTORE ORDER THE AMOUNT I TOLD THEM TO? AND WHAT IS A QUANTITY TO COVER (QTC)?

While all of us (professors, bookstores, and publishers) would prefer an order of 100% of the enrollment, due to some students not buying the book it is imperative bookstores order correctly, or order according to their quantity to cover. This will sometimes result in the bookstore ordering less than the professor would like. Please note that on average, only 66% of the students in class buy the book. Our company does not and cannot control the amount ordered by the bookstore, and cannot produce and /or ship more than the amount requested on the PO. However, our rapid production time on re-orders (24 hours) minimizes as much as possible any inconvenience to you and your students.

WHY IS THERE A BOOKSTORE MARKUP?

This markup is placed on everything from candy, sweatshirts, pens and paper, to books. The markup is far less than tradition retail markup. This enables the bookstore to pay for overhead expenses such as utilities, personnel and so forth.

CAN MY COURSEPACK BE AVAILABLE AT OFF CAMPUS STORES?

At some colleges and universities, there may be several stores that are interested in purchasing custom texts from us. We cannot by law, refuse to sell to others even if they are in direct competition to the College bookstore. At most locations, there is an established “host store” that our marketing representatives work through. This host store is the location where our company receives most of all initial purchase orders.

Our company is not responsible for distributing any type of adoption lists to any bookstores, and cannot, for both business and ethical reasons, divulge to any store another stores’ order quantity or order information.

HOW DO I PLACE AN ORDER?

If you are a professor, you can get the process started by filling out an online order form, or giving us a call. If you are a bookstore, you simply submit a Purchase Order. All purchase orders should specify the current ISBN, professor name, course number, quantity, shipping method, and any other pertinent information. Due to the time needed to produce coursepacks, we ask that each order arrive with the appropriate purchase order.