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Portions of the following information are specific to the College Division. Other Divisions of Houghton Mifflin have different permissions guidelines, and this FAQ is not intended to describe company-wide policy.
1.  What is copyright?
2.  What is permission?
3.  What is Fair Use?
4.  How long does copyright protection last?
5.  Are Out-of-Print books still protected by copyright?
6.  How do I find out who owns the copyright for a particular work?
7.  What if material in a College Division textbook is credited to another source?
8.  How will I know if the College Division is not the rightsholder of a particular selection within a textbook?
9.  How will I know if the College Division is no longer the copyright holder of the entire work?
10.  Is there a limit to the amount of material for which the College Division will grant permission?
11.  For what reason(s) might the College Division deny permission?
12.  What information do you require to process a permissions request?
13.  Do you accept faxes and e-mails?
14.  How do I request permission for classroom photocopying / coursepacks / library reserves?
15.  How do I request permission for publication in another book?
16.  How do I request permission for Web-based use or other distance/distributed learning?
17.  How do I obtain a software site license?
18.  How do I request permission for non-print ancillary duplication?
19.  What if I want to use material in my thesis or dissertation?
20.  Do you grant permission to translate into other languages?
21.  How long is a permissions grant valid?
22.  How long will it take to obtain permission from the College Division?
23.  What can I do to speed up turnaround time on my request?
24.  When is payment due?
25.  What kind of documentation should I send with my payment?
26.  What if the book is not a College Division title? Whom can I contact in your other Divisions?
1.  What is copyright?
Copyright is the legal right of creators of 'original works of authorship' that have been fixed in a tangible medium of expression, which include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other creative works, both published and unpublished. Copyright law provides the following exclusive rights for copyright owners:
  1. to reproduce all or part of the copyrighted work
  2. to prepare derivative versions based on the original copyrighted work
  3. to distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public
  4. to perform or display the copyrighted work publicly

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2.  What is permission?
Permission is authorization to make a copy (printed or electronic) of material that is protected by copyright. Examples of copying for which permission is required include photocopying or re-publishing printed works, copying or re-recording songs, posting material to a web page, and transmitting or broadcasting via cable or satellite.

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3.  What is Fair Use?
The doctrine of Fair Use permits, in limited situations, the use of portions of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. The four factors that are taken into consideration when making such a determination are:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
No one factor can determine a person's right to use a copyrighted work without acquiring permission. Additionally, there is no set number of words or lines that may be taken without permission. Simply citing the source of the copyrighted material cannot take the place of obtaining permission.

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4.  How long does copyright protection last?
The length of copyright protection for a given work may depend on a number of factors, including the date the work was created, the publication history of the work, the life span of the author, and whether the work was created as a "work made for hire." Generally speaking, works that have been published in the United States since 1923 are protected by copyright. For more information on copyright duration and a summary of the 1998 Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extends the term of copyright for copyrighted works in the U.S., see the U.S. Copyright Office's FAQ.

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5.  Are Out-of-Print books still protected by copyright?
Whether a book is out of print or not does not affect its copyright status. The majority of Houghton Mifflin College Division textbooks that are out of print are still protected by copyright.

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6.  How do I find out who owns the copyright for a particular work?
You should consult the copyright notice in the work as well as any acknowledgments. If you have a photocopy that does not contain a copyright notice or list acknowledgments, refer to an original copy of the work. Additionally, the U.S. Copyright Office maintains records of registered works by author and title.

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7.  What if material in a College Division textbook is credited to another source?
That means Houghton Mifflin requested and obtained permission from the rightsholder to use the material in our work. In that case, you must direct your request to the original rightsholder, since Houghton Mifflin is not allowed to grant permission.

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8.  How will I know if the College Division is not the rightsholder of a particular selection within a textbook?
It is important to review to acknowledgments carefully. These are located in the acknowledgments section (usually in the front or back of the book), on the copyright page, or on the same page as the material itself.

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9.  How will I know if the College Division is no longer the copyright holder of the entire work?
After receiving your written request, we will tell you if we have transferred the rights to someone else.

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10.  Is there a limit to the amount of material for which the College Division will grant permission?
In general, we do not allow photocopying or reprinting of more than 10% of any in-print publication. You may be given permission to copy greater percentages of out-of-print titles.

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11.  For what reason(s) might the College Division deny permission?
The College Division cannot grant permission if the rights to the work have been transferred. We do not have the right to grant permission for material for which we obtained permission to reprint. We will not grant permission if the amount of material requested exceeds 10% of an in-print publication.

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12.  What information do you require to process a permissions request?
We require the following information to process your request. The more complete your request, the faster we can respond to you. Please see the Reprint Permissions page for a complete form.

Title of work; Author or Editor; Edition; Volume; Copyright year; Page numbers being requested; Name of chapter, article, or figure
Your name, full address, phone and fax numbers

For classroom use:
Course name; course number; estimated number of sets; term of use; instructor's name; instructor's affiliation; start of term

For inclusion in other publications:
Your book title, author and publisher; binding; estimated print run; publication date; list price; length; rights (US, North America, World); market (elementary, secondary, college, trade, custom publishing)

For web-based or distance/distributed learning:
Please see our Distance/Distributed Learning page for a list of questions.

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13.  Do you accept faxes and e-mails?
Yes. Our fax number is (617) 351-3801. E-mail requests may be sent to csweb.College_Perms@cengage.com

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14.  How do I request permission for classroom photocopying / coursepacks / library reserves?
Please see our Reprint Permissions page for information on these requests.

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15.  How do I request permission for publication in another book?
Please see our Reprint Permissions page for information.

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16.  How do I request permission for Web-based use or other distance/distributed learning?
Please see our Distance and Distributed Learning page for information.

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17.  How do I obtain a software site license?
Contact Customer Service (800/225-1464) with the product ISBN. If a site license is required, Customer Service will issue the license.

18.  How do I request permission for non-print ancillary duplication?
Please see our Non-Print Ancillary Permissions page for information.

19.  What if I want to use material in my thesis or dissertation?
Please direct your request to (617) 351-3801 (fax) or csweb.College_Perms@cengage.com.

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20.  Do you grant permission to translate into other languages?
Houghton Mifflin welcomes all foreign rights inquiries from publishing companies or agencies. Please see our Foreign Rights page for complete information.

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21.  How long is a permissions grant valid?
For classroom photocopying, permission is generally valid for one term or semester. For publication in another book, permission is generally valid for one edition.

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22.  How long will it take to obtain permission from the College Division?
The more complete your request, the faster we will be able to process it. We strive for a five day turnaround, but this may be longer during the busiest seasons.

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23.  What can I do to speed up turnaround time on my request?
Complete requests are generally processed faster, because we will not need to contact you for additional information. If you have used the same material in previous semesters or publications, sending a copy of the prior agreement will assist us in our research. Please do not call to follow up on your request, as this slows down the granting process.

If you have an immediate deadline, include that on the request, and we will make every effort to accommodate you.

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24.  When is payment due?
For classroom photocopying, payment is due at the end of the semester or term. For publication in another work, payment is due within three months of date of the agreement.

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25.  What kind of documentation should I send with my payment?
At the minimum, please include the PA Number or the Record Number from the top of your permissions agreement. Including a copy of the agreement will allow us to credit your account most quickly. If you are paying for more than one permission with the same check, please itemize the amounts.

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26.  What if the book is not a College Division title? Whom can I contact in your other Divisions?
You will need to provide the same information as if you were requesting from a College title. Following is a list of fax numbers and address for other Houghton Mifflin Divisions:

Houghton Mifflin School Division (elementary school / K-8)
Permissions Department
222 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116-3764
fax (617) 351-1118

McDougal Littell (secondary school / 9-12)
Permissions Department
1650 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL 60621
fax (847) 869-0841

Houghton Mifflin Trade and Reference Division
Reference and Dictionary Permissions
222 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116-3764
fax (617) 351-1116

Houghton Mifflin Trade and Reference Division
Adult and Children's Trade Permissions
215 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003
fax (212) 420-5899

Great Source Education Group
Permissions Department
181 Ballardvale Street
Wilmington, MA 01887
fax (978) 661-1333

Riverside Publishing (testing and assessment products only)
Permissions Department
425 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143-2079
fax (630) 467-6167

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