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Due to the complexities of copyright, it is extremely difficult to create one resource or policy that addresses all situations. Generally you should ask yourself the following questions:
For additional information on the permission process see the Digital Media Law Project.
--- Courtesy of Columbia University Libraries
A most effective letter will include detailed information concerning your request for permission to use the work. Be sure to include the following pertinent information:
Who - What - How - When - Where and How - Why
NOTE: If the work is online and you are unable to find an author or contact information for the website owner, use WHOIS to search domain registrars for the website's registrant name and contact information.