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As the author, you are responsible for ensuring that you have the right to publish all of the material that you plan to include in your book. If you do not hold the rights to certain elements of the manuscript, you are obliged to arrange for republication permission from the rights holders, including the payment of any necessary permissions fees.
Since it can take some time to receive a response to permissions requests, we advise that authors begin making their queries at an early stage. In most cases, permissions requests can be made and granted via e-mail. Note that receiving permission to reproduce copyrighted material does not oblige you to include the material in your book.
In general, written permission is required to reproduce the work of another person that is under copyright according to Canadian law. Simply acknowledging that work belongs to another and providing a credit line does not constitute permission to reproduce it. Copyright protects the rights of creators to their original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, for the duration of their lives and for a certain number of years after their death. As a university press with a global sales and marketing presence, MQUP respects international norms regarding copyright protection by observing Canadian copyright law. The general rule for copyright in Canada is that it lasts for the life of the author plus 50 years from the end of the calendar year of the author’s death. At the conclusion of this period, copyright expires and the work enters the public domain. It is important to note that some works (such as anonymously published works, co-written works, unpublished works, posthumously published works, and photographs) may have different copyright terms.
Authors are responsible for determining the copyright status of all material that is not their own and for obtaining permission to reproduce material that is not in the public domain. Useful resources on Canadian copyright questions are Canadian Copyright Law 4th edition, by Lesley Ellen Harris (John Wiley & Sons, 2014) and the web site of the Copyright Board of Canada. If you are uncertain whether material you plan to include in your book is in the public domain, please consult your acquisitions editor.
In certain circumstances you may be able to reproduce the copyrighted work of another author or creator without seeking permission. The most common in academic publishing involves the principle of fair dealing. The Canadian Copyright Act states that “fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright” if the author and source are identified; similar provisions exist in other countries and are known as “fair use.” The provisions for fair dealing and fair use are not well-defined, although they include consideration of the nature of the work in question, the proportion used, the purpose of the use, and its potential market effect. The use of brief excerpts from published and unpublished sources for the purposes of criticism, review, or evidence, as is frequently done in scholarship, is generally recognized as fair dealing, as long as the original source is fully acknowledged and the use is “fair.” Given the absence of explicit rules, a determination of what does or does not constitute fair dealing must be made on a case-by-case basis and you should consult your acquisitions editor if you are not requesting permission for material based on principles of fair dealing.
Materials requiring reproduction permission usually include the following:
Song lyrics, poetry and prose excerpts, texts with cultural or commercial value, and unpublished work (such as letters, diaries, archival material, etc.). As a general rule, permission is always required for excerpts of poetry and song lyrics that are not in the public domain.
Reproduction or adaptation of an illustration, photograph, drawing, map, graph, table, figure, or other artwork that is not your own creative work. Please note that in the case of artwork, the work may be covered by the moral rights of the artist. In such cases, permission to reproduce the work may be required from two sources. The artist, their estate, or artists’ collectives such as CARFAC, SODRAC, or others, may retain moral rights to the work and will need to be approached for permission. Intellectual property rights may also apply to the material used to reproduce the artwork in print; for example, permissions fees for the photograph of a painting may be charged by the museum, private collector, or photographer who is providing the photograph or digital file being reproduced in the book.
The standard rules for scholarly work are that if your manuscript includes content from interviews you conducted during your research, you must obtain written consent from any interviewee who is identified in your book or whom readers could possibly identify. A copy of the consent forms should be filed with the Press. (If this is impossible for reasons of confidentiality, we request a letter from you attesting that the consent forms are in your possession.) Interviewees who remain anonymous should have been made aware at the time of the interview that you may quote from their statements in a publication.
The need to obtain written permission may also extend to work that you have previously published, such as a journal article, if you transferred publication rights to the publisher and now wish to reproduce some of the work in your own book. In most cases, originating publishers will allow authors to republish their own work without difficulty, upon request.
For permission to reproduce material from a published work, you should begin by contacting the original publisher. If the publisher does not hold the rights to the material in question, they may be able to direct you to the rights holder. Permission to reproduce a published illustration, map, figure, or table must usually be obtained from either the author of the book in which the work appears or from the rights holder. (This information usually appears in the credit line or acknowledgments.)
For permission to reproduce material from an unpublished work, you should contact the creator of the work. If the creator is deceased, you should contact his or her estate. In some cases, reproduction rights to a work may rest not with the creator but with the person or organization that owns the physical work, and permission must be obtained accordingly.
To ensure that you make a complete permissions request, please use our permissions request form, along with a cover letter providing the details of your book publication: title and author, approximate page length, format (cloth/paper), and projected publication date. Your acquisitions editor can provide this information. In your request, please note that MQUP is a not-for-profit scholarly publisher and that our print runs are usually in the range of 500-2,000 copies.
In order for MQUP to market and sell your book through our international networks, it is essential that you obtain non-exclusive world rights for cloth, paperback, and electronic editions. (We require electronic rights as all MQUP titles are made available as e-books.) We normally ask for world rights for all languages and all editions, although copyright holders may only grant one-time, English-language permission; this is generally sufficient. Our permissions request form contains a specific statement of request that should be used.
As the author, you must make every effort to contact rights holders and you should keep a record of all your correspondence related to rights and permissions queries. When you have received all of your statements of permission, please send a set of printed copies to your acquisitions editor.As stipulated in the contract, authors are obliged to pay any permissions fees and to send copies of their books to any permissions grantors who may request them.