Is it necessary for scholars who are writing historical works about a particular region of the country to obtain permission to quote three stanzas from relevant old songs?

This question is somewhat complicated and the answer is based the age of the song. First, consult my chart, "When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain" (see Appendix; also available at Assuming that the work is still protected by copyright, one would do a fair use analysis. Three stanzas sound like a fairly significant portion of a copyrighted song, and seeking permission likely is required. Contact the music publisher and not the recording company. Sometimes recording companies will direct users to the proper publisher or other owner of the copyright in the musical composition, which most often includes the lyrics. If the songs are in the public domain, however, no permission is needed.

Are there any guides, fact sheets, or other resources to help librarians determine whether to sign an Annual Copyright License from the Copyright Clearance Center? Since the corporate library subscribes to so few journals compared with the overall number of print journals, the cost of the license seems out of line. Are there any rules of thumb that dictate what a library should reasonably be charged?

Many corporate libraries have decided that the ability to make digital copies rather than photocopies is extremely important to them and have taken an Annual Copyright License. The CCC has a number of explanatory materials on its website at

Another good source is other librarians in similar companies. Whether they can reveal pricing information depends on the company's negotiations with the CCC. A CCC representative can also discuss costs in similar companies without revealing what any one particular company pays.

The Annual Copyright License uses an algorithm to determine the annual fee for an organization. The license covers internal photocopying, digital copying, posting of covered works on corporate intranets, copies required for regulatory filings, and many other uses. These are all detailed on the CCC website.

What are the pros and cons of a blanket license from the Copyright Clearance Center for a noneducational but nonprofit organization?

The main benefit of a CCC blanket license is that all in-house copying from library materials covered under the license is protected. It eliminates the necessity of keeping records for pay-per-use copying on which royalties are due. The organization no longer has to seek permission from individual copyright holders to distribute articles to employees. Moreover, now electronic publications are also covered by the CCC Annual Copyright License. Under the license, organizations can post digital content on their intranets; republish content in newsletters, books, and journals; and e-mail copies of online articles and PDFs. Required federal agency filings are also covered.

A library recently signed an Annual Copyright License with the Copyright Clearance Center. In so doing, the library would be permitted to make unlimited photocopies of materials of publishers that are registered with the CCC. Are there are other organizations similar to the CCC that operate in the United States? What is its international counterpart? Is having a "middleman" operation like this an effective way of protecting copyright interests?

The CCC is the only royalty collection agency representing publishers for the reproduction of works in the United States. There is also the Authors Registry (http: // for individual authors who own the copyright in their works. So, someone reproducing a work can pay royalties directly to the author through the Registry. Additionally, there are performance rights organizations in the United Statesthe American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (; Broadcast Music Inc. (, and SESAC Inc. ( collect royalties for public performances of music. There are foreign equivalents of both the reproduction rights organizations and the music royalty agencies, and they typically have agreements with the U.S. organizations, so they collect the royalties for foreign materials and then account to the foreign agency for the funds.

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