Copyright Clearance Center

  1. What is the Annual Academic Copyright License?
    The Annual Copyright License is an annual license that allows the reuse of text-based copyrighted content within higher education institutions.

    Educational uses include:

    • Coursepacks—paper and electronic
    • Class handouts
    • Library reserves—traditional and e-reserves
    • Electronic course content

    Research uses include:

    • Faculty-to-faculty sharing
    • Student-to-student sharing
  2. What are the benefits of the Annual Copyright License?

    • Comprehensive, institution-wide coverage
    • Ease and convenience of a single, multi-use license
    • A predictable budgeting process for copyright fees
    • An efficient process which translates into administrative cost savings for the institution
    • Increased copyright compliance across the institution

  3. How do I verify that a publication is covered by my Annual Copyright License?
    Using, you can search for the publication and then review the coverage that is available to Annual Copyright License holders. The process is simple:

    1. Using's "Basic Search," found at the top right of most pages, you can search by Publication Title or Standard Number (ISBN/ISSN).
    2. In the search results select the "Permission Options" button for the publication that you need permission to use.
    3. Under the Annual License Options for academic institutions, review the coverage for the permission type that you need.

    For your convenience we also offer a dedicated search page for our Annual Copyright License holders. Feel free to bookmark this page or e-mail it to your colleagues. The Annual Copyright License search page can be found here.

  4. I'm looking for a publication but I can't find it.
    If you're having difficulty finding a publication:

    • Be sure you're searching by publication title, not article title. For example, search for "Wall Street Journal" if you need to reuse an article within the Wall Street Journal.
    • Check the spelling of your search term(s).
    • View our search tips for ways to optimize your search.
    • If the title is in our catalog, but is "not covered" by your license, you may use the "Check Pay-per-use options" link, which allows you to review a summary of permissions that are available for the publication that you've selected. You may find that permission is available through our pay-per-use permission service.
    • If you are not able to find a specific non-U.S. title or publisher, we may be authorized to provide permission even though it is not listed in our catalog. Review the countries for which we have general authorization.
    • Place a Special Order and Copyright Clearance Center will work on your behalf to obtain permission. Additional fees will apply. Learn more about how Special Orders work.
    • If you still can't find a title and would like us to add it to our catalog, contact us at and provide the bibliographic information for the publication. We will research the publication to determine whether or not it can be added to our catalog for reuse under your license agreement.

  5. How can I tell if my institution has an Annual Copyright License?
    If you're not sure if your organization has an Annual Academic Copyright License, check with your Dean of Libraries or legal counsel. If you're still unable to determine if your institution has an Annual Copyright License, you can contact us by e-mail and we'll be happy to let you know.
  6. How does the Annual Copyright License work?
    Upon payment of an annual fee, Copyright Clearance Center authorizes your academic institution to make a wide variety of uses of all copyrighted information listed in the license repertory. Copyright Clearance Center distributes license fees collected from licensees among the participating rightsholders. This process eliminates the need to obtain individual permissions from each copyright owner for content usage of covered works.
  7. How is the license fee for my institution determined?
    The Annual Copyright License fee is determined by the Institution's 2006 Carnegie Classification's Enrollment Profile and the number of full-time-equivalent students as reported to the Department of Education.
  8. Does my Annual Copyright License cover the copyright fee charged to my institution for documents received from document deliverers or through inter-library loan?
    No, it does not. The copyright fee that document deliverers may charge you is usually intended to reimburse them for the fee that they presumably paid to the copyright rightsholder for the copy that they made and delivered to you to fulfill your order. While the Annual Copyright License does not cover that original copying act by the document deliverer or inter-library loan transaction, the license does cover your subsequent copying and distribution, internal to your institution, once you have obtained the lawful (copyright-cleared) original.
  9. Can I scan articles and chapters under the Annual Copyright License?
    You may convert portions of registered titles from paper to digital format when the desired work is not available in electronic form.
  10. Does the license permit my institution to make all uses that we may want of the text works in the repertory?
    No. There are instances of use that are not covered by the license:

    • Inter-library loan (ILL)
    • Advertising or marketing
    • Creation of a database or a repository of works if it replaces the need for a subscription or is available for multiple people's use outside the context of a class
    • Cover-to-cover copying of whole works
    • Any use of the work that results in manipulation or change of the original, or that does not result in a reproduction that is substantially identical visually to the original.

  11. My institution has an off-campus provider to produce our coursepacks. Can the course content reproduced by that provider be covered by our license?
    Yes. The license covers the reproduction of course content for licensed institutions by off-campus copy shops and local, regional and national coursepack providers who have an agreement with the institution and are identified to Copyright Clearance Center.
  12. Does the license cover students studying abroad?
    Yes. The license extends to distance education and students studying abroad.
  13. Does the Annual Copyright License take into account my institution's fair use policies?
    Yes. The Annual Copyright License does not license any uses by your institution that constitute fair use under the Copyright Act—a license is not required for those uses because they are permitted by law (under the fair use provisions of Section 107).
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