While I appreciate and respect laws, especially copyright laws, I don’t know everything about them. That’s most writers, unless you’re also in the legal field. The most that I’ve learned about the law I’ve learned from re-runs of Law and Order and Drop Dead Diva (which, FYI, did an episode about copyright infringement with a “50 Shades”-like novel).
But from the amount of research I’ve done, and the classes I teach, I know when I need to cite or ask permission for use. What I hadn’t found any information on is HOW to ask for that permission. If you’re an indie/self-published author, this really should be on your radar. Why? Because unlike traditional authors (who most likely are with publishing companies that have legal departments), if you plan on using any intellectual property other than your own in your work or to market your work, you are probably going to be the one that has to ask for copyright permission. I want to use a song in a book trailer for my upcoming novel–this is a must ask for me.
So, how do I do it? I asked Matt Knight, attorney and writer from “Sidebar Saturdays” for help. Not only did he respond to my specific situation, but he’s posted a comprehensive blog post on copyright permissions: what they are AND how to ask for them. You can access it by clicking here.