Permissions and Copyright
Serial Rights or Extract For Media
Serial rights are extracts licensed to newspapers or magazines either before or after publication of the book. Please contact our Publicity Department.
Email: [email protected]
The Rights Department deals with the licensing of subsidiary rights in copyright material which is controlled by HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand. Such rights include:
- Reprint rights in paperback or hardback
- Foreign rights (English language or translation)
- Merchandising rights
- Film, movie, radio, television and electronic rights
- Digest or condensation rights
- Audio and dramatic rights
To request usage in this manner you will need to contact our Rights Department.
Email: [email protected]
The Permissions Department deals with requests for use of copyright material which has been published by HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand only. For permission to use material published by HarperCollins US or HarperCollins UK, please contact them directly. To find out the name of the original publisher, you will need to look at the imprint page at the front of the book. 'Permissions' are also called 'anthology and quotation rights'. This includes prose, poetry and original illustrations. A permission (or copyright) fee will usually be charged to compensate the author for use of their work. To request usage in this manner you will need to contact the Permissions Department of the orginating publisher and provide the following information:
- Title and author (and ISBN if possible) of the book from which the copyright material is to be take
- Exactly what material you wish to use - please provide page numbers, etc, approximate number of words (if a prose extract) or line count (if poetry) proposed title of your book
- Your publisher's name - you must have a publisher before permission is granted
- The format your book will be published in - hardback or paperback.
- The territory your book will be published in
- The print run and proposed retail price
- The publication date
- The method of reproduction
- Your name, address and contact numbers
All requests must be in writing. Please do not duplicate your requests and allow six weeks for your permissions request to be processed.
Please note: If the work from which you are requesting permission is an anthology, consult the credit/acknowledgments page and apply to the original source for permission to use the material. This also applies to photographs and illustrations. Please check that the work was first published by HarperCollins.
The question of copyright is dealt with in New Zealand by the Copyright Act 1994, subject to variation by contract. For more information on copyright laws in New Zealand, go to: www.legislation.govt.nz.Ownership
Copyright arises whenever an idea is expressed in 'material form', that is, in words, pictures, computer language, movements, music on paper or tape, and so on. The owner of copyright in each instance is the 'author' of the work, that is, the person who reduces the idea to material form. Writers, composers, choreographers, artists and photographers are all authors. A person who supplies ideas and suggestions to any of the above is not an author, no matter how helpful or substantial his or her contribution. Only the person involved in the physical act of writing or making the work will be the author.
There is one significant exception to the general rule. Where a literary, dramatic or artistic work is created pursuant to a person's employment, under commission, or under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the employer or person commissioning the work will be the owner of copyright.
What copyright does
Copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to do a number of things in relation to a work. In respect of a literary work, copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to:
- reproduce the work (eg. all forms of copying including photocopying, recording, filming and so on)
- publish the work
- perform the work in public
- broadcast the work
- transmit the work via a diffusion service (eg. cable TV)
- to make an adaptation of the work (eg. a translation of a work or the adaptation of the work from literary to dramatic)
In a book, for instance, the following will be protected:
- text - is protected as a literary work and will usually be owned by either the publisher or the author (or, if the author is deceased, the author's estate)
- artwork, illustration and photographs - are separately protected as artistic works and the owner will be either the publisher or the person who took the photograph (or their employer) or the person who drew the illustration (or their employer)
- typesetting - is protected by the published editions copyright and is owned by the publisher
- title - generally not protected by copyright unless it is very long, substantial, original, complicated and catchy!
- ideas and themes - the actual idea is not protected by copyright but if you want to use a book's plot, characters, dialogue and structure, then you will need the writer's permission
Do you need permission to use copyright material?
Most material will be subject to some form of copyright protection. You will not have to seek permission from a copyright owner if you are using only a reasonable portion of a work for purposes of:
- research or study
- reporting news
- criticism or review
- educational purposes such as a performance of a literary work in class where the classes are not conducted for profit
If you are using more than a reasonable portion or intending to use the portion for commercial purposes (eg. to be included in a publication which you will sell for profit) then you will need to ascertain whether the material is still in copyright and obtain permission.
Generally copyright lasts from the moment the material is created until 70 years after the end of the year in which the author died. This is known as the term of copyright. If the work was published posthumously, then term of copyright is defined as 70 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published. If this time has elapsed then the work falls into the 'Public Domain' and you do not need to request permission to use the material.
There are various organisations providing advice on copyright matters. Two of these are: