Copyright Questions: Figure Reuse

This is one of a series of questions submitted by attendees of the Copyright, Common Mistakes and Myths Webinar and answered by Laura N. Gasaway, author of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers.

Laura N. GasawayQuestion: If I purchase permission through CCC to use a figure from a published article, do I need to secure author permission separately or does CCC handle obtaining permission?

Answer: I am sorry to say this, but “it depends!”

There are two possibilities for figures in published articles: (1) the author of the article actually created the figure and therefore owns the copyright because it is a part of the article or (2) the figure was first published elsewhere and the author got permission to include it in the article. In the first instance, the CCC permission is enough, and the figure is just part of the article. In the second instance, the CCC may be able to acquire permission for you for the figure. My assumption is that the CCC has the right to license the figure based on your question.  

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

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