Permission to Use Copyrighted Materials
If you are employed by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, or the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and want to use information from one of our publications, you do not have to seek permission as long as you follow fair use guidelines. Do acknowledge the source by quoting the author, attributing the material, or citing the origin of the information.
If you wish to use information from research or Extension in another state, you must obtain written permission. Even then, you need to acknowledge the source of the material. If you wish to use information from other sources, you must ask and receive permission. Keep a copy of the permission statement in your file. There are narrow exceptions covered by Fair Use and public domain exemptions.
If someone is requesting permission to use Ohio State University Extension materials, they should be directed to Dave Davisson, below, and to this form:
Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43210
Copyright and Intellectual Property
In today's world, just about everything is copyrighted, whether it carries the copyright symbol © or not. Moreover, under today’s law, materials are protected by copyright as soon as they are completed. Copyright applies broadly to all creative pieces whether written on paper, sculpted in stone, found in cyberspace or created on videotape.
This means that as soon as a document comes out of your computer’s printer, off your drawing board, out of your digital camera, or is posted on your web site, it is copyrighted – even if you do not use the © symbol. If the work was produced as part of your job, then your employer owns it, unless special arrangements were made in advance. This is known as "work for hire."
Everyone else's work is probably copyright protected as well. If you are setting out to "borrow" something from someone, anyone, you need to take the appropriate steps to obtain permission. Failure to do so could lead to a costly court case. Crediting the source is NOT a protection against copyright infringement.
OSU Extension and OARDC materials are copyrighted – that gives us the exclusive right to copy, distribute, modify and display or authorize other people to do so. The 1978 copyright law did not exclude Extension and research stations from copyright protection even though some funds are from federal sources; the law treats these agencies as non-federal operations.
If you have questions about copyright and intellectual property, ask. It is better to make a phone call or send an email than to find out later you made the wrong choice. Contact:
OSU Copyright Resources Center