Once you have determined that you need to request permission to reuse copyright protected material, what should do you do?
(Remember: you do not need to request permission for works that are licensed under a Creative Commons or other license agreement--provided you follow the terms of the license--or for works that are in the public domain. Your use might also be a Fair Use and therefore would not require permission.)
1) Identify the copyright owner.
In some cases the copyright owner is the creator of the work, in others it is the publisher or distributor of that work, still others, the creator's heir.
2) Request permission.
Contact the copyright owners. There are some different scenarios for doing this.
Copyright Advisory Office has Model Permission Letters for different situations.
3) Keep good records.
See more tips from Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office Permissions resource.
Even when you seek permisson to reuse a work, there are times when there is no resolution. Perhaps you were unable to identify or make contact with the copyright owner, or perhaps the owner did not respond to your requests. In these cases:
See "If You Can Not Find the Owner," Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office.