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Copyright and Permissions Information

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Basic Copyright Information

US copyright law is designed to protect, and thereby encourage, the work of creative individuals in our society—composers, authors, poets, dramatists, choreographers and others. Under Section 106 of the Copyright Act, copyright owners are granted five exclusive rights:

  • The right to reproduce the copyrighted work in printed copies or on records, tapes, video cassettes, or any duplicating process now known or which later comes into being;
  • The right to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work (adaptation);
  • The right to distribute copies or phonorecords (CDs, DVDs, or any other audio or visual recordings) of the copyrighted work
  • The right to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
  • The right to display the copyrighted work publicly.

It is a violation of copyright law to exercise any of these rights without permission from the copyright owner. Sometimes the copyright owner is an individual, and sometimes it is a publisher or organization. To determine the copyright status and/or owner, look for a © symbol or the word copyright followed by the name of the copyright holder. If you are unsure of a work’s copyright status, it is a good idea to check with the publisher or Web site administrator where the work is published.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Ownership of a copyright and ownership of a material object in which the copyrighted work appears are entirely separate things. This means that purchasing a book that includes protected material does not transfer the copyright owner’s exclusive rights. A copyright owner’s exclusive rights (reproduction, adaptation, distribution, performance, and display) can only be transferred by a written agreement. A person who buys a copy of a book owns that book, but acquires no copyright permissions to any of the works contained therein (such as a hymnal or songbook).

For more detailed information on US copyright law, see the US Copyright Office Web Site

For information on NPH copyrights, see Copyright FAQ.

Contact NPH Copyrights and Permissions

E-mail NPH Copyrights and Permissions
Phone: (414) 615-5706

Mailing address:
Northwestern Publishing House
Attn: Copyrights & Permissions
1250 N. 113th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53226-3284

For permissions requests, the following form may be used:
NPH Copyright Permissions Request Form

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