Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is iCopyright?

A: iCopyright is the Intelligent Copyright service for the 21st Century. Independent publishers deploy iCopyright’s article tools and intelligent copyright tags to signal that they retain copyright ownership of their content. These publishers want to make it easy for you to obtain limited rights to reuse their content in ways that will be meaningful to you, but they must also protect their content from piracy and abuse. When you license content using iCopyright, you obtain permission that protects both you and the publisher.

Q: What is a license?

A: A license is written permission to use property in a defined way, whether it is for free or for a fee. Because copyrighted content remains the property of the publisher or creator even when it’s posted for free use on the open web, you must obtain the owner’s permission to reuse the content. Such permissions are considered a license when you have agreed to comply with the publisher's terms of use.

Q: Who determines the terms and pricing of a license?

A: Each publisher decides the terms of use and pricing for each publication. Before you obtain a license, you will be presented with the publisher’s terms of use statement and a pricing schedule.

Q: What if I only want to print a few copies to pass around the office or classroom? Do I need to get permission to do that?

A: Most publishers want you to share their content this way, but they want to be sure you and your few colleagues and classmates get an authorized copy faithful to the original that bears their logos, trademarks, and copyright notices in a form they have pre-approved. They also want to be sure that a few free copies does not become a few dozen unauthorized copies. iCopyright makes it easy for the publisher to feel comfortable that you are getting these quality attributes when you make copies. A free print using iCopyright, authorizing you to make a modest number of copies on your printer, costs you nothing. If your needs are not modest, various other options are available.

Q: How can I know if my intended use of content is "fair use" or "fair dealing?"

A: Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast answer to that question! But we do offer guidelines to help you evaluate your intended reuse.

Q: What payment methods does iCopyright support for licenses to reuse content?

A: We accept major credit cards and checkout through PayPal™. Corporations and their authorized employees may sign up for a corporate account that may entitle them to obtain instant licenses on a "bill-me-later" basis. For custom licenses such as custom reprints or custom PDFs, many publishers or their reprint agents will accept payments by check or purchase order with credit approval.

Q: Can I establish an account with iCopyright?

A: Yes. When you place your first request for a license, you will be provided with an option to create a personal or corporate account. This account and your credentials will be stored for future purchases. You will also be entitled to a free subscription to repubHub, iCopyright's exclusive press monitoring service, as well as a personal Reading Room where all your iCopyright licenses and content are stored for later reference.

Q: Do I get a receipt for my purchases?

A: Yes. A printable receipt is provided immediately upon completion of your purchase. A copy of this information is also emailed to you.

Q: I did not receive the content or the receipt confirming my purchase.

A: Check your email service's spam filter or your spam folder for email from Be sure to add iCopyright to your approved senders list to be sure you receive future emails.

Q: Are there discounts on licenses for non-profit or educational use?

A: Each publisher determines the pricing for each service and each publication. Most publishers offer pricing for non-profit and academic use. If these pricing schedules are not activated, it means that publication does not offer them.

Q: What is iCopyright's privacy policy?

A: You may review our policy here.

Q: What is iCopyright’s refund/return policy?

A. Requests for refunds of instant licenses are evaluated on an individual basis. If you are not satisfied with your license or have inadvertently licensed the wrong content, please send an email to stating the license number and the reason for the return. (The license number is provided in an email sent immediately after purchase; it is best to forward that email with your request.)

Q: What’s the difference between a reprint and republishing and posting?

A. A reprint is any reproduction of the article, in whole or in part, on paper. Reprints are usually printed by a professional are often customized in some way. Custom reprints often include the logo of the company that has purchased the reprinted article. Custom reprints are usually sold only by the publisher directly or by a licensed agent of the publisher. When you request a custom reprint using iCopyright, the order is directed to that authorized party for fulfillment. The end product is a self-contained hand-out containing just one article, customized with your logo, highlights, and other specifications that meet with the publisher's guidelines.

Republishing is the process of obtaining permission to place some or all of an article owned by others in a separate new publication (or website). The publisher typically does not allow any revision to the original (unless it is an excerpt from a longer compilation). The end product is a separate publication, such as a newsletter or newspaper, containing the licensed article along with other content.

Posting is placing the content on a website, blog, or intranet where you want your audience to have access to the full article without having to link away from your site. Using iCopyright, you can usually choose from a variety of posting options approved by the publisher, including customized version. Obtaining a license for a post does not include the right to republish in print or send via email.

Q: I still have questions. Who may I address these to?

A: Please send an email to We'll do our best to respond within one business day.

The more you know about copyright, the more you realize it is the foundation upon which most content is created. Copyrighted content employs us, enlightens us, and entertains us. Without copyright and the benefits it affords content creators, we would be unemployed, uneducated, and bored silly.
— Michael O'Donnell, Founder & Director, iCopyright

About iCopyright

iCopyright is an automated copyright licensing service used by publishers to grant rights and permissions to those who want to reuse their online content. The service provides both free personal uses and commercial reuse licenses. Most uses are granted and delivered instantly.

iCopyright also offers repubHub, a news and information monitoring service for users, and Discovery, a web monitoring service that helps publishers uncover and remedy unauthorized reuses of their copyrighted content.

Frequently Asked Questions about iCopyright and the Licensing Services we provide