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The 411 on Reprints, E-Prints and Article Permissions

Frank Krolicki

When companies or individuals receive good press they usually can't wait to share it with the world. Forreprintcartoon most this means obtaining hard copies of the article to distribute, or re-posting it to a Web site so they can easily make associates, friends and prospective clients aware of the coverage. However, many aren’t familiar with the various options available when it comes to sharing an article as well as the fees and copyright restrictions that go along with them. Anyone who receives press should understand the distinctions of reprints, e-prints, permissions and what portions of an article they can legally re-use at no charge.

Oftentimes PR clients who have appeared in the news inquire about obtaining reprints when they are really interested in purchasing back issues of the publication that features their name, quote, or story. Back issues are simply additional copies of a specific edition of a newspaper, magazine, or other type of publication, while reprints usually refer to high quality, customized reproductions of a specific article. For example, if a company is mentioned in an article in USA Today, they might want to purchase professionally-made, customized hard copy reprints of the article to distribute at an industry trade show. While these types of reproductions can be a powerful marketing tool, they are usually pricey enough that companies or individuals with tight budgets seek more affordable options. Rates vary, but for most publications expect to pay over $1,000, even for as few as 100 copies of a single-page black and white reprint.

Companies who have been mentioned in the media are usually just as – if not more – interested in being able to post the coverage online. People often think it’s acceptable to post the full text of an article on a Web site so long as they give credit to the article’s source publication/author and link back to its original location. In most cases, though, this is a violation of copyright rules. Instead, many publications allow you to post only an article’s headline along with your own summary of the article with a link to the original source. In this way, you can alert others to the article without having to pay for permissions or rights to use the entire article.

If you want to post the full article to your site you can do so in the form of purchasing permissions and e-prints (usually PDF versions of the full article exactly as it appeared in print), but these can be nearly as pricey as hard copy reprints and usually come with a limited amount of time they can legally be posted on a sit, usually three months to one year. Some publications offer e-prints that can be used for an unlimited amount of time, but these rights can set you back thousands of dollars. Publications also usually have specific rates and permission guidelines for re-posting video and audio clips online if you’ve received coverage in either of those formats.

With these options in mind, be aware that different publications have different policies and rates for reprints, e-prints and article permissions. Most publications’ Web sites include the specifics of their policies, so once you decide you want to use a specific article to promote yourself or your company, you’ll want to reference each site to determine the options available. Here are links to reprints and permissions pages for some notable publications:

Chicago Tribune:

Crain’s Business:


Inc. Magazine:

Los Angeles Times:,0,6817441.htmlstory

New York Times:

TIME Magazine:

USA Today:

Wall Street Journal: