Guidelines for Using Copyrighted Materials

As an NLP developer, trainer and practitioner, I believe that it is important for the credibility of the field of NLP that individuals and organizations honor the copyrights on printed materials. It is a way of demonstrating integrity and showing respect for other people's work. I understand people's desire for as much information as possible, but it is important to get it, and provide it, in an ecological way that doesn't infringe upon the rights of others. The following guidelines regarding duplicating or reusing copyrighted materials follows the standard academic practices with respect to copyrights and intellectual property.

Standard Guidelines for Coprighted Materials

  1. If you are not directly quoting or reproducing someone else's printed material, but are simply referring to it or talking about it, you do not need to request permission. In this case, you are not actually "copying" anything, but rather expressing your own ideas about someone else's work. Instead, you want to cite the sources from which you are drawing the ideas you are teaching about or discussing. (It is more an issue of giving appropriate credit, so that you don't appear to be plagiarizing someone else's ideas, than it is an issue of copyrights specifically.)
    Crediting a source is typically done by referring to the name(s) of the author(s) and the date of the work you are drawing from in the body of your publication, and then including a full reference to the work in a 'bibliography' or 'references' section of your manual, book or publication.
    Consider the following example, from Tools for Dreamers (Dilts, Epstein & Dilts, 1993, pp. 23-24), referring to the T.O.T.E. model:
    "A mental strategy is typically organized into a basic feedback loop called a T.O.T.E. (Miller, Gallanter & Pribram, 1960). The letters T.O.T.E. stand for Test-Operate-Test-Exit. The T.O.T.E. concept maintains that all mental and behavioral programs revolve around having a fixed goal and a variable means to achieve that goal. This model indicates that, as we think, we set goals in our mind (consciously or unconsciously) and develop a TEST for when that goal has been achieved. If that goal is not achieved we OPERATE to change something or do something to get closer to our goal. When our TEST criteria have been satisfied we then EXIT on to the next step."
    Since there is no direct quotation of Miller, Gallanter and Pribram's work, it has been cited parenthetically. In the back of the practitioner booklet is bibliography including a full reference their work in which they offer their own definition and description of the T.O.T.E. This typically includes: title of publication, author, publisher, city, state or country, and date of publication:
    Plans and the Structure of Behavior, Miller, G., Galanter, E., and Pribram, K., Henry Holt & Co., Inc., 1960.
  2. If you are making a direct quotation, reproduction or translation of less than half a page, you customarily do not need to request permission from the author or publisher, but should cite the specific source from which the material is quoted, including the page number(s) if possible.
    As an example, consider the following discussion of "congruence," taken from the 1998 NLPU 100A Practitioner manual (p.46):
    According to Webster's Dictionary, "congruence" in a system is "marked by inner harmony, coherence, or agreement of its parts." In NLP, a state of congruence is a result of all of a person's internal beliefs, strategies and behaviors being in full agreement and oriented toward securing a desired outcome. For this reason, congruence is considered an essential resource state in NLP. The notion of congruence has been fundamental to NLP since its inception.

    In The Structure of Magic Volume II (1976), Grinder and Bandler defined congruence in the following way:

    The term 'congruency' is used to describe a situation in which the person communicating has aligned all of his output channels so that each of them is representing, carrying or conveying the same or a compatible message. When all of a person's output channels (body posture and movements, voice tonality and tempo, words) are representing the same or compatible messages, the person is said to be congruent. Other people's experience of a congruent human being is usually described in terms of that persons's having personal presence, knowing what he is talking about, being charismatic, dynamic and a host of other superlatives. (p. 45)
    Congruence may be contrasted with "incongruence," which refers to a state of inner conflict resulting from inner struggle, typically at the level of beliefs or identity. These struggles are usually at a deeper level and are less conscious than typical cognitive activities. For this reason, the factors influencing states of congruence or incongruence are often outside of awareness. Thus, maintaining a state of congruency involves learning to pay attention to and interpret signals from one's unconscious mind.
    Again, in the back of the practitioner booklet is bibliography including a full reference for The Structure of Magic: The Structure of Magic Vol. II, Grinder, J. and Bandler, R.; Science and Behavior Books, Palo Alto, California, 1976.

  3. If you are making a direct quotation, translation or reproduction of half a page or more (including graphics), you should request permission from the author or publisher. In addition to citing the specific source from which the material is quoted, you should include a copyright notice referring to the author or publisher and the words "reprinted with permission" (provided you have received that permission).

    The following is an example from the Pattern of the Month section of my web page on the Internet. My article on Operationalizing NLP Presuppositions includes the following description:

    NLP Presuppositions Exercise

    The following exercise, designed by Tim Hallbom and Suzi Smith, is another way to operationalize NLP presuppositions with respect to a specific symptom, situation or problem. It involves establishing reference experiences for each presupposition and then transferring them into a particular context in which you would like to experience them more strongly.

    First, lay out a space for the problem context or situation. Then arrange a series of locations, representing various NLP presuppositions, around the problem situation.

    1. Standing in the context space, access the symptom or problem state, and the context in which it occurs to create an anchor.
    2. Step into each presupposition space, accessing and anchoring the idea, then look at yourself in the problem context (disassociated), through the filters of the presupposition.
    3. Access the presupposition fully, then step into the context space, adding the presupposition.
    4. Continue around the circle until all spaces have been accessed and integrated.

    (Copyright 1995-1997 by Tim Hallbom and Suzi Smith. Reprinted with permission.)

    In this case, no specific reference has been made to another publication, because the exercise has not yet been published in book or other major publication. This reference would be added, and included in the bibliography of the manual, when such a source was published.

    In general, if you are going to make a substantial quotation of content from somebody's work, it is good practice to get their approval ahead of time, such as a signed letter of release. When asking for permission to use copyrighted material, you should furnish the following information:

    1. The pages you want to use, titles, and/or page numbers in a specific publication.
    2. The group or publication that will be receiving the information.
    3. Where and when you will be using the materials.
    4. The number of copies you want to make.

    The publisher or author may request a nominal fee for some reproduction, depending on how the material is to be used.

The following page provides an example of a copyright request form.

Robert B. Dilts
P.O. Box 67448
Scotts Valley, CA 95067-7448
Phone (831) 438-8314
Fax (831) 438-8571

Copyrighted Materials Request Form

A signed authorization is required each time you want to use copyrighted materials. To request to reproduce copyrighted materials, fill out the form below and send it to the above address. Please limit your request to a small portion of any one publication, and submit your request at least one month before you need an answer.
Please provide the following information:

Your Name__________________________________Fax ________________________

Address Information_______________________________________________________


Title of publication from which you want to copy pages _________________________________

Page number or numbers of the material you plan to distribute ____________________________
(If it is more convenient, you may attach copies of the material you want to reproduce to this request form. You have our permission to make a copy for this purpose.)

To whom will you distribute this material? ____________________________________

Where will you distribute this material? ___________________________________

When will you distribute this material? ____________________________________

Approximately what percentage of your publication will this material provide? ___________________

How many copies will you make of each page? _______ Total number of copies to be made: _______

If your request is approved, the copyright notice referencing Robert Dilts must appear on the bottom of each page. You can add "Reproduced with permission of the author," after receiving signed authorization.
(If this material is more than 10% of your publication, please send a copy of your whole handout or publication in which you intend to use the material.)


______________________________________________ Date: _________________________

Also see the Article of the Month or the Archives if you are interested in checking out NLP in more depth.

For information on Robert Dilts’ products and services, please see Upcoming Seminars or Robert’s Product Page or return to Home Page. If you have problems or comments concerning our WWW service, please e-mail Michael

This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1998 by Robert Dilts., Santa Cruz, CA.