There are several issues to consider when figuring out if copyright requires you to seek permission (and possibly pay a fee) for the reproduction, distribution, performance, and display of creative or expressive works. Remember, this guide does not provide an answer to the can I use it question; only you can make that decision.
Decide if the work is eligible for copyright protection. If not, copyright is not an issue. If yes, go to part 2.
Is the work in the public domain? If yes, copyright is no longer an issue. If no, go to part 2.
Is the work available under a Creative Commons or similar open license?
If you answered yes for any of these questions, copyright is an issue, but your use may be allowed. If no, go to part 3.
If you believe your use is fair use, it may be allowed. If not, your should seek permission. Stanford's copyright research overview offers steps on how to find copyright owners and seek permission.
If permission to use a copyrighted work is denied, you may need to use a different work, purchase legal copies for your use, or seek further advice.