International copyright laws apply to United Nations Publications.
UN documents fall under the category of proprietary intellectual property in the sense that the UN emblem or the corporate name appearing on their mastheads designate their origin in terms of recent authorship. The fact that some publications and most documents are available at no charge does not mean that they are in the public domain.
By way of consequence, the use of texts and images retrieved from UN documents should at all times be the object of careful treatment. The source should be quoted in full. Users should ascertain that they are not using old, superseded data. When in doubt, a request should be placed. Permission to use should be requested under all circumstances when the material is reproduced with a commercial aim. It is not required in cases of ‘fair-use’ environments, like class-room situations, academic research, private use, and generally for copies created within administrations, educational institutions and governmental offices for convenience or personal reference and study.
Permissions and translations
The United Nations welcomes requests for permissions to excerpt, photocopy, and reprint as well as proposals for translations of its publications in foreign languages. As the United Nations publishes several series and/or titles in other languages, we encourage you to check the online issue of the Publications catalogue prior to submitting your request.
Please send queries and requests to:
UN Sales & Marketing Section
Guidelines for photocopies and coursepacks
Guidelines for translations
300 E 42nd Street, 9th Floor, IN-919J
USA - New York, New York 10017