Wikipedia:Example requests for permission
|This page is a how-to guide, detailing processes or procedures of some aspect or aspects of Wikipedia's norms and practices. It is not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines.||
- For more on requesting permission, and advice what to ask, see Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission
This page is intended as boilerplate text for requesting permission to re-use somebody else's content in Wikipedia. To do this, they must re-license it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) or a CC-BY-SA-compatible license. For more, read Wikipedia:copyrights. (Some other licenses are permitted for images; see Wikipedia:Image copyright tags for more.) Material may also be co-licensed under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts), but this is not required for material imported from websites authored by others. It cannot be licensed under GFDL alone.
If you have a letter that has worked in requesting permission, please add it to this page, or work the text that you think was effective into the existing letters. Also, you should send a copy of your request and the response to '..,"permissions-en AT wikimedia DOT org" where it will be permanently archived.
Due to the large number of ambiguous answers to enquiries concerning a permission of reuse for an image, text or similar (such as "I allow Wikipedia to reuse my photos") it is advisable to attach to your enquiry email a standard declaration of consent. See Wikipedia requesting copyright permission, Wikipedia declaration of consent or Commons email templates.
- 1 Example letters used by other editors
- 1.1 Concise (useful for character-limited web contact forms)
- 1.2 Casual
- 1.3 Informal (text)
- 1.4 Informal (images)
- 1.5 Formal
- 1.6 Neutrality's semi-formal letter for images
- 1.7 Semi-formal, Polite, Concise
- 1.8 Formal request for high-quality publicity image
- 1.9 Commons 1
- 1.10 Bowen Panoramic Permission
- 1.11 Short Flickr image request
- 2 See also
Example letters used by other editors
Concise (useful for character-limited web contact forms)
To whom it concerns:
I am a volunteer editor of Wikipedia. I would like to include a photo of  in the Wikipedia article at . However, Wikipedia can only include such a photo if it is released under a Creative Commons "Attribution-ShareAlike" license or one of the similar free licenses listed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:File_copyright_tags/Free_licenses.
If you are able and would agree to provide a freely licensed photograph (it need not be newly created) for use on Wikimedia projects, please follow the instructions at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Email_templates, or alternately, email the photo and consent text from that page to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to myself at .
I personally thank you for helping further Wikipedia's goal of public education and outreach; Wikipedia faces a limited availability of freely licensed media, and your time and generosity are tremendously appreciated.
Dear Jenny Darroch
I found your page www.jennydarroch.com while doing research for the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, and thought your website might be appropriate for inclusion in our articles concerning Jenny Darroch.
I really liked your website! I found it very informative and useful. I'd love to use it in a project I'm involved with called Wikipedia, so I'm seeking your permission. Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org is a free encyclopedia that is collaboratively edited by volunteers from around the world.
I'd like to include your materials in this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JennyDarroch. To get a sense of the freedom of Wikipedia, you could even edit this right now, even without formally registering.
We can only use your materials if you are willing to grant permission for this under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. This means that anyone will have the right to share and, where appropriate, to update your material. You can read this license in full at:
The license expressly protects authors "from being considered responsible for modifications made by others" while ensuring that authors get credit for their work. There is more information on our copyright policy at:
If you agree, we will credit you for your work in the resulting article's references section by stating that it was based on your work and is used with your permission, and by providing a web link back to:w wwww.jennydarroch.com
Thank you for your time; I look forward to your response.
Kindly, Jenny Darroch
Dear <AUTHOR | WEBMASTER>,
I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your <WEBSITE TITLE> at <WEBSITE URL>, which I found while researching for the free online encyclopedia "Wikipedia"; I thought that your information on the subject might be worthy of inclusion in our living and growing document.
Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org) is an encyclopedia that is collaboratively edited by volunteers from around the world. Our goal is to create a comprehensive knowledge base that is not only available at no charge, but is also freely distributed. It is one of many projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.
I am seeking your permission to use your text either directly, or as a reference for my original writing on the subject. I'd like to include your materials in this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/<RELEVANT_WIKIPEDIA_PAGE>. (To get a sense of the freedom of Wikipedia, you yourself can edit this page without registration, right now.)
We can only use your material if you are willing to grant permission for it to be used under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. This means that although you retain the copyright and authorship of your own work, you are granting permission for all others (not just Wikipedia) to use, copy, and share your materials freely—and even potentially use them commercially—as long as they do not try to claim the copyright themselves, or try to prevent others from using or copying them freely. You can read this license in full at:
Please note that your contributions may not remain intact as submitted; this license, and the collaborative nature of our project, also entitles others to edit, alter, and update them at will, i.e., to keep up with new information, or suit the text to a different purpose. However, the license also expressly protects authors "from being considered responsible for modifications made by others" while ensuring that those authors get credit for their work. There is more information on our copyright policy at:
We choose the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported license because it is the best available tool for ensuring that our encyclopedia is and can remain free for all to use, and for providing credit to everyone who donates text and images. It may or may not be compatible with your goals in creating the materials available on your website — that is your choice. Please be assured that if you do not grant permission, your <copyrighted?/original?> materials will not be used at Wikipedia; we have a very strict policy against copyright violations.
If you do agree to grant permission, we will credit you for your work in the resulting article's references section, by stating it was based on your work and is used with your permission, and by providing a link back to your website.
<You are obviously <very interested/an expert> in your field, and we invite your active collaboration in writing and editing articles on this subject and any others that might be attractive to you. If you are interested, please see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction for more information!>
Thank you for your time; we look forward to your reply.
To whom it may concern:
I found your page <page name or URL> while doing research for the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, and thought your image [regarding <topic>] might be appropriate for inclusion in our articles concerning <subject>.
I am specifically seeking your permission to use this image:
I would like to include your image in these articles:
Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/) is a free encyclopedia that is collaboratively edited by volunteers from around the world. Our goal is to create a comprehensive knowledge base that may be freely distributed and available at no charge.
Normally we ask permission for material to be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. This means that although you retain the copyright and authorship of your own work, you are granting permission for all others (not just Wikipedia) to use, copy, and share your materials freely — and even potentially use them commercially — so long as they do not try to claim the copyright themselves, nor prevent others from using or copying them freely.
You can read this license in full at:
This license expressly protects creators from being considered responsible for modifications made by others, while ensuring that creators are credited for their work. There is more information on our copyright policy at:
We choose the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License because we consider it the best available tool for ensuring our encyclopedia can remain free for all to use, while providing credit to everyone who donates text and images. This may or may not be compatible with your goals in creating the materials available on your website. Please be assured that if permission is not granted, your materials will not be used at Wikipedia — we have a very strict policy against copyright violations.
We also accept licensing of images under other free-content licenses. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Image_copyright_tags
With your permission, we will credit you for your work in the image's permanent description page, noting that it is your work and is used with your permission, and we will provide a link back to your website. Please explicitly state under which license you grant permission.
We invite your collaboration in writing and editing articles on this subject and any others that might interest you. Please see the following article for more information.
Thank you for your time.
A little help here? Need something very professional, suitable for sending to larger organizations (news orgs, political parties, etc.), perhaps with a signable & mailable form to send back?
FT2's email to Transocean
Dear Mr. ____,
I am one of the many volunteer editors of the English Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org), the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia is among the top 5 visited sites on the Internet, and its sister site Wikinews (en.wikinews.com) is a well-viewed news source.
Yesterday I wrote an initial Wikipedia article on Deepwater Horizon's Tiber find <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiber_oilfield>. The article is now awaiting review by an oil-topic expert. In the course of this, I realized we do not have a photograph of the Deepwater Horizon itself, nor any diagrams of the block 102 geology and the like. Although many images of the Horizon exist online, these are all copyrighted and therefore our in-house policies forbid us including them with any article or news report we may produce.
Wikipedia is likely to be a major website visited - more than likely the major website - outside your own, for the Horizon, and one of the major sources for information on the Tiber find. In both cases the article would benefit from a usable good quality image of the Deepwater Horizon and any other selected material relevant to these topics.
Since Wikipedia aims to be a repository of images and information that anyone can use, even in nations where generous United States "fair use" provisions are inapplicable, we can only use images that are released under a so-called "free license", which permits anyone else to use, modify, or deal commercially with the image concerned if they wish, provided there is appropriate attribution and that any modifications are released under an identical license. (Exceptions may be made if there is no possibility of such an image being available by other means, but that is not practical here - we don't have the capability to take good quality publicity photographs of the Deepwater Horizon ourselves.)
Example licenses that would permit us to use a better-quality image would be: the GNU Free Documentation License <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html> or the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode>. Be assured if you do not grant permission or provide such an image, we will not use one without permission. You are under no obligation to release any material under such licenses, but I thought that for public-relations purposes, you might want to consider it given Wikipedia's great popularity.
With your permission, we would then credit you for your work in the image's permanent description page, noting that it is your work and is used with your permission, with a permanent link back to your website for any reader of the articles in which it appears. We also invite your input in any other articles related to Transocean's rigs and operations, and any others that might interest you.
You can read more at <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Licensing>, and a range of "frequently asked questions" can be found at <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:FAQ>. A simple form of consent can be found at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Declaration_of_consent_for_all_enquiries>.
Thank you for your time.
FT2 Volunteer editor and administrator, Wikipedia.
- Note: This letter was written when Wikipedia's content was licensed under GFDL. It should be modified to specify CC-BY-SA if used.
A while (or maybe a while and a half) ago, I sent this letter to HMSO. Feel free to fold, spindle, or mutilate it at will. The reply, by the way, was negative: in the opinion of HM Government, Wikipedia may not use Crown Copyright material.
Controller and Queen's Printer
Dear Ms. Tullo:
I am an editor of the Wikipedia, a multilingual project to create a complete and accurate open content encyclopedia. The English-language version may be viewed on the Web at http://en.wikipedia.org/. We gather information from many sources, and government Web sites are often particularly useful. As a unique and highly visible project, we freely and publically release our work, that it may benefit mankind. To this end, we punctiliously respect copyright, and have studied the terms of the Crown copyright carefully.
We understand that we may use your material "free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context" provided that "the source of the material [is] identified and the copyright status acknowledged." Our question centers on the relation between the Crown copyright and our own. We maintain copyright over the material we create, but license its use under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), which was designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for free works. You can find the license text at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html. Wikipedia is the largest documentation project to use this license.
The license stipulates that any copy of the material, even if modified, must carry the same license. Consequently, we may not inherit the Crown copyright restrictions. For example, although I might copy a work under the Crown copyright accurately, honestly, and with attribution, under the GFDL a third party must be allowed to create derivative works which may be altered deceptively.
We wish to copy material from the Web sites of Her Majesty's Government and relicense it under the GFDL. We would be grateful if you could provide us with the official position of the Stationery's Office on this matter.
I can be contacted by e-mail at [e-mail address], by telephone at [telephone number] (I am in time zone UTC-7 — please call in your late afternoon), and by post at:
- [postal address]
- [city], [state/province abbreviation] [zip/postal code]
- [country code]
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Generalized Formal Letter
This is a modification of the Epopt's letter above. Changes have been made to make it less specific to the particular situation that inspired the original letter, and more applicable to other cases.
Name or Title
I am an editor of Wikipedia, a multilingual project to create a complete and accurate encyclopedia by open editing. We gather information from all types of sources, but the web sites of government bodies, institutes of higher learning, and other non-profit organizations are often particularly useful. The English-language version may be viewed on the Web at http://en.wikipedia.org/. As a unique and highly visible project, we freely and publicly release our work, that it may benefit humankind. To this end, we deeply respect copyright, and are careful to prevent any infringement.
We would like your permission to include resources created by your organization in our encyclopedia. Specifically, we are interested in copying <TITLE>, accessible at <URL>. In order for us to do so, it would be necessary for you to license your work under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You can find the license text at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License.
If you licensed one or more of your documents under this license, you would retain full copyright. However, we would be licensed to distribute the material, as would future users of it. We would distribute your work free of charge. However, future commercial distribution could occur. This is because users of our encyclopedia are authorized by the CC-BY-SA to distribute it, or any part of it, for a fee.
The license does stipulate that any copy of the material, even if modified, must carry the same license. This guarantees that if licensed in this manner, no copy of your work could be made proprietary. That means that no one who distributes the work can ever restrict future distribution.
Please notify me if you are interested in licensing <TITLE>, or all of your copyrighted material, under the CC-BY-SA. I can be contacted by e-mail at [e-mail address], by telephone at [telephone number] (I am in time zone