Wikipedia talk:Example requests for permission

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untitled comments[edit]

I have problems with this line: "If you agree, we will credit you for your work in the resulting article's references section ..."

...where is an article with a "references section"? I could not find any example yet. I tried also to read the Wikipedia:Cite_your_sources but the discussion confused me more then helping...

I just send this "request for permission" to the author of the Whippet article, and I got the "ok" as an email. Where do I put now this "ok" or the authors name???

Thanks for help, Fantasy 15:09 Apr 25, 2003 (UTC)

Too friendly[edit]

This request not only sounds too friendly, but im not sure if it portrays the sender as "professional." I dont know if the request is purposely written this way for individuals with homepages. Mabye there could be a link to a "Boilerplate for larger organizations," which sounds more professional and doesnt start "Hey I really liked your website." Greenmountainboy 14:04, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • Indeed. I find the introductory portion of the text as... almost juvenile. Way too informal, in any case. -- Fennec
  • Indeed, i had to write my own to send to a goverment website. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 06:28, 2004 Jul 21 (UTC)
  • I agree, This current text is not usable for large organizations, which are likely to have the images we want. cohesion 19:08, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Going to edit this a bit[edit]

I also am not happy with the tone of this email. I'm going to try some bold edits -- please feel free to discuss or edit in return. This needs some collaborative effort put in on it. Catherine 06:28, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I've done it -- comments welcome!

I like it. Made a minor edit that seemed to indicate that Wikipedia was in the public domain. --mav 08:02, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

More work done[edit]

Been tweaking the Text version today -- I hope that it sounds reasonably polished and coherent. Some specific areas I'd like feedback on:

I am seeking your permission to use the text you have written, either directly, or as a reference for my original writing on the subject.

I know we don't need permission to use the site as a reference for factual information (since facts can't be copyrighted), as long as we're not copying text verbatim, or copying creative presentation. It seemed a courtesy to mention that we might use it as a reference if they didn't like us using their text directly, but the more I think about it, the more this gives them the option of saying "no, don't use my site as a reference, either", which would leave us in the position of having to explain that facts can't be copyrighted, arguing with and disenchanting a potential contributor, and appearing 'grabby' about something they worked hard to create and present. Our only other alternative would be not to use info at all from a site that was good enough to prompt the request for permission in the first place.

Perhaps something like: I am seeking your permission to use some or all of the text that you have written. We would be delighted to hear an answer of "yes", and we will happily respect an answer of "no". A third alternative would be for you to use your talents to compose new text on the subject which would not be the same as copyrighted material on your website you might wish to protect. Our final alternative would be for our editors to write an original article on the subject, properly citing your work as an academic resource and providing a link to your site.

I feel it may be getting too long already, but I want to make the benefits and "risks" as clear as possible. Any ideas for tightening, rearranging or polishing the text are welcome!

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, or try to prevent others from using or copying them freely.

I fear this section might gain us a lot of "no" answers, especially the commercial part, but I think it's important to make this clear to contributors from the start, especially with a potential print editions coming in the future -- anyone who thinks they're just donating to a "non-profit website" and ends up seeing their words or photos in a book may feel they have a legal bone to pick with us.

Which reminds me that we should probably mention our non-profit status somewhere in the letter....

Please be assured that if permission is not granted, your <copyrighted?/original?> materials will *not* be used at Wikipedia -- we have a very strict policy against copyright violations.

Again, this seemed courteous, but may not be necessary. If you think it is helpful, should we use "copyrighted", "original", or something else? Again, I was trying to imply that we might still use the facts there, just not their copyrighted presentation of it.

<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: for more information!>

Optional section; I've just run into some people who would make great contributors, and wanted a simple text for inviting the to actively join us. Is there a better/cleaner link to a welcome/entry page? That one's a little ugly....

Thank you for your time.

Kindly, <WIKIPEDIA AUTHOR> LOL -- Catherine 00:44, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Copyright Permission[edit]

What is the preferred method for an author to indicate that he/she is giving permission to use material. I asked an author to add such a statement to ACORN but couldn't say exactly how to do it. Rmhermen 16:25, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)

The "Another proposition"[edit]

I like this text as was going to use it to request an image. I sent the resulting text to myself first and noticed that our company spamfilter tagged it as SPAM with 7 points (5+ is regarded as spam). It seems to get 2 points alone for using "Dear...". -- Solitude 14:57, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)

Request for help[edit]

Hi, a new user (User:Raj2004) asked me for help with contacting a website or some such in regards to quotations. They might very well be fair use for all I know. Any help is appreciated. Here is a link to his request on my talk: User_talk:Sam_Spade#Dvaita_and_Visatadvaita. I will direct him here, and a couple other places (like the pump, and Wikipedia:Fair use). Cheers, Sam [Spade] 18:08, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A minor alteration[edit]

Would anyone object to all instances of replaceable text being placed inside angle brackets? When copying and pasting into a plaintext email, bold and italics are lost, and it makes it tricky to pick up with that much text. Akchizar 08:31, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Go for it -- I'm not sure when it changed to italics; this was originally meant to be very easy to copy into email. [[User:CatherineMunro|Catherine\talk]] 21:32, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Response template?[edit]

Would it make sense to provide a template at the bottom of requests for permission, for people to use to respond -- something that could then be pasted into the Talk page or Image Description page as evidence that the creator wishes to license their work? Something along the lines of this (please edit mercilessly):

As the creator and copyright holder of the image currently named <TITLE.EXT>
(found at <URL> as of this date), I hereby licence said image under the GFDL,
as a contribution to Wikimedia and its downstream users."
As the creator and copyright holder of the text found at <URL> as of this date,
I hereby licence said text under the GFDL, as a contribution to Wikimedia and
its downstream users."
As the creator and copyright holder of the text found at <URL> as of this date,
I hereby licence that portion of the text included in this email under the GFDL,
as a contribution to Wikimedia and its downstream users."

Please comment -- this ought to be legal and bulletproof, and I'm no copyright expert. [[User:CatherineMunro|Catherine\talk]] 21:32, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Special Terms?[edit]

In the Informal (images) boilerplate:

If you would prefer more restrictive terms (for example, limiting use of specific images to Wikimedia Foundation Inc. only), we will be happy to accommodate requests within our ability to fulfill them. Should this be the case, please contact Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales at

What does this mean? I'm new to Wikipedia, and I'm trying to get permission from a photographer to use their photos. Everything I've read recently (most of the copyright links here...) suggests that "copyrighted with permission only for Wikipedia" material is no longer being kept. Is this paragraph from the boilerplate no longer applicable? Am I missing something?

I don't think GNU-FDL is going to fly with this person since he sells his images. He has allowed them to appear on Astronomy Picture of the Day and has given me permission to use them on Wikipedia, but that was before I noticed that such permission-granted material is going away/no longer wanted. Is there no place on Wikipedia for such material? --mh

Another email[edit]

I won't put this on the main page myself, but here's something I used for an email.

Hiya.  Quick question about <<COMPANY>> images:
I'm starting to write an article on Wikipedia, an internet encyclopaedia, 
about <<COMPANY>>.  I wondered if you had any images which we might use to 
illustrate the article?<<COMPANY>>
It would be ideal if you could consider releasing an image such that it can 
be used without restriction by other projects ('GNU Free Documentation 
License' or similar), but any offer to let Wikipedia use an image would be 
There's more information on what Wikipedia is about, if you'd like to have 
a browse, and you're welcome to make changes yourself of course.
Best regards

Ojw 23:05, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ban on images with restrictive licenses announced[edit]

There is a new policy on unfree images, detailed here: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-05-23/Noncommercial images. The "images letter" in this project page states that the GFDL is the preferred license, but implies that other options are available. Those other options have now narrowed substantially. It would be helpeful if these letters are reviewed and edited to comply with the latest policies. Thanks, -Willmcw 01:46, May 24, 2005 (UTC) (someone who will not be doing that job)

Suggestion for "another proposition"[edit]

I phrased the part marked [where?]? as follows: "If that is the case, could you kindly post the following statement on the page in question." and added the following at the end "License Statement: The above text is available under the GNU Free Documentation License, a copy of which is available at" This might be a good way to do it... JesseW 7 July 2005 06:42 (UTC)

Another suggested format: Stiffly-formal, Impolite, Rambling, Stentorian, and Anonymous[edit]

(Comments welcome.)






Dear sir or madam,

I am highly honored (ahem) to have the privilege of establishing an emissarial relationship with your person, on behalf of a world-wide, soon-to-be-authoritative, group of Web-based Wiki scholars (just shut up for a second -- I'll explain more about Wiki in a moment, if you please -- beg pardon) with the noble purpose of documenting every shred of human information, however trifling, and disseminating it to all God's creatures, with a complete revision history, editorial comments, and a transcript of all on-line disputes, allegations, and arbitration attempts within the cult-like, highly-evolved community that created it. I am its Editor.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I will begin: I am an unemployed office worker in New York City, living in fashionable Kew Gardens, Queens, on a quiet tree-lined street. Although I intend to take another position in the administrative arts in the near future, I would one day like to break into show business. Perhaps one day you will know my name. For now I'm on the Internet a lot, and rent is in arrears, but duty calls.

Now that I have your attention, I am pleased to inform you that you have been pre-selected to receive the distinct honor of being asked to release something that belongs to you into world-wide use by anyone who damn well wants it. Plus, they can change it. You may or may not be credited, but if you are and your name is spelled correctly, perhaps you too will become famous like I hope to be, and show up on Internet search engines among the first ten results. In other words, I'll Google you if you Google me, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more.

Our project is extremely important, so please respond before four o'clock this afternoon, as this article is going to be nominated as a featured article, and I have some shopping to do. Mostly groceries, but if I can get to the bank before three that would be nice. It's my local branch, just around the corner, so that shouldn't be a problem (like you care).

What we want is the photograph on your blog, that you took of your next-door-neighbor Mindie Schultz, who auditioned to appear last year on a reality television show (working title: HOUSE FULL OF CRAZY BRAZILIAN ASS-KISSERS) which is currently in workshop and hopefully one day pitched to UPN. I understand you are a member of Mindie's fan club. Get a life. I mean, really. (Do you have her number?)

I am going to create a new page called Mindie Schultz to announced her intentions to appear on HFOCBAK, a note about her childhood, and her favorite bread (pita). It will provide complete documentation, including a link to her Yahoo! Group, to UPN's site, and my original research. Although I can't imagine it will, there is a slight possibility it will be nominated for deletion, in which case I could use as many Keep votes as you can manage. Watch the page (a Bureaucrat or Admin can show you how). You have a few days, you'll be able to vote quite a few times. Forty will probably be enough. Make sure they're all registered through different accounts.

Please visit our Web site (it's called "Wikkaapedia, the on-line Pictionary" -- you can find it on a Google search), go the page about copyrights (if you have trouble I suggest you register, log-in, and leave some requests for help on various talk pages -- you'll figure it out), read the stuff about copyrights, select the proper tag, insert it between the two funny-looking squiggly-type-deals that appear above the left and right brackets on your keyboard, and upload it. There's quite a learning curve at Wikkapedia, so I suggest you set aside the afternoon.

Please realize that we are doing YOU a favor, so get right on this so we can continue with our reseach.

A. Friend

(Oh, if you do stick around, leave a note on my talk page. But don't edit my stuff.)

Too friendly. Otherwise OK. pumpkin97 10:34 Aug 31, 2005 (UTC)
Amusing, but too many in-jokes. I fear this would confuse and mislead anyone who wasn't already familiar with Wikipedia. But then I have been unsuccessful so far at getting permission letters answered, so what do I know? Bovlb 15:09:45, 2005-08-31 (UTC)

Greatly simplified request needed.[edit]

A greatly simplified format needs for buisness people who are busy or people who speak english as a second language. The format to be 2 short paragraphs, very simple wording, no conractions, etc. I am using a form of this email presently:

"I would like to add an article about your XXproductXXpaperXXwhateverXX too Wikipeida. Wikipedia is a collective effort by thousands of people to create an internet encyclopedia. Anyone can add information to an article or entirely new articles without authorization. I am willing to addXXretrofitXXX an article aboutXXXbased onXX XXXX. Anything I add must be covered under the GFDL, would you mind

I am guessing you are korean. The Korean version of Wikipedia may make more sense too you:"

I am not a skilled enough writer nor a well trained wikipedian so I don't wish to attempt to make a real template.