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Model Letter for Seeking Permission

Instructions for permission letters

  1. Be sure to include your return address, telephone and fax numbers, and date at the top of the letter.
  2. Be sure to include the exact name and address of the addressee, along with the date of your request. It is usually helpful to include a FAX number or phone number for easy reference. Email or call the person to confirm the copyright ownership if this is in doubt.
  3. Clearly describe the proposed use of the copyrighted material. It may be helpful to include a copy of the material in question, especially if it is a graph or illustration. Copyright owners sometimes want to see what you intend to use, especially if you have edited it down. Some copyright owners refuse to give permission when a work is edited - but require it to be used in full.
  4. Include a statement as to how you intend to credit the source.
    For example:  "Unless you specify otherwise, the following credit line will be used:

    "Permission granted by  --- (put in the name of the copyright owner). All rights reserved."

    Note:  Leave a space in case the copyright owner has an alternative credit line you should use.

    Include at the end of your request a form along these lines:

    By (individual or company)(name):
    Fee (if any):

Example of a request for permission for a course pack


Dear :

I am preparing a college  course pack for  a course in _____________ which I teach at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, California.  I would like to use material for which you control the copyright.

I would like to use the following.  (Add here if you intend to charge anything beyond the copy cost):


I would be grateful to use this work in my course anthology. In signing this letter, you warrant that you are the sole owner of copyright, entitled to grant permission to use this material and in so doing, you are not infringing on the rights of any other person or entity.