Sample Letters Giving Permission to Use Copyrighted Material

When you take time to create something from scratch, whether it’s a picture, a book, a recipe or a photograph, (for example), you don’t want someone else copying it and using it as if it was their own work.

But did you know, the moment you create something, copyright is automatically assigned to you and no one can legally copy it, and profit from it WITHOUT your permission?

The definition of “Copyright” is the exclusive right that the owner of an intellectual property has. It protects the creator’s work from unauthorised duplication or use.

“Intellectual property” means something that came out of your own imagination and thought processes.

The Internet is rife with copied and plagiarised work, and sadly, many people don’t know they’re doing anything wrong.Images are copyrighted

There are lots of ways you can find your work when it has been copied and used on another website, and you are within your rights to contact the owner of the website and ask that they stop using it.

If they refuse, or ignore you, you can contact their ISP (internet service provider) and as long as you can provide proof of ownership of your work, they MUST see to it that the disputed item is removed.

But what if you are happy to have your work copied? Perhaps this would give you more exposure, or improve your reputation in your field of expertise. Maybe you’d like the publicity?

If so, then you should give the person who requested use of your work, a form to complete so that they can be sure of complying with the law.

There are two ways your work can be used. 1) for free and 2) by selling the usage rights. It is up to you which you choose to do.

It is common to offer your work for free if someone will only copy it for personal reasons. 

However if they intend to use it on a commercial website, or use your design say on t-shirts that they will sell, you may want to charge an appropriate fee. 

Sample Letter giving permission to use copyrighted material for a fee

I/we (“the Grantor”) am/are the Copyright owner of the following material/publication:

[Specify material/publication]

And I give my express permission for:

[Name of approved user)  (“the Grantee”]

To use the part or parts of said material specified below in local, national or worldwide communications/distribution for the agreed term [period of time] and payment of the consideration [agreed fee] detailed below.  This permission does not become valid until payment of the agreed sum has been received and will expire at the end of the agreed term.

The material/publication or any part or parts thereof may be used only for the following purpose:

[Specify purpose]

For the agreed period of time :

[Specify dates this agreement covers]

And the agreed amount of:

[Specify currency and amount]

This agreement is dated:  [Insert date]

And is made between:

[Grantor’s details]  and  [Grantee’s details]

Signed by the Grantor:

Signed by the Grantee

Sample Letter giving permission to use copyrighted material for free

I/we (“the Grantor”) am/are the Copyright owner of the following material/publication:

(Specify material/publication)

And I give my express permission for:

(Specify approved user charity)  (“the Grantee”)

To use the part or parts thereof said material specified below in local, national or worldwide communications/distribution for the agreed term (period of time) detailed below for use by the Grantee in their capacity as a Registered Charity only.

[Specify purpose]

For the agreed period of time :

[Specify dates this agreement covers]

And the agreed amount of:

[Specify currency and amount]

This agreement is dated:  [Insert date]

And is made between:

[Grantor’s details]  and  [Grantee’s details]

Signed by the Grantor:

Signed by the Grantee