Updated 7 December 2021
Schools, TAFE institutes, education departments and administrative bodies only need to seek permission from the copyright owner when:
- they are not able to rely on a statutory or voluntary licence or educational use exception to use material in the way they intend
- the material is not licensed under Creative Commons.
- uploading a learning resource which contains third party material to a public school or TAFE website
- copying a significant portion of a textbook that is commercially available to include in a learning resource.
Any permission should be obtained in writing from the copyright owner. However, permission can be as simple as an email from the copyright owner confirming that you are allowed to use the material in the way you intend. We have provided you with three templates you can use if you need to seek permission. The templates vary based on whether or not you have already informally obtained permission, and whether you have any prior relationship with the copyright owner:
1. Sample email requesting permission (if verbal permission already provided) – this email template is ideal for informal scenarios where you have already been given permission by the copyright owner to use their material verbally and are confirming this in writing.
2. Sample email requesting permission (if no prior contact) – this template is best suited for where you wish to seek permission from a copyright owner to use their material, but you don’t need something as formal as a letter or form (eg from an organisation or individual you know).
3. Sample letter to request permission – this draft can be used if you wish to send a letter rather than an email to seek permission from a copyright owner to use their material. It also includes a ‘Permission to Use Work’ form which the copyright owner can fill in and return to you.
4. Simple email requesting permission (for Departments or Administering bodies wanting to share materials on their public facing website) – this template email is ideal for scenarios where a Department or Administering body is creating materials for students and teachers to access, and they want to share these materials on their public-facing website. This is particularly relevant for curriculum developers who are creating resources for students learning from home, and for access reasons, want to make these materials publicly available (rather than password protected), and are not able to link (or embed) to this material. If you do obtain permission, make sure you keep a record of the email on file.
You don’t need to use these templates if you don’t want to. They are merely samples to give you an idea of what to include when seeking permission. If using a template, you should edit it to suit your needs and ensure it covers the material you wish to use, the purpose and how the material will be used.