Commons:Email templates

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OTRS Noticeboard
Main OTRS-related pages

Below is an email template for a declaration of consent to use copyright-protected media (images, video clips, sound files, etc.) on any project related to Wikimedia Commons. Copyright holders should send completed templates to permissions-commons@wikimedia.org, which serves as the Wikimedia Foundation's central archive for permissions. For a full description of this process, see Commons:OTRS.

For editors

If you are an editor wishing to obtain permission to use copyrighted material on a Wikimedia Foundation site, it is critical that you contact the specific copyright holder of the work you wish to use. He or she is the only individual who can legally release a work under a specific suitable license.

Declaration of consent for all inquiries

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Try our new Interactive Release Generator!

If you have been directed to this page because you wish to release the rights to a file to which you own the copyright, please consider clicking on the link above rather than completing the following email template. The Interactive Release Generator is designed to make the process of releasing the rights to a file efficient and simple. The use of the following template, though still perfectly valid and certainly useful as a work of reference, is now discouraged and should only be used in exceptional circumstances. Thank you!

E-mail template for release of rights to a file

We receive a large number of e-mails from copyright holders wishing to allow Wikipedia to reuse their content (emails such as, "I allow Wikipedia to reuse my photos", etc.). Unfortunately, such statements are insufficient from a legal standpoint: we require a more-specific declaration of consent to accept your permission. The following template will allow you to produce such a declaration.

  • Before you send us us any e-mail, ensure that you've removed all the instructions from the template.
  • Replace the template text (such as name) with your own details, and remove all of the brackets.

To: permissions-commons@wikimedia.org


I hereby affirm that I choose one:, [name] or [represent copyright holder's name], the creator and/or sole owner of the exclusive copyright of choose one: [the media work][1] or [the work depicted in the media][2] or [both the work depicted and the media][3] as shown here: choose one: [web page of the content] or [in the attached images/text].[4]

I agree to publish the above-mentioned content under the following free license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.[5]

I acknowledge that by doing so I grant anyone the right to use the work, even in a commercial product or otherwise, and to modify it according to their needs, provided that they abide by the terms of the license and any other applicable laws.

I am aware that this agreement is not limited to Wikipedia or related sites.

I am aware that the copyright holder always retains ownership of the copyright as well as the right to be attributed in accordance with the license chosen. Modifications others make to the work will not be claimed to have been made by the copyright holder.

I acknowledge that I cannot withdraw this agreement, and that the content may or may not be kept permanently on a Wikimedia project.

[Sender's name]
[Sender's authority (if applicable. E.g. "Copyright holder", "Director", "Appointed representative of", etc.)]
[Date]


  1. The words "media work" should be chosen for cases where the "medium" is also the "work", e.g., a photograph of a sunset or a person, an original digital drawing, diagram, or map, a sound recording of a bird, the text of a web page, etc., but not a photograph of another person's copyrighted painting or a sound recording of a person playing a flute or pronouncing a series of words, for which see below.
  2. The words "work depicted in the media" mean, for example, the case of a digital photograph (the medium) of an artistic sculpture (the work) where the sculptor did not take the photograph but is the individual here making the licensing statement.
  3. The words, "both the work depicted and the media" mean those instances when the person making the statement is the copyright owner of the thing depicted (e.g., the sculpture, the oil painting, the particular musical performance, the reading of a monologue from Hamlet) as well as the owner of the medium in which it is being provided (e.g., the photograph of it, the movie clip in which it appears, the Photoshop drawing of it, the sound clip containing it).
  4. You must clearly identify the content that you're permitting us to use. A statement such as "I am creator of the images used on XYZ page" is NOT sufficient. You must provide exact URL link(s) to the content or attach the content to the e-mail. For images, we prefer that you upload them to Wikimedia Commons, place the template {{OTRS pending}} somewhere in the file's description, and provide the URLs of the uploaded images in your e-mail.
  5. You may choose another license from our list of free licenses if you wish, but you MUST state a license; otherwise, this declaration is invalid. Please also indicate the license's most recent version number, if applicable: CC-SA 1.0 or Creative Commons 0 Public Domain Dedication 1.0 are acceptably specific; simply stating Creative Commons license, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike, or CC-BY (without the version number) is not.

Send the statement to our email response team ("OTRS") at permissions-commons@wikimedia.org. The email you send should come from an email address that we can recognize as somehow associated with the content being released. For instance, if you are releasing images shown on a website, your email address should be associated with the website or listed on the contact page of the website; if you are releasing images on behalf of an organization, your e-mail address should be at an official address of the organization; if you are releasing a work that is not available online, you may be asked to privately provide evidence of your identity to the OTRS volunteer who processes your statement; if you are releasing a work for which you are acting on the copyright holder's behalf, you may be asked to provide proof of this authorization such as a forwarded email from the copyright holder designating you as his/ her representative in this matter.

More examples

More examples can be found on Example requests for permission.

See also