An original piece of work is mostly under copyright protection. Be it a book, a scientific paper or a piece of artwork, it cannot be reproduced or reprinted without official permission. Those who want to use such material must formally request the author or original copyright holder for permission. In turn, if the requested authorization has been granted, it is expressed through a formal letter.
Such a letter can be written using the following guidelines.
- Express Humility
When someone asks to use your original work as reference, it is an honor for you. Therefore, it is polite to thank him for taking an interest in your material. You may state that you feel flattered. It is a compliment for you when someone chooses your work to be shared with others after taking your permission. So, begin the letter by formally thanking the reader.
- Grant Permission Explicitly
The main purpose of the letter is to provide an official authorization to someone to use your work for reprinting or as a reference in his own publication. Therefore, state clearly that you grant him the requested permission. You may add that it is your pleasure to provide this authorization or that you feel honored. Using such phrases will make your letter politer.
- State your Conditions
Do specify if you want any special instructions to be followed regarding the use of your work. You may want to put some restrictions or constraints on the person using your original literature. For instance, you may authorize him to use only a certain portion of the work. Moreover, you should also mention clearly if you want any charges to be paid for the reprinting or publishing of your work. Likewise, mention all the conditions you or your co-authors or publisher want to be imposed.
- Request for a Review
You may express your wish to have a look at how your material has been used before it is published by someone and shared with other people.
- Offer your Help
It is courteous and polite to offer your help if required. Let the reader know that he may contact you regarding any confusion about your work. State clearly how and when he should contact you in such a situation.
Sample Letter -1
Thank you for your interest in my book, “God and Science”. I grant you permission to reprint the requested chapters for your Religious Studies. However, the publisher demands reprinting fees amounting to $35/- per copy. Kindly contact XYZ publishers for details about the payment.
I hope my explanation about the link between Science and Providence proves to be enlightening for your students. You may contact me for further help.
Sample Letter -2
I have received your request for using my publication as a reference for your college thesis. I am pleased to grant you permission for using the information and findings mentioned in my paper. Kindly do cite the ABC Journal as a reference when you quote excerpts from the paper. Moreover, use the author’s complete name in acknowledgments.
I would like to have a look at the final draft of your thesis before you submit it to your college. I want to make sure you use my findings with correct interpretations.
Good luck with your thesis. You are welcome to contact me for further help. I am available for discussion during office hours.