Generally, you don’t really need any kind of written permission or authority to tell you that it’s ok to use material as long as it’s only 2 percent of the original material. However, this is only up to 300 words and shouldn’t be done as a best practice if you want to produce quality and original work. When you start reproducing material past that 300 word mark, you have to gain express permission and send out a request to reproduce material letter or e-mail.
I’m sure any author can tell you that they constantly receive requests to have some of their content used in their own content whether it’s for referencing purposes or whatever the cause may be. A request to reproduce material doesn’t mean that the individual or company is going to grant you permission to use the material that you want to use and you should always be prepared for that as well. It won’t matter too much whether you use a letter or e-mail format as the purpose is generally the same and you’ll be fine as long as you keep a copy of the response.
If you have any kind of documents that support your work or show that it’s mostly original, you need to attach those as well, as some companies will want to see it. Highlight which material you would like to reproduce in your own content and ask them if it’s ok. If you don’t have your own scanner, check with your local library and see if they have one you can use for cheap.
You’ll notice that two samples are given below. The first sample will be more along the informal style which is kept for your own records primarily. However, the second one will be more along the lines of formal and includes more details. This is used when contacting media outlets and publishing houses.
You want the recipient to know who exactly is contacting them so in the header; make sure they can see a clear contact name and affiliation.
Enclose the exact material that you would like to reproduce. If you would like this process to be smooth, simply attach the exact material you would like to copy.
What is your intention with the material? The company will more than likely want to know what you plan on doing with the material and where it’s going to be published so they can help get a better idea of whether they want to approve it or not.
Also, state you will give them full credit and what you’ll be printing on the reprint of the material.
If required, put a signature for the party to sign and agree with if they agree to the terms.
Leave some kind of method of return such as a fax or an e-mail.
Dear Mr. Lawless,
I was reading an article you wrote that pertained to improving your listening skills on your official company website. The main purpose of my letter here is to ask for your permission to use this reprinted material in a workshop that I’m conducting. I own an independent company for salesman ship skills and I would like to teach these people easier listening skills that they can learn.
Would it be alright if I used your material and handed out reprints of it as learning material? There will only be 9 copies of the material distributed. If everything is ok with this, I have allotted a space for you to sign at the bottom of this letter; you can either fax it or e-mail it to me at the provided locations. If it’s not, please let me know so I don’t use it.
My Fax: 391-201-2019
My E-mail: Fakeemail@fake.com
Dear Michael Riddles,
I’m looking for express permission to publish something under your name.
I will be publishing a manuscript that will be published by the following: James Printing
The author and title will be: James G. Riley
I am aiming for the following date of publication: 9/23/13
The number of pages that I plan on printing is approximately: 50
With your express permission I am humbly asking if I can use all this material as my own sub-document and my own edition of the material. It will be to assist in helping people learn Russian who have taken an interest in it.
If this is ok, please get a hold of me at the following details:
My Fax: 938-201-1928
Name: James Riley