This page is to help writing requests for people to share their work under an open license compatible with Appropedia.

Example 1[edit | edit source]


I am a member of the community at Appropedia, a wiki for Sustainability and development. I recently became aware of some excellent work of yours that would be a great fit at Appropedia.

We use the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, which gives rights to people to reuse and make derivative works, as long as they give attribution (which usually means a link to the original site - in this case, your site) and they share any improvements they make to the content under the same conditions. Therefore, anything we use on Appropedia needs to be shared under those terms. This license is used by many other organizations including Wikipedia and most other wikis so content under this license can be easily shared and copied between these sites. See our CC-BY-SA page for more information.

  • Can you confirm that you own the copyright, or are authorised to act on behalf of the copyright owner for #Name of Document we would like to use#?
  • Will you agree to distribute this work under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license (unported, version 3.0 or later)?

This is prompted by our wanting to use particular works of yours. However, we recommend using free licenses for all your work, and being part of the "green commons" for knowledge on sustainability. Do you have other content which you agree to distribute under this license?

Let me know if you have any questions,


Example 2[edit | edit source]

This is an example that can be used for contacting copyright holders or (for works without explicit copyrights) authors. Minor adjustments may be made, but the key elements regarding requesting permission, mentioning and describing the CC-BY-SA license and directing to the text, and requesting explicit permission for specific content are all required.

Dear [Copyright holder / Author],

I am a member of the community at Appropedia, which operates a wiki website. (You can visit us at: I recently became aware of some excellent content of yours that would be a great fit at Appropedia.

We would like to republish, in wiki format at Appropedia and under the CC-BY-SA License (described below), the following pieces of your content:

[List of content items, by title, or by URL, as applicable]

Appropedia publishes content under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. The text of the license is available at this link:

Before you grant permission, please read the license carefully. Note that this license provides for the following:

  1. . The text or image may be freely redistributed and used.
  2. . It may be freely modified, and modified versions may also be freely redistributed and used.
  3. . Any redistribution must include proper attribution of the author(s).
  4. . CC-BY-SA allows commercial re-uses provided such re-use is also under the CC-BY-SA so that any changes or improvements .

Do you, as the copyright holder, acknowledge that you have read and understand the GNU Free Documentation License, and give Appropedia permission to republish the above works at the Appropedia website under the CC-BY-SA unported version 3.0 or later license?

Thank you in advance for your support.

Example 2[edit | edit source]

A conversation starter - leaves confirmation of license till later, but gives the links for them to read for themselves:

Hi - I've just been looking at your website. I am with Appropedia, the sustainability wiki, and we all have a lot in common in terms of our interest in ("creating abundance with a small footprint," or something relevant to the specific site). and Sharing knowledge about how to do that.

We would love to be able to share your wisdom on Appropedia. Have you considered using an Open license that would allow us to do that? With attribution of course.

I hope to hear from you.

Example for images[edit | edit source]

The following request is based on RTENOTITLE:

To whom it may concern:

I found your image <page URL> while doing research for the sustainability wiki, Appropedia, and thought your image [regarding <topic>] might be appropriate for inclusion in our articles concerning <subject>.

I am specifically seeking your permission to use this image:

I would like to include your image in these articles:
<Article URLs>

Appropedia ( is a free resource that is collaboratively edited by volunteers from around the world. Our goal is to create a comprehensive and free knowledge base about sustainability and development. Please see the following for more information.

We ask permission for material to be used under the terms of an open license - this includes some Creative Commons licenses, namely CC-BY-SA and CC-BY - for more information see:

You may also use the GNU Free Documentation License, although this is perhaps less suitable for images - You can read this license in full at:

Using any of these licenses means that although you retain the copyright and authorship of your own work, you are granting permission for all others (not just Appropedia) to use, copy, and share your materials freely -- and even potentially use them commercially -- so long as they do not try to claim the copyright themselves, nor prevent others from using or copying them freely.

This license expressly protects creators from being considered responsible for modifications made by others, while ensuring that creators are credited for their work. There is more information on our copyright policy at:

We choose the CC-BY-SA for our content because we consider it the best available tool for ensuring our encyclopedia can remain free for all to use, while providing credit to everyone who donates text and images. This may or may not be compatible with your goals in creating the materials available on your website. Please be assured that if permission is not granted, your materials will not be used at Appropedia -- we have a strict policy against copyright violations.

With your permission, we will credit you for your work in the image's permanent description page, noting that it is your work and is used with your permission, and we will provide a link back to your website. Please explicitly state under which license you grant permission.

We invite your collaboration in writing and editing pages on this subject and any others that might interest you.

Thank you for your time.

<your name>

See also[edit | edit source]

Here is the important part:

Text in Appropedia articles must be licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (CC-BY-SA) license. When asking for permission, you should explain that this means that

  1. The text or image may be freely redistributed and used.
  2. It may be freely modified, and modified versions may also be freely redistributed and used.
  3. In all cases, the CC-BY-SA requires proper attribution of the author(s).
  4. The CC-BY-SA allows commercial re-uses provided such re-use is also under the CC-BY-SA so any improvements or changes can be shared.

You may also choose to explain that the author does not give up any of his or her rights to use the text: he or she is still free to publish the text elsewhere or to license the same text to other parties under any other license.

Interwiki links[edit | edit source]

Of less direct relevance, but possibly of interest:

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