You can seek written permission to use copyright material from the copyright owner when there is no provision that permits its use under the Copyright Act.

Check for reuse options available to you

Copyright rules and exceptions

Before seeking permission, check our copyright guides for information about reuse options available to you under the Copyright Act for teachers, researchers, your thesis, and more. 

Open Access and licence terms 

For Open Access publications, review the Creative Commons or Open Software licence. You can reuse the work in line with the licence terms without requesting permission. 

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About seeking copyright permission

Requesting permission to use copyright works is a routine activity. Proactively and respectfully requesting permission can sometimes yield timely and free access where owners appreciate the educational and non-commercial use you are requesting. 

Always seek copyright permission in writing or by using the publisher's copyright system.

Copyright owners are entitled to charge a fee for this permission. There are no set rates and the fee can depend on the type of material and your intended use. 


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How to seek permission

Online request (some journal articles and ebooks) 

Many publishers use the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink to handle permission requests for content from journal articles and ebooks.

To check if RightsLink is available: 

  1. Go to the article or ebook on the publisher website via Library Search 
  2. Look for a link such as Request permission or Get rights and content and select it. You will be directed to RightsLink. 
  3. Answer a few questions about your intended use. 

RightsLink will provide an immediate quote or grant permissions for your use free of charge. 

Written request 

If RightsLink is not available, identify and contact the true copyright owner in writing. For books, this is likely to be the publisher, not the author. 

Provide specific and clear information so it is easy for the owner to make a quick and informed decision. Include:

  • Who you are 
  • What you are requesting:
    • The relevant work
    • Amount of the work you wish to use (a section or the whole thing etc.)
    • Your intended use
    • Audience
    • Duration of use. 
  • The purpose (educational/non-commercial or for commercial purposes). 
    If your proposed use is commercial – e.g. inclusion in a commercial publication – then you must make this clear to the copyright owner. They may agree to your use for a fee. 
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Copyright permission template

Use this template as a starting point for your copyright permission request.


Dear [Insert their name],

I am [Your name] [UQ affiliation] and I would like to seek permission to reuse the following work in my forthcoming [publication / teaching / work and its title].

I am seeking permission to [outline what you will use and any changes that might be made to the original (if applicable)].

This will be included in [Publication]:

[Provide details, this could include:

  • Title of your work
  • Authors
  • Publisher
  • Online or print publication (or both and if in print should include the size of the print run)
  • Will the work be modified / altered in any way?]

I would greatly appreciate your permission for reuse of this work. Please let me know if you have any further questions about my intended use.

Kind regards,

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Retain copyright permission documentation 

Safely store written confirmation of permission for 7 years.  

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Copyright permission advice

Email us at if you require advice about getting copyright permission.

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