Appendix B - Copyright Permission Examples

Obtaining the right to republish material (illustrations, photographs, multimedia, text, etc.) from other original sources is usually fairly easy: Send a letter to the owner of that material requesting permission. The letter's tone may be formal or informal, but it should contain these elements:

  • A specific description of the material
  • A print-out or photocopy if applicable
  • The specific purpose(s) for which it will be used
  • When or how many times you plan to use it, if that might be an issue

If the request is not on council letterhead, it would also be important to indicate that permission is being sought for the council to use the material, rather than for the individual author of the letter to use the material.

It is important to understand that you do not have the right to use these materials until you receive a reply from the owner that grants permission. Also, if the owner sets any conditions or limitations, you must abide by them. For example: if the owner granted permission for the request in Example B below, but asked to be notified by e-mail of the URL of any unit site that also used the images, you would be required, as a condition of having the right to use the material, to send those notifications. Or permission might be granted only for a limited time, after which you could not use the material.

Finally, keep a copy of your request, along with the reply, on file just in case there is ever a dispute.

Example A. Simple Request

I am seeking your approval for the XYZ Council of the Boy Scouts of America to use three photographs of mountains and a lake from your Web site at I would also like to use the descriptive text that accompanies them. I've attached print-outs from the site to indicate the precise images and text to which I'm referring.

I would like to use these images on the "outdoor skills" page of the XYZ Council's Web site (

Example B. Request for Multiple and Unlimited Uses

I am seeking your approval for the XYZ Council of the Boy Scouts of America to use an illustration from page 34 of Teaching Archery (Doe, John. Teaching Archery, XYZ Press, 2000). The illustration depicts a young man stringing a bow. I've attached a photocopy to show the image to which I'm referring.

If you can grant the council permission for unlimited use of the illustration, we would use it in several ways: (1) I'd like to place it on the "outdoor skills" page of the XYZ Council's Web site ( (2) Since some of our packs and troops use images from the council site, I hope it would also be acceptable for them to use this image as well. (3) We would like permission to use the photograph in a booklet on the outdoor skills areas of our council camp. The booklet will be given free of charge to our members. We will include an acknowledgement in the form you prefer with each use of the illustration and we will be happy to pay postage costs and reproduction costs, if any, for a print-quality copy of the drawing.