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OTRS volunteer interface
An image that received its permission for use via OTRS

OTRS stands for Open-source Ticket Request System. On Commons, its use generally means that permission to use an image freely has been received via email and has been (or is waiting to be) validated by a user with OTRS access. In other Wikimedia projects it can also refer to enquiries in several languages from the public or press.

To "put something on OTRS" means to send an email to [email protected] and have it dealt with by an OTRS volunteer.


[edit] If you need to confirm permission

  1. Before you upload the file to Commons, contact the copyright holder and ask them to release the work under a free license.
    • The copyright holder must choose one of the licenses permitted at Commons; in particular, restricting use to Wikipedia or Wikimedia projects is not acceptable. See Commons:Email templates for a recommended reply from the author.
  2. When you receive a reply, please check that the license authorized by the copyright holder is appropriate to Commons. If so, upload the image to Commons, then tag the file {{subst:OP}} to add a dated OTRS pending notification.
  3. Following this, forward the e-mail with the author's clear statement of permission to [email protected], including the full header and the previously exchanged correspondence with the copyright holder, and a link to the image on Commons.
    • Be sure to include the image information on the origin of it (source) and authorized by the copyright license (which should be in the e-mail).
  4. A volunteer will later check the email in OTRS to verify that all is well with the permission sent by the author and, if so, they will replace the {{OTRS pending}} with {{PermissionOTRS}}.

(If you are the copyright holder writing to confirm license for a previously published work you have uploaded, you should of course send the permission letter yourself.)

To find an OTRS volunteer, go to Category:Commons OTRS volunteers or use the OTRS Noticeboard. OTRS is often backlogged and it may take a month before someone responds. If your email/request is taking a long time to get a response, try contacting one of these people and asking them to follow it up.

OTRS volunteers also handle reports of copyright violations. Help is always needed to process permissions emails. If you are interested in volunteering for commons-related OTRS work, please visit m:OTRS/volunteering or contact guillom.

[edit] Declaration of consent for all enquiries

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Due to the large number of ambiguous answers to enquiries concerning a permission of reuse for an image, text or similar (such as "I allow Wikipedia to reuse my photos") it is advisable to use a standard declaration of consent in the e-mail, point to it in the email, which can be returned by the author/copyright owner in the email reply. The precedent below should be amended, as necessary, with the required additional information. Note that "WORK" and "LICENSE" should not appear in the emailed reply as they should be replaced by details of the image and license. If the link to the file is not available online, you may upload the file on Commons with the {{OTRS pending}} template and have the author link to it in the declaration of consent.

Note that you must change this text in 3 places: A URL to your work (image/sound/video), a license and date and name. Additionally, please include the URL of the image as located on Wikimedia Commons for which you are providing permission in the email.

To: permissions-commons-at-wikimedia.org

I hereby affirm that CHOOSE ONE: [I, (name here) am] OR [(copyright holder's name) is] the creator and/or sole owner of the exclusive copyright of [SPECIFY THE WORK HERE - describe the work to be released in detail, attach the work to the email, or give the URL of the work if online]

I agree to STANDARD CHOICE; SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TYPE OF LICENSE: [publish that work under the free license "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0" (unported) and GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).]

I acknowledge that by doing so I grant anyone the right to use the work in a commercial product or otherwise, and to modify it according to their needs, provided that they abide by the terms of the license and any other applicable laws.

I am aware that this agreement is not limited to Wikipedia or related sites.

I am aware that I always retain copyright of my work, and retain the right to be attributed in accordance with the license chosen. Modifications others make to the work will not be claimed to have been made by me.

I am aware that the free license only concerns copyright, and I reserve the option to take action against anyone who uses this work in a libelous way, or in violation of personality rights, trademark restrictions, etc.

I acknowledge that I cannot withdraw this agreement, and that the work may or may not be kept permanently on a Wikimedia project.

[SENDER'S NAME AND DETAILS (to allow future verification of authenticity)]
[SENDER'S AUTHORITY (Are you the copyright-holder, director, appointed representative of, etc.)]

Type of license

In the above example, the license granted is dual: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license and GNU Free Documentation license.

You may choose at least one type of license from our list of free licenses. All licenses we use have similar intentions. You must state the specific license: CC-BY-SA version 3.0 or Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 are acceptably specific, just stating Creative Commons license, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike, or CC-BY-SA (without the version number) is not. You are not required to use dual licenses for images.


Email address

E-Mail the permission e-mails to our email response team ("OTRS") at permissions-commons-at-wikimedia.org.

The email you send must come from an email address that we can recognize. For instance, if you are releasing images from a website, your email address must be associated with the website or listed on the contact page of the website. If you are releasing a work that is not available online, you may be required to provide proof of your identity. If you are releasing a work where you are acting on the copyright holder's behalf, you may be required to provide proof of authorization to work on the copyright holder's behalf.

[edit] Templates to use on image pages

  • Users who have sent a permission to OTRS but haven't received confirmation yet can use {{subst:OP}} to tell others that it's in progress.
  • OTRS volunteers can use {{subst:OR|id=number or ticket=URL}} when the permission has been received but further clarification or communication is needed.
  • OTRS volunteers can use {{PermissionOTRS|id=number or ticket=URL}} when the permission has been accepted and archived in the Wikimedia OTRS system.

[edit] See also

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