UvA lecturers share a lot of (copyright-protected) material with their students via the virtual learning environment Canvas. Lecturers are permitted to do so because of agreements made between publishers, other copyright holders (represented by Stichting UvO (previously Stichting PRO)) and the universities (represented by the VSNU). These agreements have been recorded in the Easy Access Regulation that came into effect in January of 2017.
Inspection by Stichting UvO in 2019
Part of the agreement is that copyright holders can perform periodic checks to see whether the use of their copyright-protected materials is in accordance with the Easy Access Regulation. This inspection is carried out by Stichting UvO. This year it is the UvA’s turn to allow for inspection. The primary goal is not to administer fines but rather to get an understanding of how the materials are actually being used. Considering the size of the collection there won’t be a full-scale inspection but sampling will be the used method.
In early February a second preparatory meeting will be held between the UvA and the UvO concerning the conditions, the schedule, and the execution of the inspection. The faculties, the library, and the UvA’s legal department will be present at this meeting. The exact timing of the inspection is yet to be disclosed.
Prior to Stichting UvO’s inspection, the faculties will perform their own internal inspection of the Canvas-environment according to the criteria set forth in the Easy Access Regulation. Simultaneously with the internal review lecturers will receive extra training concerning copyrights and the Easy Access Regulation. The UvA’s copyright team and the library’s communications team will work together with the faculties’ communications officers to facilitate this.
The Copyright Act ('Auteurswet 1912') stipulates that parts of existing work may be used for the purpose of education without requiring prior permission from the copyright holder. This applies to all work protected by the Copyright Act, not merely texts but also, for example, audio and visual material.
It should be noted that citing sources is a prerequisite. Furthermore, the material may not be altered and it is imperative that the work has previously been published.
When using copyright protected materials a fee must be paid. It is therefore preferable to link to the intended publications or use copyright free materials.
One does not require permission to link to copyright protected materials that are accessible to everyone, and that are legally published. One is also free to embed materials without requiring permission as long as the original rendering of the work is not altered. When linking or embedding the source need not be cited since the link takes the user to the source.
A work's copyright expires 70 years after its author has passed away, after which the material belongs to the public domain. Material pertaining to the government usually belongs to the public domain; laws, regulations, and court rulings are copyright free. It should be noted that copyright free material equally requires its sources be cited.
Work that has been published under a Creative Commons License (CC) can usually be used for education purposes without requiring permission. There are six CC licences that dictate which rights have been reserved by the author. A CC symbol conveys the conditions with which a work has been published. As with other work, materials protected by a Creative Commons License require its sources be cited.
SURF rules of thumb for Compiling digital readers (PDF) offer other suggestions for finding copyright free material.
The VSNU and Stichting UvO established the Easy Access regulation in order to use copyright protected work for education purposes. This regulation simplifies (re)use of copyright protected work for readers or digital learning environments such as Blackboard and Canvas.
The Easy Access regulation discerns between short extracts and long extracts. Short extracts are paid for on a yearly basis and do not need to be reported. Long extracts require permission be obtained beforehand.
One does not require permission to copy a maximum of 50 pages provided the pages copied are less than 1/4 of the book or journal issue. For longer extracts one is required to first seek permission from Stichting UvO. If the extract is less than 1/3 of the work then permission will be granted immediately. If, however, it is larger than 1/3 of the work the Stichting UvO will brokerage the payment with the copyright holder. Contact your faculty's reader coordinator for long extracts. One can also report an extract via the UvO web portal using the client number and one's faculty login codes. This information can be requested from Hans Helffer. For more information see the Quick reference compiling digital readers (PDF).
A few long acquisitions have already been redeemed via licenses. Consult the library's license list to see from which journals one is free to copy articles into readers or digital learning environment such as Blackboard or Canvas.
The rules for acquisition also apply to that of audio and visual materials. In order to use other people's audio or visual work in a digital learning environment one has to be authorised. See Copyright when using video for education purposes (Dutch only; UvA department Education and Research IT services).
When using parts of someone else’s work it has to fit in the context of your work and you have to cite the source. Copyright rules also apply to using someone else’s images. One is allowed to repurpose images to discuss them but one is not allowed to use them as decoration.
Also, when quoting someone it is imperative to add a reference and not alter the quotation.
A proper citation ensures that the source is traceable and prevents the appearance of letting someone else’s work pass as one’s own. Reusing other people’s work without properly citing the source is plagiarism and a punishable offence.
Readers Online is a library service that makes readers, syllabi, and other mandatory literature accessible to students in digital form. In Readers Online it is possible to import readers and syllabi, and upload scans from personal documents. Missing articles or chapters are then supplemented by the library. The library also checks the bibliographical data and the copyright.
The copyright of a thesis or graduation paper lies with the student. If you would like to see the work edited/changed this must be discussed with the student.
Even though the copyright lies with the student Theses Online (Scripties Online) is accessible worldwide. Therefore, be vigilant that certain information is anonymised and do not allow students to use their own address information.
A part of the assessment protocol is reviewing a thesis on correctly citing sources and plagiarism. See Plagiarism control with Turnitin (UvA Staff).
This page is part of the Copyright Information Site provided by the University Library. It also answers questions on copyright by students and researchers.