Search CataloguePlus

Copyright information Site - for lecturers


As a lecturer, you are both a creator and a (re)user of information. There are specific rules which apply to institutions of higher education. The websites of SURF and the Federatie Auteursrechtbelangen [in Dutch] contain a lot of information on the subject.

Material to support teaching

According to copyright law, short passages of a work may be used without asking permission from the copyright holder, if it is for educational purposes.

It concerns short passages:

  • from non-literary books max. 10,000 words, provided it is not more than a third of the book;
  • from journals, newspapers and other periodicals max. 8,000 words, provided it is not more than a third of the issue;
  • from literary works max. 2,500 words or max. 100 lines of poetry, provided it is not more than a tenth of the work;
  • pictures, illustrations, diagrams, tables and graphs count for 200 words and max. 25 may be used from a single publication.

(Digital) copies of these short passages may be placed in a digital learning environment or distributed among students who are enrolled in the course. The source must be clearly acknowledged.

For longer passages permission must be obtained beforehand from the copyright owner. This also holds if it concerns work by your colleagues or yourself, if the copyright to the publication has been transferred.

Stiching PRO takes care of paying the copyright owners. You can report your use of a longer passage via the PRO web portal [in Dutch]. Each faculty has a relation number and login code. If necessary, please contact Hans Helffer.

See also the Vuistregels voor het samenstellen van readers van SURF [in Dutch].

Readers Online

Readers Online is a Library service to provide students with readers, course material and other required literature in a digital format. Via Readers Online you can enter readers and course material, and upload scans or your own documents via an upload module. Any articles or chapters you do not have will be uploaded by the Library. The Library also checks the bibliographic data and copyright.

Audio-visual material

Audio and visual material are also protected by copyright law. If you wish to put material from others in an electronic learning environment, you must be authorised to do so.

You do not need permission to play the work of others during a lecture, provided you stick to the rules. See the SURF Vuistregels voor het gebruik van beeld en geluid [in Dutch] for an outline of the regulations for the (re)use of audio-visual material in education. For more specific subjects see the Frequently asked questions on the use of audiovisual materials

Creative Commons (CC)

Material published by its maker under a Creative Commons licence can generally be used for teaching without permission. Acknowledging the source, however, is always mandatory. A CC-symbol [in Dutch] indicates one of the six standard licences which determines which rights are reserved by the creator.

On Flickr Creative Commons and Pixabay [in Dutch] you can search for pictures which are made available with a CC licence.

Open Beelden is a media platform which gives access to ca 6,000 video files with a CC licence from (Dutch) audio-visual collections.

In the SURF Vuistregels voor het vinden van werken met een licentie voor hergebruik [in Dutch] more options are listed to find copyright-free material.

Web lectures and Open Educational Resources (OER)

For information on web lectures and copyright, please see SURF. Watch the verrijkte kennisclips [in Dutch] on such extensive subjects as reusing sources and making web lectures available.

Linking through to information on the web

It is allowed to link, without requesting permission, to works which are protected by copyright but are available to everyone and legally published. You are also allowed to embed these works without permission as long as you do not change the original format of the work. For linking and embedding you do not have to acknowledge the source, since the link takes you directly to the source.

Master’s theses

In principle, the copyright to a Master’s thesis or graduation paper is held by the student. If you wish it to be different, you have to confer with the student. Part of the assessment is to check for plagiarism. See the Regulations Governing Fraud and Plagiarism for UvA Students what is considered plagiarism.

This page is part of the Copyright Information Site provided by the University Library. It also answers questions on copyright by students and researchers.

Published by  Library UvA

21 July 2017