Answers to frequently asked questions about copyright by lecturers.
The Easy Access scheme simplifies the reproduction of copyrighted material in teaching. Under this scheme, the VSNU, on behalf of Dutch universities, and Stichting PRO (Publication and Reproduction Rights Organisation) have made an agreement on the reproduction of publications in teaching material. This simplifies the reproduction of copyrighted material in teaching. The Easy Access scheme runs up to the end of 2020.
The Easy Access scheme applies to:
- Paper readers;
- Digital readers (a single file containing two or more articles);
- Individual reproductions provided in a virtual learning environment (ELO) such as Canvas.
Essentially, under the Easy Access scheme, as a lecturer, you can reproduce publications in your teaching material, free of charge and without requesting permission. The basic rule is as follows: a maximum of 50 pages from a work may be reproduced, up to a maximum of 25% of the work.
The reproduction of more than 50 pages or more than 25% of the work is deemed to be a ‘major reproduction’, which must be notified to Stichting Pro. There will also be fees to pay. Read more about reproducing ‘major reproductions’ and how to notify them on the Stichting Pro website.
The right to quote does allow you to copy an image, passage of text or part of an audio(visual) work without the copyright holder’s permission for non-commercial purposes, provided the following legal conditions are met:
- The work quoted from has been legally published.
- The quote serves to support the content of your work and not to embellish or ameliorate your work.
- You may not copy any more than is strictly necessary. Images may, of course, be quoted in their entirety.
- No changes may be made to the quote.
- The source must be clearly quoted.
You may show or play part of, or an entire audio(visual) work for teaching purposes on a non-profit basis, without permission. Moreover, the work must be shown or played on the campus and its purpose must be educational. However, you may not place a copy of the same work in the electronic learning environment without the copyright holder’s permission.
Hyperlinks to material that has been lawfully published online are permitted. In the eyes of the law, embedding something such as a YouTube video is also regarded as a form of linking.
In the eyes of the law, the employer is the holder of the copyright to works made in the course of employment. Therefore, EUR holds the rights to the teaching material that you have created as an employee of the university.
There are a number of online sources of copyright-free material. However, to be sure, always check the applicable conditions. Some widely used sources are:
- Wikimedia Commons – a database of over 45 million freely available media files, such as videos, audio clips and images.
- Pixabay – a website with over a million freely available, high-resolution photos, illustrations, graphical images and videos.
- Creative Commons search – a website designed specifically for searching for material subject to a Creative Commons licence.
- Europeana Collections – a digital platform, partly financed by the EU, for sharing cultural heritage. The collection offers access to more than 50 million digitised items.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art – Since the start of 2017, the Met has made a multitude of public domain works available on its website on an open access basis.
- The British Library – via Flickr, this museum has published over a million images that may be freely used.