Copyright for students

During their study, students use the works made by others: prescribed or compulsory literature, journal articles, book chapters, datasets, photos, videos, images, or other materials. Copyright indicates within which framework students may use the works of others.

Important in this regard is article 15a of the Dutch copyright law: the right to quote. The right to quote includes both text, images, audio- and video fragments. Works may be quoted when:

  1. The quoted work was made public lawfully;
  2. The quote serves to support the content of your work. It is not for embellishment;
  3. Nothing more is quoted than strictly necessary. Images may be quoted in their entirety;
  4. No changes have been made in the quoted work;
  5. The quoted source is clearly stated.

Students also actively create works: a thesis, a report, a work of art. Copyright indicates the student’s rights as the creator of the work. As maker, the student has the right to make the work public and to reproduce it, and to oppose its publication or reproduction without the student's permission. Of course, the aforementioned right to quote also applies to the work created.

Below you will find several frequently asked questions by students concerning copyright. If your question is not included, contact the Copyright Information Point via

Plagiarism is the copying of another person’s work without quoting the source, potentially creating the impression that the work is your own. Plagiarism is forbidden. Further information about EUR’s fraud and plagiarism policy is available here (Dutch only).

Yes, the Copyright Act does allow a small section of a book or journal article to be copied without the copyright owner’s permission, for your own practice, study or use. This may not be done for commercial purposes. Therefore, the copy must be solely for personal use; you may not, for instance, circulate the copies to your fellow students. This also means that you are not permitted to send copies to somebody else by email, because this would be an infringement of the holder’s copyright.

This is permitted, provided you do so for your own practice, study or use. Needless to say, you are not permitted to make the scan public to other people and/or distribute it without the copyright holder’s permission.

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:

  1. The work quoted from has been legally published.
  2. The quote serves to support the content of your work and not to embellish or ameliorate your work.
  3. You may not copy any more than is strictly necessary. Images may, of course, be quoted in their entirety.
  4. No changes may be made to the quote.
  5. The source must be clearly quoted.

If this constitutes as a quote, then yes, provided you satisfy the legal conditions. If you are unable to rely on the right to quote, you need the copyright holder’s permission. If it is not possible to request permission or permission is not given, you may include a hyperlink to the material.

For advice on specific permission requests please contact

Creative Commons is a widely used and accessible type of licence that you can attach to your work. There are six types of Creative Commons licence. When you use a Creative Commons licence, as the copyright holder, you dictate the conditions in which your work may be used by third parties. For all types of Creative Commons licence, it is mandatory to quote the source, and you retain all of your rights to the work.

The website also provides a licence selection tool that you can use to decide which type of licence best suits your situation.

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes