What is copyright?

Copyright is the exclusive right of the author of a certain work to publish and duplicate such work. Such work may not be published or duplicated without permission. (Dutch Copyright Act).

It is a common misconception that copyright law does not apply to the internet. The copyright laws throughout the world clarify that making text, images, software, music or anything else protected by copyright law.

So Images and videos which are copyrighted may not be shared. You have to ask permission. When asking permission you should also mention that your course will be published under a Creative Common license which allows people to adapt your course.

If you use content in your online courses you should always make sure that: 

  • you provide a source reference;
  • it’s known which material is copyright-protected against reuse;
  • you are permitted to use parts of literary works, films and photographs to support your teaching;

Also, linking and embedding is permitted, but downloading is not. Online sources must come from legitimate, lawful websites.

When filming a lecture or other scene for your course, always ask the permission of those present, in order to comply with portrait rights.

What is portrait right?

Portrait right is:

  • the right to control the use of one's image and
  • if the portrait was taken by order of the photographed person, 
    you do not have permission to use the picture.
  • If this is not the case, the picture may be used except when reasonable
    interest is damaged.
  • If in doubt, always ask written permission!

Can I use pictures of art work?

Work of arts such as statues or paintings are protected by copyright.
using a picture of a painting or statue is not allowed without permission of the artist.
But for a work of art which is located permanently in a public space (public road, railway station, shopping mall)
pictures may be made and used.

However, a museum or a school is not a public place so pictures made in a museum of an artwork cannot be used in 
open education except for artwork in public domain.

Can I use journal articles?

Journal articles are protected by copyright, in the same way as
papers and books. If you want to use a journal article you must pay for it and it may 
not be used in courses with a Creative Commons License.
However, it is permitted to use a small part of article as a citation with

What is citing?

A citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. It is permitted to quote a relevant part of the work of someone else - with acknowledgement. A quote should be relevant and functional within the context in which it is placed.

Citations from images or video are permitted. The rules are the same as for citing a piece of text. Taking over (part of) a picture, image, drawing or other footage is permitted in order to announce that image, criticise or discuss. The reproduction must be subordinate to that context. Reusing image as
decoration is not permitted.

© 2017 TU Delft