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Copyright Information Point

Clarification of laws and regulations

Almost everyone has to deal with copyright law: when (re)using educational material, presentations, publications or when writing an essay. Find out here what regulations may affect you.


Information on copyright in relation to the Easy Access agreement, using audio and video, Open Content and referencing.

Easy Access agreement

Things you need to know before you start sharing

The Easy Access agreement

Easy Access agreement

Rotterdam University has an Easy Access agreement with the UvO foundation. This agreement allows teachers to to share short quotations of text or images on the Learning Management System, MS Teams or in a reader, without the need to ask for permission. Of course this means you must abide by the rules. You can find the rules for quotations on this page or use the flowchart Copyright check educational materials.

Short quotations

Rules for short quotations

When you share copyright protected texts or images with your students in a learning management system, MS Teams or reader there are rules to take into account. The sharing of short quotations is allowed through the Easy Access agreement.

You may share the following for educational purposes:

  • Books and articles: A maximum of 50 pages, but no more than 25% of the complete book or journal/magazine. This applies to paper and digital material.
  • Separate images, graphics, charts, diagrams: Maximum of 50 images in one (PowerPoint) presentation. There are two conditions for this: You may use a maximum of 10 works from one creator and no more than 25 images from a single source.

Take note: The allowance to share of up to 50 pages from the same source applies per institute. If more is shared from the same source within an institute, this counts as a longer quotation. 

Longer quotations

Longer Quotations

If you need to exceed the limit for short quotations, you have a couple of options to do so.

1. Link

Linking to legitimately published material is legal, easy and free. Is a publication available somewhere on the internet? Check whether the publication is rightfully online and use the link. 

2. Open Content & Government information

If a source has a Creative Commons license the maker has given permission for distributing the work. You may share this source in its entirety. Do reference the source and note the license.
You can quote Dutch government information without limitations from (unredacted) legislative texts, regulations and court judgments, "de Staatscourant", "het Staatsblad" and "het Tractatenblad". Other Dutch government publications can be freely quoted unless the work states that all rights are reserved.

3. Library Collection

Is a publication not freely available online? Then check if it is part of the library's digital collection.   

4. Reader with longer quotation 

You can register a reader for sale through the HR reader shop. The reader price paid by the student must include the copyright fee for longer quotations. Go to the Canon print shop for more information or to register a new reader. 

5. Asking for permission

When you want to use a long quotation in a reader or upload it to a Learning Management System or MS Teams, you need to request permission and an additional fee must be paid by your department. You can apply by filling out the Long Quotations Form. Take note: Permissions for longer quotations are valid only for the academic year, and number of students they were requested for. If you want to keep on using the long quotation beyond this term, submit a new request.

Permission straight from the copyright holder(s)
Do you have permission for a long quotation straight from the copyright holder? Include written permission with the long quotation. Are you the author of the publication? Whether sharing on LMS or in a reader is allowed depends on the publishing agreement. 

Source reference is compulsory!

Prevent plagiarism

Both long and short copied fragments require a source reference. Whenever you quote text or images on the LMS or in a (digital) reader, take care to clearly note the source. Using a reference style like APA is preferred but not mandatory here. For a book or e-book this means at least: Title, author and publisher. For a newspaper or magazine you must also mention the issue and volume number. If you're quoting an online source also note the URL.

Reference your sources in presentations

Also reference sources in presentations (PowerPoint, Prezi) placed on the learning management system. Reference the source of used images. You can do so on the slide itself, or by compiling references on a separate slide. Of used images in presentations reference at least: Maker, title and publisher, if you're quoting an online source also note the URL.

Example of source references on LMS:

  • Book: Author, Year, Title, Publisher.
    Ajay Bailey, Inge Hutter, 2010, Qualitative Research Methods, Sage Publications.
  • Article: Author, Year, Title, Publisher, Volume, Issue. (Add URL for online articles).
    M.d. Dooley, K. Sweeny, 2017, The Stress of Academic Publishing. Chronicle of Higher Education, 64(4), 2.
  • Website: Author, Title, Publisher, URL.
    CBS, 2020. Evolution of the debt-to-GDP ratio,
  • Image: Cite the original source of the the image, for example a book or an article.
  • Image from website: Maker, Publisher, URL.
    Ad van der Hulst.
  • Source licensed for reuse: Proctor Academy, 2012. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Audio & Video

Rules for using audiovisual material

Internal screening

Screening at our school locations

You are allowed to screen a complete film, audio work, or documentary for free and without permission, provided you adhere to the following requirements: 

  • Screening takes place in a closed Digital Learning Environment or on the physical premises of our educational institution. 
  • Screening for an educational purpose, as part of the curriculum is legal for non-profit education. Screening of video and TV for entertainment purposes is permitted according to the agreement that the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences has made with Videma.
  • Only stream or play from a legal source (for example, a dvd or website). It is not permitted to stream or play a copy or a downloaded file. Similarly, only play YouTube video's through the YouTube-player or an embedded link, playing from a download is not allowed.
  • Take note: When playing copyrighted video or audio, do not record your online lesson. Different rules apply for uploading video or audio to the LMS. For more information, see "Sharing audiovisual material".

External screening

Screening outside of school premises

If you want to show a film or documentary outside the walls of the school, for example as part of a seminar or conference, you have to ask permission to do so.

  • Feature films: Permission can in most cases be arranged via FilmService.
  • Netflix: If it is a ''Netflix Original'' request permission from Netflix for a public screening. For films and series of other parties that are shown on Netflix, you can arrange permission via FilmService.
  • YouTube: Public screenings of video's or music on YouTube are not permitted. Viewing of YouTube video's is only allowed for personal, non-commercial use. 

Personal audiovisual productions

Producing your own audiovisual material

Are you producing your own audio-visual material, for example a web-lecture, podcast or screencast, and do you use material from third parties in it? If so, please take copyright into account. Just as you are allowed to quote text, it is also allowed to use audio and video fragments as quotations. In doing so, please observe the following rules:

  • The quoted material is used to support the content, it is not just for amusement. Quotations may be used, for example, to announce, assess or support an educational written work (treatise).
  • Don't use more material than needed to support your story. In practice this means using short fragments.
  • Quote only material that has been legally published (with authorisation of the creator).
  • Don't make any changes in the quoted fragment.
  • Always make sure you cite your sources.

Arranging permission

Would you like to copy more than just a short film fragment or audio clip. Or do you want to use material 'for embellishment'? Then get permission from the copyright holder(s). Rights of professional image and sound makers are often managed by a collective organisation such as Buma/Stemra (music). You can also make use of Open Content, which is subject to less strict copyright rules in the case of re-use. For more information, see the Open Content section.


Are you working with guest speakers or are there other people in the frame of the photo, or film? Then take into account portrait rights and privacy. For questions about privacy and the GDPR, please contact the Privacy Information Point of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Sharing audiovisual material

Sharing audiovisual material

If you want to share video or audio fragments, take the following into account:

  • If the material is protected by copyright, uploading to the internet or an online learning environment is only permitted with the permission of the copyright owner(s). Include written permission with the material being shared.
  • Linking or embedding is always permitted provided that the material has been lawfully made public (i.e. with the permission of the creator).
  • More flexible rules apply to Open Access material: check in the license conditions of the material what reuse is permitted.
    • Always make sure you mention the source when you share material from third parties!
    • Is it a personal audiovisual production and are (fragments of) copyright-protected materials included? In the section "personal audiovisual productions" you can find out what you need to take into account.

Open Content

More freedom to share, download and (re)use

Types of Open Content

Open Access

Open Access is a broad, international academic development that strives for free online access to academic information, such as publications and data. A publication is Open Access when everyone can read, download, distribute, print and index the content.

More information on Open Access publishing

Open Science

Open Science is the pursuit of scholarship in such a way that others have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to and make use of the academic process. In this way, users 'from outside the field of academia' can influence the academic world with questions and help to collect ideas and research data.

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) is the open resource that you may use for teaching. Text, images, videos and complete course modules are available online and freely accessible. Have you found material that you want to use in your lesson? Then the next step is to find out exactly what you are permitted to do with this material according to copyright law.

How may you use open content?

Copyright and Open Content

Have you found material you would like to use? Then the next step is to find out exactly what you are permitted to do with this material according to copyright law.

Creative Commons

Most Open Content has a Creative Commons license. Artists, writers, academics, and all other creators can choose to assign their work a Creative Commons license. This license allows you increased flexibility in dealing with copyright. There are several Creative Commons licenses from which the creator can choose. The license determines the extent to which a work may be further distributed, under what conditions it may be distributed, and whether it is permitted to edit it. For example, if material has a CC-BY license then you may do anything with the material provided you mention the name of the creator. Material with a CC-BY-NC-ND license can only be shared (non-commercially), including the name of the creator, nothing else may be changed. So before you (re)use ‘Creative Commons’ material please check under which license it falls. On the Creative Commons website you can see exactly what the different licenses mean.

Public Domain

Work in the public domain is not subject to copyright. You may use these works freely, for any purpose, without permission and without any obligation to cite the source or author. In Europe works enter the public domain 70 years after the author has died. In case the creator is unknown, or the copyright is owned by a company or organization, the copyright expiration date is 70 years after the first publication. In the Netherlands many government publications are also in the public domain. Examples are laws, regulations and court orders.
Creative Commons also has a license equivalent to public domain which is the CC-0 license.

Where can you find the license?

In most cases a license is included with the material. If you cannot find a license, the material is copyrighted. This means that you may not reuse it without the permission of its creator. Linking to the material is permitted, however. More information on the sharing of works on the Digital Learning Environment can be found in the Readers section. Please contact us for help and support.

Source references

Always mention the source of material you (re)use. On the Creative Commons Wiki you will find examples of source references for Open Content, there is also a separate explanation about referencing in APA format.

Where can you find Open Content?

Search for Open Content

Any kind of creative work can be made available as Open Content. Below you will find tips on how to find these materials. Attention! Always check the conditions for (re)use of material that you find. In the section 'How can you use open content' you will find more information about this topic.

There are various photo stock sites, image repositories and archives on the internet that (also) contain open content. Often you can search for, or filter content that allows reuse without restrictions.

  • CC Search : Search through various sources for open content media files.
  • Google Images : After entering your search query, click on "Tools" and set "Usage rights" to "Labelled for Reuse".
  • Google Advanced Search: gives your the option to filter by usage rights.

Open Educational Resources

Using Open Educational Resources can save you a lot of time when putting together your lesson. Perhaps another lecturer has already created beautiful, online material based exactly on your subject. There are various types of open educational resources, for example, videos, complete online courses, or "open textbooks". There are search engines specifically for finding digital educational resources; in some cases they also assess the quality of the material. Below we have listed a selection of search engines you can use to find these materials.


  • Mediasite – video platform of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
  • YouTube Learning – Educational YouTube section
  • TED Ed – Educational section of TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)
  • Videolectures Net (multidisciplinary)


Complete courses

  • Mediasite – video platform of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
  • YouTube Learning – Educational section of YouTube
  • TED Ed – Educational section of TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)
  • Videolectures Net (multidisciplinary)


Share your own educational material

In addition to using educational materials created and shared by others, you can also share materials you have developed. The advantage of exchanging educational resources is that you can collaborate more easily, even outside of your organisation. You contribute to an improvement in quality and a wider choice of educational resources for students and lecturers. This visibility and accessibility will increase the recognition of your work.

In order to be able to share your teaching material, it must meet a number of requirements:

  • Others must be able to read and edit the material. Consider your language, the form and content
  • It complies with the copyright rules for open learning material
  • It has a license with permission for reuse. Please choose a CC license (preferably CC by or CC by SA).

Would you like your educational resource to be retrievable nationally/internationally via the Surf edusources portal? If so, please contact us so that we can include your work in SurfSharekit, the repository of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

More information about developing and sharing open learning material can be found on the SURF website under the heading 'Introduction to open educational resources'.


in your own publications

When you do research for your publication, for example an article, book or thesis, you make use of existing literature and other information sources. Using texts and ideas from others is allowed, provided you cite the original (information) source.

Our Literature research guide explains how you do this.

Go to the Literature research guide