Copyright Information Point

    Clarification of laws and regulations

    Everyone has to deal with copyright, when (re)using educational materials, presentations, publications or when writing an essay. Find out here what regulations may affect you.


    Open Content

    More freedom to share, download and (re)use

    Open Content is material that allows more than is standardly permitted under copyright law. The creator(s) of the material have chosen to make it available in this way. What exactly you may do with Open Content depends on the applied license. Some materials may be shared with credit to the creator. In other cases, you are allowed to also modify the material and make your own version public.

    Types of Open Content

    Open Access

    Open Access is a broad international academic movement that aims for free access to scientific information, like publications and data. A publication is Open Access when everyone an read, download, distribute, print and index the content. 

    More information (Dutch)

    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.

    More information (Dutch)

    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.

    More information

    What is permitted?

    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 allowed to do with this material under copyright law.

      Creative Commons

    Artists, writers, scientists and all other creators can choose to give their work a Creative Commons license. This allows for more flexibility with copyright. There are six types of Creative Commons licenses. Which license a creator chooses determines whether a work can be distributed (subject to conditions) and whether it is allowed to be edited. 

    More information on Creative Commons for teachers 

      Public Domain

    Works in the public domain are not subject to copyright. You may use these works freely, for any purpose, without permission and without a source reference. In the European Union, works are in the public domain 70 years after the death of their creator. If the creator is unknown, or the copyright lies with a company or institution, this is 70 years after the 1st publication. In the Netherlands, many government publications are in the public domain. This applies to laws, regulations and court rulings. Creative Commons also provides markers for public domain material. 

    Where can you find the license?

    In most cases, a license is listed with the material. If you cannot find a license, the material is copyrighted. This means that you cannot reuse it without the creator's permission. Linking to the material is still allowed. 

    Source references

    Always acknowledge the source of material you (re)use. On the Creative Commons Wiki you will find examples of source acknowledgement for re-use. There are also guidelines for APA-style citations for images with an open license.

    Where can you find Open Content?

    Search for Open Content

    Any kind of creative work may have been made available as Open Content. Various stock sites, image banks or archives can be found on the internet that (also) contain Open Content. You can often search or filter within such a website for materials with a license for reuse. There are also search engines that allow you to find material for which re-use is permitted (e.g. CC Search).

    Check out a selection of the best open resources for education
    Take note! Always check the conditions for (re)use of material you find. You will find more information about this in the section "What is permitted?".

    Sharing Open Content

    Sharing Open Educational Resources

    To share Open Educational Resources, the work must be provided with a Creative Commons license. General advice is to choose a CC-BY license. This obliges a (re)user to mention the name of the maker. This way, it remains visible which experts/institutions contributed to the work. If the material you want to share contains Open materials of third parties, take into account the licenses of those works. Click here for more information on choosing and granting Creative Commons licenses. 

    Open Access publication policy for research

    Rotterdam University considers it important that knowledge products are available Open Access as much as possible and applies the principle 'Open Access, unless'. In other words: Open access publishing is the starting point, unless this is impossible from the perspective of laws and regulations or other binding agreements with third parties. 

    HR Open Access publication policy (Dutch)