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Copyright for teachers

Make books and articles accessible in readers or digital learning environments for students and comply with the requirements of copyright law.

When you use texts, text extracts or images for teaching, please be aware of the applicable requirements dealing with Copyright Law. In order to make copyright protected work available to your students in a digital learning environment (or another digital platform) or in a printed course pack, you need to obtain prior permission from the copyright holders.

The collective administration on behalf of copyright holders is taken care of by the so called Stichting UvO (Uitgeversorganisatie voor Onderwijslicenties, previously the PRO foundation). UvO and VSNU have made an agreement to deal with teaching materials. Stichting UvO has been authorized by many publishers to handle requests made against standard terms. 

The Reader Agreement is an agreement between the VSNU and UvO and applies to:

  • printed course packs
  • digital course packs (a single file containing two or more articles)
  • separate extracts offered in an electronic learning environment such as Brightspace or another digital learning application

The selling  price of digital and printed course packs, ordered through Reader Online,  includes copyright, which shall not be charged to Leiden University. Support for digital course packs is provided at: https://www.readeronline.leidenuniv.nl/

When you wish to reuse materials in teaching, please be aware of Copyright Law and possible costs that may be involved. We recommend you use the four options listed below to implement materials in your course. In all four cases you are always obliged to cite and refer correctly.

You may cite an article in a journal by using the following format: Author, Surname, First initial, (Year of publication of the article), Title of the article. Title of the Journal, Volume (Issue), Pagenumber(s). 

We ask you to work as much as possible with these 4 options, as they are free of charge.

  1. Linking to articles, books, or book chapters is always allowed, provided that these are legally obtainable. We advise you to use linking rather than to place a pdf file in Brightspace. A link is not considered to be equal to an extract and therefore the Reader Agreement does not apply to linking. You can read more about how to link on this dedicated page.
  2. Use licensed materials form Leiden University’s Digital Library: a number of publishers permit articles or chapters to be included in printed or digital readers for the purposes of education. The module Usage regulations licensed e-resources indicates the publishers policy.
    When you use these materials, there is no need to count words or images, and articles may be reused for teaching without any problems. Please note: a publisher’s policy may change. Check regularly whether use in Brightspace is still permitted, as fines are high! We therefore still recommend to link to articles instead of posting the entire article in Brightspace.
  3. Open Access publications that have been published with a Creative Commons-license can be used in Brightspace without any costs. By applying a Creative Commons-license, the author explicitly allows reuse, sometimes under certain conditions. These conditions are specified in the version of the Creative Commons-license. You should always give credit, attribution, to the original author. You can also use the search facility on the Creative Commons website to search for sources that are free of copyright: these can be texts, images, but also music and video.
  4. Raw government publications and case law are exempted from copyright. This applies to case law in its original form, as it was made available by the court. Therefore, this does not apply to verdicts collected and published by a publisher. The legislation has the same status: only legislation from the Staatscourant, the Staatsblad, and the Tractatenblad can be freely copied in Brightspace. 

If you can not reuse the material without costs and you have no alternative available free of charge, then we advise you to include the material in a course pack.  Copyright costs for re-use are included in the selling price for both digital and printed course packs, that are ordered through Reader Online; these costs will not be charged to Leiden University. If this option is not available to you, you can use an extract of the work, thereby using the text (for instance as a pdf file) in Brightspace. Short and medium sized extracts are covered by the Easy Access Agreement with Stichting UvO.

Even though there is no need to ask for permission in the case of short extracts, we still recommend you use the four options mentioned above, if this is at all possible. Please keep in mind that Leiden University does pay in the end as part of a pre-arranged payment scheme. Part of the Easy Access Agreement between UvO (then PRO) and VSNU is a provision requiring us to decrease the number of extracts with 5% each year. Failure to comply will lead to fines for the universities.

An extract is considered short, when it contains at maximum 8.000 (in the case of articles in journals) up to 10.000 ( in the case of books) words per source. The extract may not exceed 33% of the entire source text.

When using images, a maximum of 25 images is applicable.

These numbers apply to each individual course pack.

Costs for short extracts have been covered by a pre-arranged payment scheme.

Medium sized extracts are too long to be considered short extracts and may in size extend up to 50 pages and at maximum 25% of the work. Use of these extracts does not require you to ask permission or to pay a fee. However, we urge you to avoid the use of medium sized extracts, if possible, as the University will be charged a higher fee than in the case of a short extract.

In the past, you had to count the number of words: this is no longer required. The agreement includes an arrangement for literary works, sheet music, graphs, tables, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations.

Long extracts containing more than 50 pages or 25% of the work  are dealt with in different slots (see below). It pays off to make an effort to check whether or not the work is part of the licensed e-resources held by the Library (see above). If publishers’ consent is part of a license agreement, you are not required to seek permission from UvO.

When there is no license with a publisher that allows for re-use, we strongly recommend you chose a printed course pack. The charges for long extracts may be high and will be paid for by the institutes. They can not be charged to students. In the case of a printed course pack, the Service Desk at UFB will deal with payment to Stichting UvO and costs can be charged to students as part of the price of the printed course pack.

If you have no other option than to use long abstracts, the following procedures apply:

  • First of all you seek permission. Stichting UvO has a dedicated portal in which you can do so. You need a registration number to log in, which you may obtain from the UFB (readers@ufb.leidenuniv.nl)
  • You provide the required data for the extract clearly (information about the source, number of pages, number of students per course ID)
  • You will receive an invoice for the extract in which you will find a calculated fee
  • You set aside a proof copy of the course pack for monitoring purposes

To summarize, first you seek permission, then you pay a fee. The fee is compiled according to the following formula:

(Number of pages) X (page charge) X (impression =number of students participating per course ID)

The UvO website offers a price list.

The following slots apply to longer extracts:

  • More than 25%, up to ⅓: you will receive immediate permission after your application via the portal
  • More than ⅓, up to 50%: Stichting UvO will negotiate with the publisher on your behalf, unless the book is no longer for sale; in the latter case you can seek permission directly through the portal of Stichting UvO
  • More than 50%: Stichting UvO facilitates the application on your behalf

You can find more information in the actual Agreement.

  1. Fair Use rules allow you to quote images, works of art, photographs and short video and audio fragments and reuse these in Brightspace. Quotes must be functional, and can not only be used merely to liven up Brightspace
  2. The embedding of materials such as videos is allowed in Brightspace only if the material was legally published and freely accessible on another site
  3. You can always use links. Provided that the content was legally posted, linking to images, videos, or other material online is always allowed! 
  4. Always indicate the correct source for each type of file in Brightspace. As far as is reasonably possible the source, including the maker’s name, has to be clearly indicated
  5. Images with a license that allows re-use (Creative Commons e.g.) can always be posted on Brightspace. You can search for these images through Google Images > Advanced Image Search (select ‘labeled for reuse’ under Usage Rights). More information on the Creative Commons licenses 
  6.  When using your own materials, you can upload these to a restricted environment or in the public domain

We are happy to answer your questions via email: auteursrecht@library.leidenuniv.nl or call us at + 31 71 527 2871.

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