Using publications on Brightspace

Published on
September 27, 2021

The Copyright Information Point (CIP) receives many interesting questions that could easily be on an exam about Dutch Copyright Law. In the current and upcoming WUR Library Newsletters, we will highlight some of these because they are too interesting to keep to ourselves. Today's question is about using publications on Brightspace.

The question

Am I allowed to upload PDFs of scientific articles and other publications to Brightspace?

The CIP's answer

In most cases scientific articles are copyright protected. When you want to upload copyright protected material to Brightspace, you have to follow Dutch copyright law and consider the copyright agreement with publishers. This holds true not only for scientific articles but also for other copyright protected materials.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is if you can hyperlink to the material. Hyperlinking to a legal website is current WUR policy. Copyright law always allows hyperlinking as long as the content that is linked is legally posted.

If hyperlinking is not possible, check if the material is Open Access or under a Creative Commons License. If the material is Open Access, you can use it in Brigthspace. If the material fall under a Creative Commons License, check the terms of the license, you will probably be able to use the material in Brigthspace.

If you cannot hyperlink the material  and the material is not Open Access or under a Creative Commons license, check if the material falls under the “Easy Access Agreement”. The Easy Access Agreement is an arrangement between the Dutch Universities (VSNU) and academic publishers. Under this agreement the WUR pays to use copyright protected material, making it possible for teachers to use up to a maximum of 50 pages and not more than 25% of a complete book or journal issue in a Brightspace course or in a reader. You do not need to ask for permission to upload the PDF as long as you keep to these maximums.

If you want to know more about copyright in teaching material check our webpage Copyright in Teaching Materials.


If you have a question about copyright law, please feel free to send it to Don't worry! We will only write about your question with your permission.