Copyright in teaching materials

This page explains how teachers can use copyrighted materials in a MOOC, in a Brightspace course or in a reader.

The page Ownership & Licenses explains who owns the copyright on educational materials, MOOCs, video recordings of lectures, presentations, ceremonies, or BSc and MSc theses. 

How can teachers use copyright protected material in their courses?

WUR teachers develop teaching materials for WUR students and for non-WUR students (e.g. in MOOCs). When teachers publish educational resources on a Learning Environment like Brightspace or in a reader for WUR students, they must follow Dutch copyright law and take into account Copyright agreements with publishers. The most important agreement is the Easy Access agreement (see question below: What is the Easy Access agreement?). The Easy Access agreement does not apply to MOOCs (see question below: How to use copyrighted material in a MOOC?). Teachers may not use copyrighted materials in a MOOC, unless the materials’ copyright owner has granted written permission.

What is the Easy Access agreement?

According to Dutch copyright law, if you do not own a work’s copyright, you cannot use this material in your work. However, the law does have exceptions, such as the right to cite and reference and the right to use copyright protected material for non-commercial education.

Copyrighted material may be used for non-commercial education only when a part or parts of the protected material are used and when the copyright owner is reasonably compensated for use. To efficiently use copyright protected material, Stichting UvO, representing publishers, and the VSNU, representing Dutch universities, have a standing agreement (the Easy Access agreement) that allows WUR to use copyright exemption in exchange for an annual lump-sum payment.

This Easy Access agreement allows 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 (see question below: What materials can I use on Brightspace of in my readers?). However, WUR policy requires teachers to provide a hyperlink to the material when possible (see question below: What is the current policy of Wageningen University & Research?). See the question below: Which steps should I follow to use copyrighted material on Brightspace or in a reader? for the steps on how to use copyrighted materials in a Brightspace course or in a reader. 

What is the current policy of Wageningen University & Research?

Although WUR pays to use parts of copyright protected material through the Easy Access agreement (see question above: What is the Easy Access agreement?), WUR policy requires teachers to provide hyperlinks to documents instead of uploading parts of the full text when possible. Linking to copyrighted material is free when the materials are made available with the copyright owner’s consent. This policy reduces the fee that WUR has to pay to use copyrighted material. This fee is based on actual use. In short, the more teachers use full-text documents, the more the university annually has to pay.

Which steps should I follow to use copyrighted material on Brightspace or in a reader?

In short, teachers should follow these steps when they want to use copyrighted materials in their Brightspace course or in a reader:

  1. In a Brightspace course, provide a hyperlink to the copyrighted material (see question below: How can I correctly link to copyrighted material?). This is current WUR policy (see question above: What is the current policy of Wageningen University & Research?).
  2. If the material does not have a hypelink, teachers may use up to a maximum of 50 pages and not more than 25% of the complete book or journal issue per Brightspace course or per reader (see question below: What materials can I use on Brightspace or in my reader?).
  3. If teachers need to use more than 50 pages or 25% of a book or journal issue, teachers have a few options (see question below: What should I do when I want to use more than is allowed by 'Stichting UvO'?).

    • Ask students to buy the book
    • Ask WUR Library to buy the book
    • Ask WUR Library if a journal subscription allows the use of these larger portions
    • Request permission from Stichting UvO to use the material through the webportal
    • Ask the copyright owners for permission to use the material

What materials can I use on Brightspace or in my readers?

Linking to copyrighted material is always allowed if the copyright owner has made the material available. WUR policy (see question above: What is the current policy of Wageningen University & Research?) urges teachers to provide hyperlinks to the material instead of uploading the full-text of the material. See the question below: How can I correctly link to copyright protected material? for information on what kind of links you can use.

Books

If linking is not possible, teachers may use up to a maximum of 50 pages and not more than 25% of the complete book in their Brightspace course or in a reader. The limit applies to the book in total, not to each individual chapter. Teachers may use more than one book per course. You may make Open Access materials publicly available on Brightspace under the same conditions as regular material. When using books, the sources need to be acknowledged by correct citing and referencing.

Journal articles

If linking is not possible, teachers may use up to a maximum of 50 pages and not more than 25% of the journal issue in their Brightspace course or in a reader. You may make Open Access materials publicly available on Brightspace under the same conditions as regular material. When using journal articles, the sources need to be acknowledged by correct citing and referencing.

Images or graphs

Teachers may use a maximum of 25 images/tables/figures from one book or journal issue. You may make Open Access materials publicly available on Brightspace under the same conditions as regular material. The sources need to be acknowledged by correct citing and referencing.

What should I do when I want to use more than 'Stichting Uvo' allows?

If teachers need to use more than 50 pages or 25% of a book or journal issue, teachers have a few options:

  1. Ask students to buy the book
  2. Ask WUR Library to buy the book
  3. Ask WUR Library if a journal subscription allows the use of these larger portions
  4. Request permission from Stichting UvO to use the material throught the webportal (see below for more information)
  5. Ask the copyright owners for permission to use the material (see below for more information)

If a teacher needs more than the maximum of 25 images/tables/figures from one book or journal issue,  the teacher should request written permission from the publisher. Please save a copy of the written permission when you receive it.

Submit a request for permission to ‘Stichting UvO’

If a teacher needs more than 50 pages or 25% of a book or journal issue, the teacher has several options to get the materials:

  1. If a teacher needs more than 25% but less than 1/3, the teacher needs to request permission from 'Stichting UvO' through its webportal. The permission will be granted immediately.
  2. If a teacher needs more than 1/3 but less than 50%, the teacher need to contact 'Stichting UvO' through its webportal. 'Stichting UvO' will negociate with the publisher. The outcome of this negociation determines if the teacher is allowed to use the material and if so, what the costs are.
  3. If a teacher needs more than 50% of the material, the teacher needs to contact 'Stichting UvO' through its webportal. 'Stichting UvO' will determine if the teacher may use the material and if so, what the costs are.

To access the webportal of ‘Stichting UvO’, teachers need a 'relatienummer' and a password. More information on how to get this 'relatienummer' and password will follow soon.

Please be aware that you need to arrange permission for each new academic year and for each individual course.

Ask the copyright owners for permission to use the material

The Easy Access agreement offers the advantage that ‘Stichting Uvo’ negotiates with publishers when needed. Teachers are, however, allowed to ask the copyright owners for permission to use the material. Please be aware that all copyright owners need to be asked for permission, that authors are not necessarily the material’s copyright owners and that permission should be granted in writing. Remember to save a copy of the written permission.

May I use my own material for my readers?

Yes, you may use your own publications, unless copyright has been transferred or exclusively licensed to a third party without the right to use this material for education. In that case, the Easy Access agreement applies as well (see question above: What materials can I use on Brightspace or in my reader?). In the case of a co-authored publication of which the authors own the copyright, you need permission from all the copyright owners to use the material. Remember to save a copy of the written permission.

Some journals allow the following versions of a manuscript to be published in a reader or on Brightspace: pre-prints (accepted but not peer reviewed version), post-prints (accepted and peer reviewed versions) or publisher versions (accepted publisher version). See the website of SHERPA/RoMEO for the publisher policies per journal.

May I share library materials with students?

WUR Library subscribes to several e-journals and e-books. Teachers should provide a hyperlink to this material when possible. If WUR Library does not subscribe to an e-journal and only a print journal or a print book is available, teachers should comply with the Easy Access agreement.

May I publish Open Access material on Brightspace?

Yes, Open Access publications may be included in teaching material free of charge. Open Access publications are therefore not part of the Easy Access Agreement. You may need to ask permission in advance in order to use an Open Access publication. Please ask the author or publisher for the conditions of use regarding these publications.

Open Access material might come with a Creative Commons License (CC-license) (see question: What is a Creative Commons License? on the page Ownership & licenses). All material under a CC-license may be included in your teaching material in full. Please check the conditions of use of CC-licensed material before usage.

How can I correctly link to copyright protected material?

What kinds of links should I use?

1. Links to websites with material that is made available with the owner's permission.

As a teacher, you cannot promote the use of illegal copies. Illegal copies are difficult to recognize though, so at least refrain from the obvious ones on pirates sites.

2. Stables links, such as DOI links

URLs on a publisher's website tend to change regularly. A DOI link follows these changes and redirects mostly to the correct URL. Not having to repair broken links every year will save you time.

3. EZproxy links

An EXproxy link guarantees easy off-campus access to library sources because it prompts students to log in. Using this link is not only a kind gesture to your students, but it also lowers a hurlde for students to come to class prepared. We recommend using EZproxy in combination with a DOI link.

How do I create a DOI link?
A DOI link consists of two components:
http://doi.org/ + a DOI (e.g. 10.1038/nature12251) = http://doi.org/10.1038/nature12251

The DOI or DOI link can usually be found on the first page of a journal article or an e-book chapter, on a publisher’s website, or in the record of a publication in a database like Scopus.

How do I create an EZproxy link?

To create an EZproxy link, you have to add the following URL in front of a normal URL: http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/rduser/ezproxy?url=  

A full EZproxylink will look like this:
http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/rduser/ezproxy?url=http://doi.org/10.1038/nature12251

On campus, students will have direct access to the article if the Library subscribes to the journal. When off campus, students will be prompted to log in with their WUR account, after which they will have access.

How do I instruct my students in off-campus access to library sources?

If students need to use library sources off campus, they need to be recognized by the library system as  Wageningen University students. Logging in on Brightspace is not enough to get library access. A log-in to the library website is required as well.

For easy off-campus access, you can give your students one or more of the following instructions:

  1. Install the off-campus access button in your Favorites bar. The off-campus access button prompts you to log in for library access.
  2. Add the following EZ proxy text in front of the URL in the address bar: http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/rduser/ezproxy?url= You will be prompted to log in for library access.
  3. Go to library website, log in and find what you are looking for.

The first two instructions are especially useful if students follow links to known publications. The third option is useful when students want to find additional literature and do their own searches for publications.

How to use copyrighted material in a MOOC?

As a MOOC educates students who are not affiliated with WUR, the Easy Access agreement does not apply. A MOOC is freely available on the internet and can be followed by anyone. As such, teachers may not use copyrighted materials in a MOOC, unless the materials’ copyright owner has granted written permission. Instead of copyrighted materials, teachers can use free access and/or Open Access materials.

Free access materials
Some subscription-based journals make their articles freely available for anyone to use after one or two years. You may use this free access material but only by providing a hyperlink (see question above: How do I correctly link to copyright protected material?) to the material.

Open Access materials
Open Access materials are freely available from the start. Open Access material comes in different forms and sometimes the material has a Creative Commons License (see question: What is a Creative Commons License? on the page Ownership & licenses). The form of Open Access or the kind of Creative Commons License determines whether the material can be used in a MOOC.

Click here to find tips to find free access materials. 

Last updated on 15/04/2020.