Copyright is the legal right to determine how a work may be used, and is held by the person or persons who created the work.
Virtually all material used in teaching and research is protected by copyright. This includes copies from books or journals, images, sketches, photographs, music, films, sheet music, as well as material produced by staff or students. Copyright applies irrespective of medium, i.e. irrespective of whether the material is printed, obtained from the Internet, or in another format.
Copyright consists of two components: financial and intellectual rights. Financial rights, which may be contractually transferred, include the exclusive right to reproduce a work and make it available to the public. Intellectual rights mean that the creator has to be acknowledged when a work is produced or made available to the public. The creator also has the right to object to changes to the work.
Copyright results automatically when a work is created and no registration is necessary. Usually the protection lasts the lifetime of the creator + 70 years, but copyright differs between texts, images, music, and film material.
Certain public documents, statutes, and decisions made by public institutions are not protected by copyright. It is also possible to copy limited parts of a copyrighted work for personal use.
Using copyrighted material
Proper citation and referencing, as well as awareness of possible exceptions, licence agreements and freely available resources enable us to handle material produced by others or ourselves correctly. As copyright holder, you are also able to stipulate how your material may be used by others through licences such as Creative Commons.