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All about copyright in higher education

Students, lecturers, and researchers will come across copyright. For your assignment, publication, or in the classroom, you will use sources of others. You can read all about copyright here and what this means for your work.


In lessons and formal lectures physical and digital information is widely used. By means of  presentations, examples, video material, readers etcetera, the lecturer guides the students through their learning process. Lecturers are allowed to show copyrighted works during class, such as images and films. Moreover copies of the presentation or readers may be passed out when they are part of the education programme. This is covered in Exception for Education (article 16) and Disclosure to the Public (article 12 paragraph 5) of the Copyright Act.

Exception for Education

Exception for Education 

Certain rules apply to the exception for education:

  • The work (image, text, film etcetera) needs to have been lawfully disclosed.
  • Always refer to the source of the work.
  • In using another’s work it must be in accordance with what is generally regarded as reasonably acceptable use.
  • The creator or his successor in title receive a fair reimbursement (This is taken care of in an agreement with Stichting PRO).   

Film and audio screenings

Film and audio screenings

You can show or play a complete film, audio work or documentary for free and without permission, if you meet the following requirements:

  • The screening during class or project group has an educational purpose and is part of the education programme
  • Screening needs to take place in the building of the school
  • Screening takes place for the educational purpose without any monetary profit
  • If you want to use a video or sound fragment of internet, play it directly (streaming).
  • Downloading first and then showing is prohibited unless otherwise stated on the license

For FAQ about using sound and images for education, please check

Source: Netwerk Auteursrechteninformatiepunten, september 2012



Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has a reader agreement with Stichting PRO. This allows us to include short quotations or images in readers, without having to register these with Stichting Pro.

The following rules apply for short quotations:

  1. Non-literary book: maximum 10.000 words and no more than one-third of the complete work.
  2. Periodicals: maximum 8000 words and not more than one-third of the issue
  3. Literary pieces of writing: maximum 2500 words of prose, or maximum 100 lines of poetry; but not more than one-tenth part of the entire original work
  4. Graphs, tables, schemes, photos and illustrations count for 200 words. You may use 25 of these units maximum from one original piece of work.
  5. Non-adapted governmental publications and jurisprudence are free of copyrights. The jurisprudence concerned in this case is in the original form as made public by the judiciary No publishers’ collections pronouncements. Same is the case for legislation, only the following may be freely quoted: Staatscourant, Staatsblad, Tractatenblad.

Quotations longer than the guidelines above are considered to be ‘long quotations’. These quotations need to be registered with stichting PRO and require additional payment. 

Extensive information about sources for education is available on the website Education and Copyright.

Digital learning environment

Digital learning environment

Within the university the electronic learning environment is much used, however you still need to deal with copyright. The Reader Regulation is also applicable to the Digital learning environment of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

This means that short quotations for the digital learning environment can be used without reporting to Stichting PRO. Long quotations do need to be reported, even if the usage is only for the digital learning environment.

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