Most of the material used for teaching at Karolinska Institutet is copyrighted. The same applies to material that students and teachers copy from the Internet. The Copyright Act regulates how you may use copyrighted material. The works protected by copyright are "independent and original works of spiritual work", e.g. pictures, photographs, music, texts, books, computer programs and databases. Copyright is the legal right originally held by the creator.

Copyright does not refer to data, theory or facts but only to the independent and original way in which they are presented. The Copyright Act also protects certain rights that are reminiscent of copyright, so-called related rights, which refer to works that do not reach the working height requirement but should still have copyright-like protection. The protection is much narrower than the actual copyright and the protection is valid for a shorter period of time.

What does copyright mean?

Copyright consists partly of an economic right to the work, and partly of a non-profit right.

The economic right, which can be transferred according to agreement, in principle means the exclusive right to reproduce the work and make it available to the public. Either the entire economic right can be sold or it can be leased for a specific use, licensed. The transition and scope of the right of disposal is normally stated in the agreement that regulates the issue.

The non-profit right means that when a work is produced or the work is made available to the public, the author must be stated.

Who is the author?

It is always the creator of the work who has the original copyright to it. Only natural persons can be authors. If there are several people who have collaborated to create a work and it is not possible to distinguish the individual contributions as independent works, the authors have a common copyright to the work. All forms of transfer of copyright then require the consent of all authors.

The right to use the work can, however, in some cases be transferred, for example, to the employer via an employment or to the client via an assignment agreement, but the non-profit rights (to be named and quoted) can not be held by anyone other than the author.

When does copyright arise?

Copyright arises automatically when a work is created.

How long is the copyright valid?

Copyright applies as a general rule during the author's lifetime plus 70 years after his death. Thereafter, the work may be freely reproduced.

Use for private use

A restriction on copyright is the rule that everyone may produce individual copies of published works for private use. In the case of literary works, such as a textbook, however, you may only copy a limited part of the book. What is meant by a limited part is not clear. This means, however, that it is always a question of a smaller part of the work and not as much as half or almost half of a work. It is also not allowed to get around the rule by copying one part of a book one day and another part another day.

Through the higher education agreement (see more below), teachers are given the opportunity to copy a work in their entirety for themselves, provided that it is not compulsory published course literature.

In some cases, no exception to copyright applies, ie even copying for private use is not allowed. This applies, for example, when the author does not gives his or hers consent for private use, to the production of copies of computer programs and compilations in digital form.

Quote law

According to a provision in the Copyright Act, everyone may quote from published works to the extent justified by the purpose. Anyone who "borrows" a text according to this provision must state who the author is. The right to quote extends differently in different cases. In a scientific or critical presentation, where the author intends to analyze, criticize or otherwise illuminate a cited work, one has the right in some cases to have the right to reproduce quite large parts of the work. Shorter poems, etc. can even be reproduced in their entirety in these contexts.

Copyright material within the university

As mentioned above, most of the material used in teaching is copyrighted. The Copyright Act makes no distinction between different types of teaching materials. Both expensive textbooks and simpler works, such as compendiums written by a teacher, are protected. Lectures held at the university are also protected by copyright. Admittedly, the student has the right to write down what the lecturer says. The student may also use this material for private use, but he does not have the right to copy and distribute the lecture.

It is important to note that students at the university also have copyright protection of the works they have produced, such as answers to exam questions, degree projects, etc. For teachers to have the right to use this material in their teaching, they must have the student's consent.

Teachers' right to copy for teaching activities - the higher education agreement (formerly the bonus agreement)

According to the Copyright Act, published works may be copied for teaching activities that are covered by a so-called contractual license. A copy agreement has been concluded between Bonus Copyright Access and all universities and colleges in Sweden. The agreement means that you as a teacher under certain conditions have the right to copy copyrighted material for use in teaching. The agreement gives teachers the opportunity to, in addition to the usual photocopying, also make printouts from a digital source, e.g. Internet. It is also permitted to produce digital copies of works for projection with presentation programs, e.g. PowerPoint.


Legal Office

Content reviewer:
Jimmy Carman