Copyright affects you both as the creator of an original work, and as a user of works created by others.

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What is copyright?

Copyright is based on the principle that the creator of an original work should have exclusive rights to it, in terms of how it is used. The copyright is statutory, and any infringement may lead to penalties, injunctions and damages. The copyright includes financial and intellectual property rights.

Swedish Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (in Swedish)

Legala handboken - more about copyright (Swedish only)


Financial property rights

Financial property rights mean the right to print or display the work to the public, and to obtain financial compensation for doing so. This is a right that the author can sell or transfer to another person.


Intellectual property rights

Intellectual property rights mean that an original work may not be recreated in a way that alters it or violates the author's good name. The creator of an original work has the right to be recognised as the author of that work.


Threshold of originality

In order for a work to be considered original, it must have reached a certain threshold of originality. This means that the work must show originality or individual character, insofar as it somehow reflects the author's personality.


You are allowed to quote published works with the aim of highlighting or criticising the work in question, or to provide a perspective to an argument. You are not allowed to reproduce the quote in a way that alters its intentions, or that may injure the author.

Reproducing the images of others

Images are not included under this general right to use quotes, but you are nonetheless permitted to reproduce the images of others in an academic or critical text - however never in a digital format! Images created by others can also be used within a university context according to the so called Higher Education Institution Agreement, see below. The artwork of others may be depicted if they are permanently placed outside in a public place, i.e., art on public display.

Right to quote (in Swedish)

The Higher Education Institution Agreement

The way copyright protected material can be copied and printed is limited by the copyright law. To meet teachers' need for copying within their profession, the state has signed a framework agreement on copying with copyright-holding organisations through Bonus Copyright Access.

For use in their teaching, teachers at universities that have signed the agreement have the right to copy and print a certain number pages to supplement the mandatory course literature.

From 2014-01-01 this right also applies to students.

Please note before making copies
 The Higher Education Institution Agreement allows students and teachers universities to copy and share copyright protected images and texts for use in educational contexts. Please note that the copyright holder should be acknowledged, and that the Higher Education Institution Agreement does not include the use of sound recordings and moving images.

Teachers and students are allowed to make copies and share in digital and analogue form by:
  • Downloading
  • Printting
  • Scanning
  • Photocopying
  • Reproducing for slide presentation for educational purposes, e.g. PowerPoint
  • Saving copies in digital form, e.g. on the school’s closed network, on USB
  • Transferring digital copies, e.g. by mail or via the school’s closed network
  • Recording and sharing lectures on the local network, through e-mail, etc

The amount of material that can be copied can be found in the terms of use, but the rule of thumb is that a maximum of 15% or at most 15 pages can be copied.

The Higher Education Institution Agreement

Creative Commons

There are various initiatives to enable copyright holders to grant others the right to use their work. This is often done through some form of licence, such as the ones developed by the Creative Commons organisation. Searching for works, for example images, licensed under a Creeative Commons licence can be a useful way to find material that you are allowed to use without asking for permission, as long as you use it according to the licence.

Creative Commons


To plagiarise means that you imitate or copy the work of another. This could be a text, an image or a diagram etc., being presented as if it was your own material.

It is very important to provide the sources you use, by quoting and referring to them correctly. Read more about how to do this in Refero, an anti-plagiarism tutorial developed by Blekinge Institute of Technology and the Linnaeus University.

Refero - anti-plagiarism tutorial

Open access

Open Access (OA) is a way to make research more visible and accessible to the public. Open Access means that academic results, primarily articles but also other types of publications, are made available on the internet, so that they can be read, downloaded, copied, printed and distributed digitally at no cost. As usual, the author's statutory intellectual property rights must be respected. The author must be named, and the work may not be altered.

Read more about open access