What is copyright?

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

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)


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 (for example within the framework of education) - however never in a digital format! Theartwork 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)



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 tool 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.

Open Access (in Swedish)



There are various initiatives, known as copyleft, to enable copyright holders to relinquish all or parts of their copyright. This is often done through some form of licence, such as the ones developed by the Creative Commons organisation.

Creative Commons

Copy and share protected material within higher education institutions

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.

The agreement allows teachers and students to copy and share copyright protected material from Swedish and non-Swedish pictures, text and musical notation that have been made public, from, for example books, teaching materials, the press, digital publications, websites etc.

Please note before making copies

Techers and students are allowed to copy and share digitally by:

Teachers and students may make copies and share digitally and analogue by:
  • Downloading
  • Print out
  • 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
  • Making mailings within a teaching group
  • Projecting and displaying on screen
  • Recording and sharing lectures on the local network, through e-mail, etc
  • Distributing photocopies and printouts

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.

Bonus Copyright Access