What can you use?

When creating a MOOC it is likely that you will create own teaching materials but will also use the materials produced by others. To ensure that no copyright is infringed by including these resources in the MOOC, it is important to obtain permissions or make use of the open access materials. For Step-by-Step guidance, please refer to the Manual on using pictures and videos in audio-visual productions.

Obtain permissions

Unless you use self-created content (e.g., images, figures, video clips), you need to obtain permission for reuse of third-party resources in the MOOC as these are often copyright-protected. Even if it’s just a simple amateur photograph or video, even if there is no copyright sign, even if it’s only a small image (‘thumbnail’). Although the safest assumption is that materials are copyright-protected, this is not necessarily so all the time. For example, governmental documents or materials of which the authors are deceased for over 70 years are no longer copyright-protected. These may therefore be used in AV productions without any restriction.

Keep in mind that obtaining rights may be a time- and money consuming business. Also, requests for permission will not always be answered. The following Dutch collective rights organizations provide services that facilitate obtaining permission for using copyright-protected works:

Citation right

One of the exceptions to Dutch Copyright Act is the right to quote (citaatrecht). Citation is primarily associated with quoting small fragments of text. However, images, figures can also be cited, hence can be reused without prior permission from the copyright holder.

Images must meet all of the following requirements for the right to quote to be applicable:

  1. The images are used in a scientific/educational context;
  2. The images are used functionally, that is, the quoted (visual) material must be relevant to the topic, for example to illustrate or support it. Using an image just to make a slide more attractive ('brighten it up') is not allowed without prior permission; alternatively, stock or CC-BY images can be used.
  3. The number of images from one source (e.g., from the same article or book) is limited, reasonable and justified;
  4. The images are from a legally published source. Quoting from confidential, unpublished documents is not allowed;
  5. The images are not distorted or modified;
  6. The source of the imagery is properly cited.

Use open-licensed content

Open access content, such as images, text, sounds or video explicitly permits reuse (e.g., copying, distribution) without permission from the copyright holder. These works have open user license, such as Creative Commons. Creative Commons (CC) licenses offer six different combinations varying from the most free to the most restrictive license. 

CC-licensed photographs and videos can be searched via the Creative Commons website: http://search.creativecommons.org. YouTube and well-known photo websites like Flickr also provide options for limiting search results to CC BY-licensed materials. Please note that every CC license has its own terms and conditions that must be observed when reusing the work. Proper attribution is needed in all CC licenses.