KUB Copyright Service: Copyright for students

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Copyright for students

The intellectual property right belongs to the person or persons who have created the work whether or not it is a text, a picture, a lecture, a contribution to a discussion, a translation or something else. A work will be protected for 70 years after the death of the originator, and then it becomes common property and can be used freely.  Thus, the works of Søren Kierkegaard have been common property since 1925, and the works of Jakob Ejersbo will be common property in 2078. Though the copyright has expired it is still considered to be good practice to mention the name of the originator as to authorship right.

Basically, you have as a student the intellectual property right to the assignments, projects, and studies that you make yourself. Your instructor or lecturer will have no rights to your works unless they have participated with something themselves. If you are more people who are working on an assignment, a thesis for instance, you will share the copyright.

You can only have copyright for what you have contributed with yourself, and so you do not take over the rights to the works of other people, like other people’s pictures that you have used in your assignment. You may not publish the works of other people as if they were your own works, and therefore, you must remember to explicate and cite sources when you use or refer to others’ works in your assignments.

What may I do as a student?

  • You are allowed to scan and copy from books and journals for personal use.
  • Cite texts from others’ works with explicit sources.
  • Cite from sites on the internet with explicit sources.
  • Use pictures in accordance with UCPH’s agreement with Copydan Visuals – please see here.

What am I not allowed to do as a student?

  • You may not scan or copy from books and journals for anybody else than yourself.
  • Do not forward digital articles from journals, or digital books from REX to others.
  • Do not copy others’ texts and publish them as if they were your own ones.
  • Do not publish your assignments – at the library for instance – if you have used pictures protected by copyright.

Please notice that citations can only be used to a limited extent, see section 22 in the Consolidated Act on Copyright. See more in the right column.

Rules on the use of pictures as a student

University of Copenhagen has entered into an agreement with Copydan Visuals that enables lecturers and students at University of Copenhagen to use all forms of pictures protected by copyright for educational and studying purposes. You find the agreement here. The agreement is currently prolonged and therefore still valid.

What may I do according to the agreement?

  • You may collect and use pictures from open sites on the internet.
  • Scan and use pictures from printed materials like for instance books, journals and magazines.
  • Use all kinds of pictures to for instance smartboard or power point presentations.
  • Share pictures with other lecturers and students at UCPH through e-mail.
  • Set up a picture library on Absalon.
  • Use pictures in power point presentations outside UCPH at institutions who have similar agreements with Copydan Visuals, like Aalborg University, or Aarhus University

What may I not do according to the agreement?

  • Do not use the pictures outside University of Copenhagen at institutions that do not have similar agreements with Copydan Visuals.
  • Apply the pictures for uses other than educational ones.
  • Change the pictures.
  • Make the pictures available on open networks.

In addition, University of Copenhagen has concluded an agreement with the picture agency Colourbox on free use of pictures for the employees and students of the university.
Please pay attention to the fact that the agreement with Colourbox works totally independently of the agreement with Copydan Visuals.


”The Act on Copyright, section 22. A person may quote from a work which has been made public in accordance with proper usage and to the extend required for the purpose."


- must be limited to what is absolutely necessary.
- may only be a minor part of the publication being quoted from.
- must have a purpose in your own publication.
- may only be a minor part of your own publication.
- must be clearly marked where they begin and where they end.
- must have a clear indication of the source.

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