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Copyright: Use of materials

Copyright and use of materials

Copyright protects almost all of the materials used in academic education. The use of copyright materials are defined in licences to which user commits when using the materials.

Terms of use for open access materials can be agreed by using international Creative Commons licences.

The copyright belongs to the author

According to effective copyright laws in Finland, the copyright belongs to the author (Copyright Act 8.7.1961/404). This is the case even if the author worked for an institution, such as a university, when the article was written; and no other agreement was made. If the work, for example an article or publication, has several authors, the copyright belongs to all of them.

Linking of e-materials

Linking of e-materials - for example in teaching materials - is generally allowed.

By linking instead of copying you will usually avoid violating copyrights. It is recommended to use permalinks, URN or DOI.

Open access materials

Open knowledge refers to unrestricted access to digital content and data that users may use, amend and distribute without charge.

Open materials can however be partly include materials, that are restricted use.

Creative Commons -licences provides free, easy-to-use copyright licences to give the public permission to share and use the materials.

The CC-licencing types are explained on Creative Commons´ webpage. You can also check the CC tab of this guide.

Open science and research
Creative Commons
Toikkanen, Tarmo & Oksanen, Ville (2011). Opettajan tekijänoikeusopas. Helsinki: Finn Lectura. [In Finnish only]

Open image databases

ImagOA guide contains list of image databases and visual resources openly available from the web. Both international and Finnish image databases listed.

General right to use materials

Citating and references

Finnish Copyright act gives the guidelines for citating. The following sections must be considered when citing:

  • The work to be citated shall be considered to have been made public when it has lawfully been made available to the public, e.g. books or public webpages. 
  • A work may not be altered in a manner which is prejudicial to the author's literary or artistic reputation, or to his individuality; nor may it be made available to the public in such a form or context as to prejudice the author in the manner stated.
  • The right conferred to the author by this section may be waived by him with binding effect only in regard of use limited in character and extent.

In academic and professional settings the ability to cite a source is essential. The purpose for citing is to let readers know that a specific piece of information you are providing has a source/author, other than your own observation or reasoning. In many cases, the strength and credibility of your work depends on the validity of your sources, the quality of the sources (especially peer reviewed journals), and your ability to represent those sources clearly without plagiarizing.

Toikkanen, Tarmo & Oksanen, Ville (2011). Opettajan tekijänoikeusopas. Helsinki: Finn Lectura. [In Finnish only]

Copyright in use of materials based on contracts

Kopiosto copying licence for Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences

Universities Finland (UNIFI), Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (Arene) and Kopiosto have made an agreement on copying.

The permission of the licence owner is always required for the digital copying and use of copyrighted materials for educational or non-commercial research purposes. With the Kopiosto copying licence, the staff and students of educational institutions can scan printed publications and copy text and images from open websites, unless the copyright owner has prohibited such copying and use. The licence applies to both domestic and foreign materials.

The Kopiosto copying licence allows the staff and students of educational institutions to

  • scan printed publications
  • copy and use copyrighted materials that are openly available online, unless the copyright owner has prohibited its copying or granted other permissions to the materials
  • distribute materials in digital format in the school’s closed network
  • for the purposes of distance learning, a recording can be made of a class, which can then be distributed to the students via the institution’s closed network

More information about Copying and Digital use of publications in universities and universities of applied sciences at Kopiosto webpage.

General terms of e-resources use

Electronic materials are protected by international copyright laws, database right laws, and other Intellectual Property Rights and may vary according to each Publisher's Licence Agreement. LUT Academic Library has subscribed electronic resources via the Finnish National Electronic Library, FinELib, and directly from the publishers. Terms and conditions may vary by each e-resource. Use the whole or any part of the licenced material for any commercial use is forbidden.

Kopiosto copying licence does not cover publications where the publisher states that the licences granted, based on the regulation on extended collective licence under section 14 of the Finnish Copyright Act (821/2005), do not apply to the digital copying of this publication. Nor does the licence apply to those online materials whose educational and research use is prohibited in the user terms and conditions, agreed in connection with signing on or registering onto the service, or if from them it is clearly concluded that the use of the material is not permitted in teaching and research under the Kopiosto licence.

When using e-resources generally you are usually permitted:

  • to browse and to make information retrievals
  • to print single copies of search results for personal use
  • to download reasonable amounts of search results for personal use
  • in most cases to print and download reasonable parts and excerpts for non-commercial use
  • to email, mail or fax one copy to a colleague for personal use (it varies according to the service whether it is permissible to send copies to persons outside the university) - Check the terms of use
  • to compile course materials for the university for non-commercial use (the conditions vary according to the service) - Check the terms of use

When using e-resources you are not permitted:

  • to use the resources or parts of it for commercial purposes
  • to download resources using robots or other data mining software
  • use of programs which automatically search or rake for resources (spider, crawler, robot).
  • modifying, applying, moving, translating or creating resources based on the resources provided by the service or any other action violating the copyright restrictions of the resources.

Terms & conditions aqcuired via FinElib consortium: FinELib-resources
Terms & conditions of LUT Academic Library: Terms of use at LibGuides

More information about the e-resource licences at LUT Academic Library by e-mail: kirjasto.hankinnat[at]

Use of standards

The Academic Library offers the standards for its customer on SFS Online -service. Like all the materials, standards, SFS handbooks and other publications are protected by copyright law.

Reproduction and copies of standards on SFS Online

A limited number of rights are given to customers when they purchase a standard. Permission is always required to reproduce material for professional purposes such as reproducing standards or parts of standards in books, catalogues or in computer software. According to the Finnish Copyright Act, material can be copied for private use only.

Extracting parts of a standard for inclusion in the organization's internal documentation, such as user’s guide or manual, permission can be granted on a case-by-case basis. Customers wanting to have supplementary paper copies of the standards they have bought, for example for distribution at meetings, ought to pay additional fees.

Internal use only

Standards or their copies must not, in any form, be given to parties other than the customer who has purchased the standard or has a license to use them through SFS Online service.

For example, copies of standards shall not be provided as an appendix to a call for tenders, an offer or possible marketing material. In addition, standards shall not be published in Intranet or Internet without a written consent of Finnish Standards Association. When standards are used through SFS Online service, the rights of use are described in a license agreement which the customer has to accept.

More information: FinELib - SFS Online user rights and remote access