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Create teaching material and make it available to the public

Create teaching material and make it available to the public

 Detailinformation

I. General aspects

When creating teaching materials (such as lecture notes, presentation slides), please observe the relevant framework conditions of the copyright. You may use copyright-protected works (such as books, articles, figures, pictures, graphs, videos) provided that at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. You have been granted permission to use the work by the rightholder.
  2. You quote the work pursuant to the provisions of the quotation right, Section 51 of the German Copyright Act.
  3. As an exception, you may use the work under the provisions of Section 60a of the German Copyright Act without the permission of the rightholder.
  4. As an exception, you may use the work under the provisions of Section 60c of the German Copyright Act without the permission of the rightholder.
  5. You may use works under Creative Commons licenses, provided that the license terms are observed.
 

II. Prerequisites for using copyright protected material

1. Permission of the rightholder

If the rightholder grants you the right to use their work, you may use the work to the exact extent that has been requested and permitted. For any use beyond this extent, you must request the right and corresponding permission.

The rightholder is, in principle, the author. However, when you want to use works from books or journals, the rights of use are often held by the publisher. In this case, you must request the corresponding rights from the publisher.

2. Quotation right, Section 51 of the German Copyright Act

Quotations are an essential part of scientific work and teaching. In principle, you may quote texts as well as figures, pictures and videos. In this case, however, you must pursue to the following provisions:

A quotation is permitted,

  • when the quotation has a purpose, 
  • the purpose justifies the extent of the quotation,  
  • the source is acknowledged, and
  • another author’s work or parts of the work have not been altered.

A quotation has a purpose when it supports one of your own statements.

In this case, the relation between your statement and the work that you use must be made clear. The extent of the quotation is justified when the extent is required to support your own statement or to contradict the message of the quotation.

It is important to note that using a picture for a merely illustrative purpose does not represent a quotation.

For additional information, please read the Notice on Section 51 of the German Copyright Act.

3. Derogation laid down in Section 60a of the German Copyright Act

Section 60a of the German Copyright Act is a derogation from the copyright, which allows you to exceptionally use copyright-protected works without the permission of the rightholder.

Pursuant to Section 60a of the German Copyright Act,

  • full use may be made of small-scale works, such as printed works with a maximum of 25 pages, figures, isolated articles from professional or scientific journals as well as out-of-commerce works and
  • up to 15 per cent of other published works

may be reproduced, distributed, made available to the public or otherwise communicated publicly to the specific, defined group of participants at the lessons for the purpose of illustration in teaching in universities, provided that this is justified for pursuing non-commercial purposes.

You make works available to the public by publishing them on the Internet. This includes publishing works in eLearning and eTeaching platforms or learning platforms. It is crucial that the works are accessible only to the specific, defined group of participants.

For works you want to make available to students of your courses on the basis of Section 60a of the German Copyright Act, we recommend using the literature section in RWTHmoodle. This allows you to create a digital semester catalogue. 

For additional information, please read the Notice on Section 60a of the German Copyright Act.

4. Derogation laid down in Section 60c of the German Copyright Act

Section 60c of the German Copyright Act is a derogation from the copyright, which allows you to exceptionally use copyright-protected works without the permission of the rightholder.

Pursuant to Section 60c of the German Copyright Act,

  • full use may be made of small-scale works, such as printed works with a maximum of 25 pages, figures, isolated articles from professional or scientific journals as well as out-of-commerce works and
  • 15 per cent of other works

may be reproduced, distributed and made available to the specific, defined group of participants at the lessons in universities, provided that this is justified for non-commercial and scientific research purposes.

You make works available to the public by publishing them on the Internet. This includes publishing works in eLearning and eTeaching platforms or learning platforms. It is crucial that the works are accessible only to the specific, defined group of participants.

For your own scientific research, you may reproduce up to 75 per cent of a work, e.g., make copies.

For additional information, please read the Notice on Section 60c of the German Copyright Act.

5. Creative Commons licenses

So-called free licenses are standard license agreements, which, in general, allow you to use the works that are available under such licenses for free. Even though you can use these works for free, the license conditions must be observed at all times.

Creative Commons licenses (www.creativecommons.org) enable authors to make their works publicly available:

 
IconShort formNameExplanation
The picture shows the icon "Attribution only"byAttribution onlyName of author must be mentioned.
The picture shows the icon "Non-commercial"ncNon-commercialWork may not be used for commercial purposes.
The picture shows the icon "No derivatives"ndNo derivativesWork may not be edited in any way.
The picture shows the icon "Share alike"saShare alikeAfter editing, the work must have the same license.

As a general rule, the conditions stated above can be combined.

When using material under so-called free licenses, please observe the license conditions at all times. These conditions often state that the license must be specified and that a link to the corresponding license must be included.

 

III. Legal advice 

Please note that this notice can only provide you an overview of the copyright situation and that it cannot substitute for individual legal advice. If you have any questions or uncertainties, please don’t hesitate to contact Department 9.0 - Legal affairs at any time. Our employees will be happy to assist you.

 

(Last change: 26 March 2020)

last changed on 29.01.2021

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