How to acquire rights and co-operation projects

An agreement is needed if the use of copyright protected material is not possible in accordance with the exceptions of the Copyright Act. See further Exceptions and different subchapters.

You should also check whether every aspect of the intended use is allowed by the exceptions or licenses applied to universities or not. If the license covers the purpose of the use you can use the material in accordance with the license. If the license does not cover the use you can contact the relevant supervising organisation and ask if they can give you permission to use the material. See Licenses and organisations looking after the rights. If the organisations cannot give permission you must contact the creator or other right holder.

Co-operation projects for web teaching usually require complex agreements. Copyright usually belongs to persons as creators and before the university can agree to comply with the terms concerning copyright protected material and give rights to its co-operation parties, the university must have the creators written consent. The creators must agree to adhere to the terms of the co-operation agreement. Agreements may require more extensive rights than what are given in the Copyright Act or licenses.

Remember to make sure that you make agreements with the right right holder(s).

When you are making agreements to transfer user right to copyright protected material you can use model agreements that have been drafted for web teaching purposes. They can be found at the webpage of the Ministry of Education At the webpage there are also instructions on how to use the models.

You can also use university’s own models which are available at these pages. See Agreement models.

When you are making agreements think at least about the following things:

  1. You get user right only for those purposes mentioned in the agreement. In order to use the material for other purposes you have to make another agreement.
  2. Think who should be able to use the material at the university and whether it is sufficient that only the institution or faculty is able to use the material or would it be better if the material could be used by the whole university.
  3. Is it wise to acquire rights only for the particular purpose or would it be better to acquire more extensive rights at the same time.
  4. Is it wise to acquire rights only for a certain time period or would it be better to get eternal right.
  5. Always remember to get also the right to modify the material and think whether you would at some time need to transfer your rights further to someone else in which case you have to state in the agreement that you have right to transfer your rights to third parties. The material cannot be altered nor can the rights be assigned further unless otherwise agreed upon separately.

Opinion given by the Copyright Council: