Copyright in video

When you create web lectures or knowledge clips, you usually use information from other sources. Each time you use information, images or videos from other sources, you are dealing with copyright laws. Here you can read about copyright in video.

Copyright laws

All matters concerning copyright are documented in the Copyright Act. This also means that third parties have rights to video material you make when you use sources such as film and text fragments, presentations, interviews, photos or articles. You are not allowed to use materials without permission from the copyright holder (this is not necessarily the author). However, there are some exceptions. You can read here about different situations and the applicable laws and rules with regard to web lectures and knowledge clips.

Situation 1: Viewing web lectures or knowledge clips in the classroom (live digital colleges as well)

In a classroom or lecture hall (live digital colleges as well), you are allowed to show web lectures and knowledge clips that contain material protected by copyright. The condition for this is that showing these videos is strictly for educational purposes and that it is part of the learning path, or serves a research purpose. You do not owe the copyright holder a fee.  Making available videos via Brightspace, RadboudNet or other electronic tools (outside of the physical classroom) is not part of this exception.

Situation 2: Viewing web lectures or knowledge clips in Brightspace (the education exception)

Showing videos that contain (parts of) copyright-protected material in Brightspace is permitted for the purpose of education (which is non-commercial). For example, you cannot share a full-length motion picture. Besides this, the protected material should support your education and not replace it.

In this situation, the appropriate fee must be paid to the copyright holder, and you should reference the source (name of the work and its author). Besides this, you should keep in mind the personality rights of the copyright holder. Based on these personality rights, the copyright holder may object to changes (reshaping, mutilating or damaging) to the protected material.

With regard to the fee, the normal arrangements for using copyright-protected materials in education apply.

  • Collective administration organisation Videma is authorised for arranging the appropriate fees for using audio-visual materials outside of the classroom. The organisation represents the collective of film companies, TV producers and broadcasting companies. When someone at the university wants to show video, DVD or TV material outside of the classroom, they are required to arrange this with Videma. This technically also applies to adding web lectures and knowledge clips to Brightspace, insofar as they use copyright-protected material.
  • With regard to using photos, Pictoright is the collective administration organisation for thousands of photographers. It is possible to discuss and bargain with Pictoright about the fees for using the photos of their photographers.
  • Making available study materials in the form of text for digital readers in Brightspace is part of the so-called reader arrangement with Stichting UVO. This also applies to providing hard-copy readers.

Situation 3: Citation right

Based on the citation right, you may cite small parts of someone else’s work in your educational material, presentation or project without paying a fee. This applies in many situations: for instance, in a PowerPoint presentation for your lecture, or showing a small part of a film during a presentation or lecture. This rule also applies to copyrightprotected material in knowledge clips and web lectures. You must satisfy the following conditions to make use of the citation right:

  • The cited work has been made public legally.
  • Citing the work is functional and is used to support your own story.
  • You have taken personality rights into account (see also: situation 2).
  • You name the source, including the name of the work and its author.

Situation 4: Linking to other sources

You are always allowed to insert a hyperlink in your web lecture or knowledge clip that links to copyright-protected materials, if you are not allowed to use them directly in the video. This only applies to linking, not copying or changing the material.

Situation 5: Licenses

You may use licensed copyright-protected material as long as you meet the license conditions. Common license conditions are listing the source and author. Examples of licenses are Creative Commons Licenses.

Situation 6: Your own materials

In web lectures, you may also use materials that teachers and/or students have developed themselves. When the education material has been developed by a student, the student is the copyright holder. This means that you need to confer with the student before using the material for web lectures or knowledge clips.

Situation 7: Portrait rights

We speak of a portrait when a person is identifiable on a photo, drawing, painting or a different kind of image. A person who is portrayed in such a way can claim the portrait right. This right can also apply to web lectures and knowledge clips. In portrait right situations, it is not necessary that the person in the image was posing for the picture: it can also be a casually made, coincidental portrait. The person portrayed may have reasons to protest the publication of such a picture, for privacy reasons or otherwise.

When students and lecturers work on a web lecture or knowledge clip, it is reasonable to assume that they do not have reasons to protest using their image.

Situation 8: Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)

When showing web lectures, you are required to take the privacy of the people concerned into account. Showing (video) images of people can be seen as processing personal data. On the basis of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA, or WBP in Dutch), permission of the people involved is required for using the (video) images.

Want to know more

Detailed information about using sources from others can be found on the website of the Copyright Information Point (CIP) of the University Library. You can also find information on the SURF website, including specific information about copyright in web lectures.


You can copyright [at] (email your questions) to the CIP or fill out the form. On working days, you will receive a reply within a few hours.