Laatste update op 8 May 2020

Create or copy text?

Since the digital revolution a lot of people regularly write something for publication on the internet. If you find it difficult to put your ideas into words, it is tempting to grasp texts of others. Also, photo’s of others are often used

There are a few important rules, regulations about republishing texts and photo’s of others. In this article I will share some information about these rules and I will explain how I go about copyright in this site.

Quoting text

Regulations in the Netherlands permit short quotations without asking permission, for example for your article, thesis or review provided you state your source. This requires listing the name of the author, title and publication date. In addition a quotation is only permitted from works that have been published. If this is not the case, you will need the consent of the author (or person entitled). A major Dutch newspaper follows the rule that a short quotation contains around 50 words and if possible a link to the complete article in question. To illustrate this, the quotation below contains 78 words. .

Quotations of images

Photo’s, images and illustrations can be used entirely, but …

  • the size and the way you go about it has to be obviously different from the original work
  • the quotation has to be applicable in that way that your text directly links to the image (so in an article about wind mills you cannot just use any wind mill image, your article has to link to that specific wind mill)
  • the image can only be a small part of the whole
  • and/so: re-use of images as illustration as beautification is not permitted.

A Dutch quotation of ICT-lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet in “Citeren uit afbeeldingen – het beeldcitaatrecht” (last modification 13-02-2011):

Zomaar een plaatje van een molen tonen bij een artikel over molens is bijvoorbeeld geen beeldcitaat. Dat plaatje heeft geen band met het artikel. Gaat het artikel over een specifieke molen en toon je een klein fotootje van die molen, dan is dat meer dan versiering. Dat zal meestal wel mogen, zolang de foto maar niet de overhand krijgt bij je artikel. Een grote foto met twee zinnen over wat daarop te zien is, is geen geldig citaat.

If you want to use a photo without a hassle, use stockphoto-sites. You can find beautiful photo’s, a lot of which you can use for free for your articles. I would suggest Pixabay.

When does copyright end?

In some cases you may use text, music or images without restrictions (so, also commercial). In Europe (and as far as I know also in the USA) copyright of authors ends 70 years after the decease of the author in question. In the Netherlands we count as of 01-01 of the year following the year of death. When it concerns work of anonymous artists or when an alias was used, the work is protected 70 years after its first publication. Works are from then on considered to be in the public domain. ”.

What is the public domain?

Works that are in the public domain, are works free of copyright. Reproductions of original two dimensional artwork that is considered to be in the public domain can be made for commercial purposes because the copy, reproducation does not have an original character. Important jurisprudence about this can be found in the case Bridgeman Art Library versus Corel Corp. This means that for example cannot be holders of copyright of (exhibition of) paintings they show. You can use images of such paintings for your article without restrictions. The best musea offer high quality digital reproductions. Other musea (for example in Venice) simply forbid you to take photographs, which is a really bad habbit.

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