comprehensive information copyright

(Partially taken from the University Library Leiden, with their kind permission)

First, consult the following pages:

Rules for printed readers, summarised and/or

Rules for digital readers, summarised.

Word limits for ‘short extractions’

A rough guide: an average page from a book contains a maximum of 400 words.

When about 25 pages of non-literary work or 6 pages of a literary work are used, you are reaching the maximum permitted limit. For journals and other periodicals, it is not possible to indicate an average. The use of columns considerably increases the amount of words per page. However, there are a number of methods available for calculating the number of words in digital files. For example, in Word, under Tools, Word Count and on the “” site you can find a tool for use with PDF documents.

Exemptions for Government publications and Jurisprudence

Unaltered government publications and jurisprudence is free from copyright restrictions. This applies to jurisprudence as originally issued by the judiciary and not to rulings compiled by a publisher. The same applies to legislation; only extracts from the “Staatscourant”, the “Staatsblad” and the “Tractatenblad” are free from copyright.

PRO Foundation

The Stichting Publicatie- en Reproductierechten Organisatie (PRO) (NL) represents a large number of claimants in rulings regarding the use of protected work in education.

Facilitating permission and payment via the PRO Foundation

If you want to use an ‘extended extract’ or a whole publication in a printed reader or in Blackboard, which is not permitted by the publisher’s license, you can apply to the PRO Foundation to facilitate this.

This foundation has the right to process permission requests, on behalf of a large number of publishers, using standard procedures. In the case of electronic readers, the number of readers is equal to the number of students taking the course. See “Tarieven” (NL).

You should first submit your request for permission to the PRO Foundation, then pay the fee and then publish the reader. If PRO is unable to process your request, they will direct you to the publisher concerned or return the request.


The costs of permission for ‘extended extracts’ can be very high and are charged to the faculty or institute! It is strongly recommended that you to opt for a printed reader in these cases. The “Info point Readers” can then process the request via the PRO Foundation and the costs can be recouped from the students.

More detailed information at SURF

This SURF website (Dutch) provides information about copyrights in the Dutch Higher Education system. De information on the website covers basic rules and background information, as well as practical tools to help take care of copyright issues, including audiovisual material.

The SURF Knowledge base (Dutch) offers video tutorials on copyrights and education.

Manifestations Stichting Auteursrecht (NL) advises producers and users about their rights and privileges. The site is an initiative of the Foundation Copyright Manifestations (a joint venture between the Dutch Union for Copyright, the Dutch Ministries of Justice, Economic Affairs, the Departments of Culture, Science, Education and of copyright holders, working together in the Copyright Holders Foundation). The site contains a great deal of information for lecturers as users of copyright protected work.

Publishers policy concerning inclusion in printed and digital readers.

On this page you will find a list, by publisher, summarizing their license conditions and whether or not a publication can be included in a reader or on Blackboard.

The license agreements the library has taken out with publishers or suppliers often contain explicit rulings governing the inclusion in a reader or Blackboard. See this Publishers list.


Publisher’s policy can change. Check regularly whether inclusion is still permitted, otherwise you run the risk of high fines!

We therefore advise you to use links whenever possible rather than inclusion. All of the information contained in this document is, to the best of our knowledge, correct but you cannot rely on it in a legal dispute.


Two of the libraries information specialists are specialised in copyright. If you have any questions you can contact the Info point Readers (NL)