Skip to main content
To KTH's start page To KTH's start page

About copyright

Images, figures, tables, text, film, sound recordings, software and other material published in printed or digital form are protected by copyright. The Copyright Act gives the creator of a work the right to decide how it may be used. Copyright arises when the work is created, and no registration is required.

Film on Copyright by Swedish Intellectual Property Office

If you want to use published material, you need to find out if and how you may use and publish the material. There may be licenses and agreements that regulate how you may use it. If there is no license or agreement, you need to contact the copyright holder and ask for permission.

Copyright has two parts: the economic rights and the moral rights. The economic rights last for 70 years after the author's death. For anonymous works, it applies 70 years after the work was made available.

The economic rights can be transferred, for example, to a publisher. The moral rights cannot.

The moral rights mainly mean that the creator must be stated. There is no time limit for this right. You can learn more on copyright at Swedish Intellectual Property Office .

Read more about reusing copyrighted material in publications.

Using copyrighted material

Reading or accessing other people's material is not regulated by copyright. When you want to copy, distribute, or publish the material you need to find out what applies to that material. Copying includes downloading, saving, and printing material.

Save or print for your own use

Downloading, saving, and printing a limited amount of material for private use is generally permitted for both printed and electronic material. However, systematic, or extensive printing or downloading is not permitted.

Distribute internally at KTH via e-mail, Canvas and screen display

The library provides both openly available scientific material (open access) and material that we own or subscribe to. The material that the library owns or subscribes to may generally be shared and distributed within KTH. This can be done, for example, via e-mail, in Canvas learning management system or by handing out paper copies. Open access material is generally free to share and spread. The Bonus Copyright Access agreement gives certain rights to use and distribute printed literature and freely available web material within teaching at KTH (read more in the Bonus Copyright Access agreement section). Most of the library's agreements also allow materials to be shown in classes or at meetings, for example in a presentation. The display can take place on site or digitally in a closed group.

Disseminate to other researchers outside KTH

Articles that are published open access may be distributed freely. Many journals also allow preprints  or postprints  to be made available to everyone. In addition to this, you may have the right to distribute articles you have written yourself. Part of the library's agreement allows so-called "scholarly sharing", that is, you share materials with other researchers with whom you collaborate, even if they are not affiliated to KTH. You may not make the article available to a broad research group, for example on a website. Information on whether scholarly sharing is permitted can be found in the catalog entry in Primo. If the information is missing, you can contact the library.

Bonus Copyright Access Agreement

KTH and most other Swedish universities are covered by the Bonus Copyright Access agreement . The agreement applies to printed material and material that is available online without a separate agreement. According to this agreement, a maximum of 15% or 15 pages of a printed or digital work per student and calendar semester may be distributed. If a few more pages are needed, for example, to make a chapter complete, it is allowed.

Dissemination may take place via e-mail, in learning management systems or other closed networks, in paper form, or by projection on a screen. Recordings where material is shown on screen may not be distributed. This applies to both filmed lectures and screen recordings of online teaching. Please note that the Bonus Copyright Access agreement does not apply to electronic material for which the library has special agreements. Special agreements KTH Library's agreement with publishers and suppliers for electronic resources usually specifies what type of use is permitted. If the license terms are violated, the provider may, temporarily or permanently, disable our access. Users are encouraged to look for the "Terms of use" for the specific resource/web page for more information. In the library's search tool and linking service there is often information about the license. 

It is normally allowed to

  • Make a limited number of printed or electronic copies
  • Use for research, teaching, or private study
  • Share with researchers, staff, and students at KTH
  • Publish links to specific content

It is normally not allowed to

  • Make systematic or extensive printing, copying, or downloading
  • Use for commercial purposes, republish, distribute, or modify content
  • Share with people other than researchers, staff, and students at KTH
  • Publish content or articles on websites and mailing lists


Movies are protected by copyright. The Bonus Copyright Access agreement does not cover films. To be shared or shown to a group, the film copy must have institutional rights. You may not share or display a copy of a film intended for private use or use your private account in a streaming service. You may show films that have a license that allows this or if you have received permission from the rights holder. There are some streaming services whose content is allowed to be shown. YouTube videos with CC licenses may also be shown. Embedding a film on a web page is allowed because it is essentially a link, and no new copy is created.