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Copyright guide

Private use

Copyright protected material is only freely available to the extent that the exceptions of the Copyright Act provide. Exception provisions give users rights to use materials in a certain way. If a student independently takes copies for own private use and studies, the exception provision of private use may be applied to the student’s use. When copies are made for private use, they are limited to 2 to 5 copies.

More information, see:

- Private use by Pirjo Kontkanen, laywer, University of Helsinki.

- Private Use by Anna Keune, Aalto University.

Citing and referencing

In academic and professional settings, it is essential to be able to cite a source. The purpose for citing is to help support your arguments. In many cases, the strength and credibility of your work depends on the validity of your sources, the quality of the sources (especially peer-reviewed journals), and your ability to represent those sources clearly without plagiarizing. You should provide references to each source you use, in order to acknowledge the sources of your arguments and ideas, to enable the reader to locate the sources you have used, and to show the scope and breadth of your research.

More information, see Hanken library's Reference guides.

Copying of materials based on contracts

Making copies of a work means any form of copy making including transferring the work to some device with which the work can be duplicated. Copying of a work requires permission of the author. A licensing agreement system has been created for the mass use of works to facilitate the acquisition of a licence.

Different organisations representing the right holders are entitled to give licences to use copyright protected materials, for example:

Kopiosto about permissions to use printed material, to photocopy, to record radio and television transmissions and to distribute television channels in cable and common antenna network,

Gramex about permissions to perform and record music from a recording,

Teosto about permissions to perform and record composers’, lyricists’ and music publishers’ works,

Kuvasto about permissions to use works of visual artists,

Tuotos about permissions to use movies and other audio-visual works and to retransmit television programs.

You can consult the relevant supervising organizations if and on what conditions different materials may be used. More infomation, see Licences and organisations looking after the rights by Pirjo Kontkanen.

Photocopying and printing

A photocopy permit has been obtained for educational institutions, which permits the partial copying of works and the printing of digital materials. With the Kopiosto copying licence, students, researchers and staff of educational institutions can also scan printed publications, copy texts and images from open websites unless the copyright owner has prohibited such copying and usage, and distribute materials in digital format in the school’s closed network.

More information, see Copying of publications and works at universities and universities of applied sciences by Kopiosto.

See also Photocopying by Pirjo Kontkanen and Photocopying by Anna Keune.

Photocopying and printing  

Picture: Pixabay.

Digitizing materials and digital copying

With the Kopiosto licence, students may copy and scan printed publications and copy images and texts freely available on the Internet to the extent required by the purpose of use when the copying is essential to furthering the learning and research. It is also technologically neutral. That is, digitizing can be done in any means. See Digitising material and digital copying by Pirjo Kontkanen.

More information, see Kopiosto copying licence’s licence terms on the page Copying of publications and works at universities and universities of applied sciences.

Digitizing materials and digital copying  

Picture: Pixabay.

Use of pictures and photographs

It is allowed to use published pictures and photographs in studies and research work if the photograph or picture relates to the text and it is properly acknowledged and referenced. Pictures of arts may be taken if the work is permanently situated at public place or immediately close to it. Buildings may be freely photographed.

Please take into account personal data protection regulations if there is any identifiable person in a picture. See Guidelines and procedures of personal data processing in studies and research at Hanken.

Also note that all author information needs to be properly referenced in your own work, even if the picture was taken by yourself. More information, see Open science and use of images: Requirements for using images in a thesis by Aalto University. 

Kuvasto represents visual artists from Finland and abroad. It grants users permission to use works of the artists.

See also:

- Infographic “Can I use that picture?”, Curtis Newbold, 2014, the Visual Communication Guy.

- Fine Art and Photography in Art Universities Copyright Advice, Aalto University.

- Design, Architecture and Graphic Design in Art Universities Copyright Advice, Aalto University.

Use of pictures and photographs  

Picture: Kaique Rocha, Pexels

Use of music

Principally, copyright gives authors of music (composers, authors of lyrics, and arrangers) exclusive rights to use and distribute their work subject to their permission. There are, however, restrictive provisions which cannot limit the author’s moral rights but nevertheless enable copying and using of music under certain conditions.

Furthermore, you do not have to obtain the permission directly from the authors, but from the organization that represents them if the authors are members of the organization. In Finland, authors of music are represented by Teosto Ry.

Music in public domain can be used without permission and without compensation.

More information, see also:

- Music in Art Universities Copyright Advice, Aalto University.

- Gramex: the collective management organisation for recorded music in Finland.

Use of music  

Picture: Pixabay

Use of films and videos

Films generally cannot be used without separate authorization. On the other hand, the author’s exclusive rights to their works are not absolute, but have practical restrictions. Students can produce a few copies of a published work for private use. A copy can be photocopying, scanning, as well as downloading materials from a network to a hard drive, CD disc and mobile phone. The copy made for private use may not be used for any other purpose.

The National Audiovisual Archive may pass works in its collections to users for research and private studying purposes at the premises of a library under certain conditions. This is not applied to films made by foreign producers. See Use of films in the National Audiovisual Archive by Pirjo Kontkanen.

More information, see:

- Theatre, dance, film and other audiovisual works in Art Universities Copyright Advice, Aalto University.

- Audiovisual Producers Finland - APFI: APFI represents the interests of producers in the field of audiovisual content production and is responsible for the collective management of copyrights.

Use of films and videos  

Picture: Pexels

E-resources use

Though materials are freely available online, it is not freely usable in all possible ways. E-resources are very often protected by copyright, database right laws and other Intellectual Property Rights. Check the pages to see their terms of use. If there are no terms, you still have to consider what legislation could be applied to the materials. More information, see Advice for web use by Pirjo Kontkanen and Digital Learning Material by Anna Keune and Maria Rehbinder.

Hanken library has acquired a wide range of e-materials: databases, e-books, online journals and others. Students need to familiarize themselves with the terms of use of each e-material.

When using e-resources, students usually have the right:

  • to browse and make information retrievals;

  • to print suitable copies of search results for personal, non-commercial use;

  • to download and save reasonable amounts of search results for personal, non-commercial use; and

  • to email, mail or fax a single copy of the material to another person for personal use.

When using e-resources, students are not permitted:

  • to use materials for commercial purpose;

  • to print or copy entire works (for example, the whole e-book);

  • to copy articles or other materials to, for example, Moodle or your own webpages;

  • to download resources using robots or other data mining software;

  • to use programs which automatically search or rake for resources (spider, crawler, robot);

  • to distribute, sell and publish the materials; and

  • to modify, apply, move, translate or create resources based on the resources provided by the service or commit any other action which violates the copyright restrictions of the resources.


Students’ original and creative literary works such as assignments, theses and dissertations, are protected by copyright. When the thesis is made available to the public, the author’s name must be mentioned.

Theses submitted to the university for examination are considered as publically accessed documents. Hanken students are asked to write the theses in such a manner that confidential information is left out from the latest published version.

More information, see:

- Thesis and Course Work by Anna Keune and Maria Rehbinder, Aalto University.

- The Copyright of Work Produced by Students by Anna Keune and Sanna Vilmusenaho, Aalto University.

- Copytight: Theses, Lappeenranta University of Technology.


All doctoral graduates at Hanken may publish their thesis in the Economics and Society series. If you choose to do so, you need to sign an agreement permitting electronic archival, publication and distribution on the school’s website. The electronic version will be freely available for downloads and printing in Hanken’s institutional repository DHanken.

A publication agreement is made with the author and Hanken receives the commercial rights for the work.

Authors shall assure that:

  • the works are made by them originally,

  • they have the rights referring to the figures, tables, charts, maps and other copyrighted elements used both in the printed dissertation and in the electronic form of the dissertation,

  • they have asked for the co-authors’ approval if they include any co-authored articles, and that

  • they have Author reuse permissions to include the published or forthcoming articles in both the printed dissertation and the electronic version of the dissertation in DHanken, in the case of article dissertations where the publication contains parts that have already been, or will be, published elsewhere. It is the author’s responsibility to clarify the copyright of those parts from relevant publishers for both the printed and electronic forms of the dissertation. If the publisher does not allow including the article(s) to the electronic form of the dissertation, the article(s) will be left out of the electronic form of the dissertation.  

More information, see Hanken's instructions on how to publish doctoral theses.

See also Copyright: Dissertations, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT.

Open access materials

Although open access refers to unrestricted access to digital content and data free of charge, certain open materials can also have restricted use. Creative Commons licences offers free, easy-to-use copyright licences to give users permission to share and use the materials.

More information, see also Creatives Commons in this LibGuide.

Additional resources

- Finnish Copyright Act.

- Copyright in teaching by Pirjo Kontkanen, laywer, University of Helsinki.

- Art University Copyright Advice by Aalto University.

- Copyright: Use of materials by Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT.