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Can lecturers create a collection of photos or slides in the library for educational purposes?


The photos or slides we refer to here are often copied or scanned from books. Under the education restriction (exception 2 for education), they can be copied and disclosed to explain a certain subject matter in education, provided that the rightsholder receives fair compensation. The creation of a collection of photos or slides for use in education may also be permitted based on this restriction, for example if the collection is created specifically for students to look at images to name certain objects (in art history, for example). According to the education restriction, only a few works by the same creator can be included in a compilation work (which may also include a collection).

If the collection is designed for occasional use by lecturers for educational purposes, it may not be justifiable to rely on the education restriction for library use. In that case, you may need the rightsholders' prior permission to include their works in the collection (or database). A special exception applies to the collections of education institution's libraries. They can disclose works from their own collections on an intranet site that can only be accessed within the institution. A collection of photos or slides that a library has obtained legally – for example by buying them – can also be made available in this way.

Before 2004, institutions and companies were still permitted to make a (digital or other type of) copy for their employees’ own use. (In practice, these were often referred to as a backup copies). Now only private individuals can take a copy for their own study or personal use. Libraries can still make a preservation copy of works from their own collection, provided that the original is at risk of expiring. Digital works in their collection can also be converted to suit new software in order to keep them accessible.

With regard to photos taken by students in an educational setting, libraries and students should explicitly stipulate that the photos can be used for educational purposes and can be included in an analogue or digital database. If the photos were taken by lecturers as part of their employment with the education institution, the education institution owns the copyright and the library can assume that the photos can be included in a collection for educational use.