Universiteit Leiden

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Education, Library

Adaptation to publishing copyrighted materials on Brightspace

5 September 2023

Our learning environment Brightspace allows lecturers to share material with students. Copyrighted materials are also shared in this way. The university pays publishers for this. This is done through the UvO Foundation. But, last year, a new agreement was concluded by UNL and the SBF (vice-presidents CvB of all universities). In it, a number of things have been adjusted. Please pay attention, because chances are you will have to adjust your workflow in the future.

Number of pages changed

An important change is the maximum number of pages from the same publication that can be posted on Brightspace per course.

Previously: 50 pages for books of 200 pages and more; for books of less than 200 pages, it was 25% of the total number of pages.

From now on: 40 pages for books of 200 pages and more; for books of less than 200 pages, it is now 20% of the number of pages.

About the contract

The new contract has been concluded for a period of three years (2023-2025). The amounts per year paid jointly by the universities to foundation UvO are 6 mln, 6.5 mln and 7 mln, respectively. This is a fixed annual amount, as there is still no agreement on actual use. Leiden pays about 10% of these amounts.

Useful: CopyrightCheck tool as of January 2024

Meanwhile, SURF has developed the CopyrightCheck, a tool to (fairly accurately) chart usage in an automated way. The tool can also detect infringements (when, for example, another lecturer creates a pdf of an entire book and posts this pdf on Brightspace after all). The tool will be included in SURF's basic package from 1 January 2024, and can be used then. It is expected that from 2026, universities will settle with the UvO foundation on the basis of actual use. Faculties will then also be charged internally for their actual use.


Following the discussions in the aforementioned UNL Steering Committee for Operations and Finance, it is currently being investigated how actual use in Leiden can best be made transparent (possibly with the help of the SURF CopyrightCheck) and in which department the ownership/responsibility for this will lie.

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