Skip to content

Copyright and plagiarism

Published: 14 June 2016

What is copyright?

Copyright is a law (SFS 1960:729), which protects literary and artistic works. When the author creates a work it is automatically copyrighted which gives the author the right to decide if, how and when the work may be used or distributed.

A work can be printed material such as books, articles, notes, pictures or maps, but there are also works that are not printed, such as music, theatre, speeches, movies, computer programs and digital works.

Moral and economic rights

Copyright consists of moral and economic rights. Moral rights imply that the copyright holder has the right to be mentioned and respected for his work. Economic rights can be sold or given away, for example to a publisher. The copyright expires 70 years after the author's death.

Referencing and citing public works

It is permitted to reference and cite texts taken from public works, without the author's consent. The citation should not be too long, rather its use must justify the purpose of the objective. The reference or citation must state who the copyright holder is in addition to where the reference was taken from.

How much can I copy?

There is an agreement with copying rules for teachers and students at colleges and universities. The agreement gives teachers and students certain rights to copy and share material that is copyrighted. For information on what applies to you as a student, you can read more about the agreement on Bonus Access Copyright.

How can I use pictures?

You may not distribute pictures, photographs and illustrations that you did not create, without permission. You have to ask permission to post them on the Web or to use them in different kinds of assignments or theses. In addition to the copyright holder's permission, you need to clearly show who is the originator. It is not allowed to spruce up the material with other people's pictures or illustrations if the copyright holder has not approved it. It is not permitted to copy and distribute materials that someone else has put out on the Web without permission.

Many people who publish images, lectures, music or movies on the web use the international Creative Commons licenses (CC) to show how the material may be used and disseminated. You can through the licenses authorize or prohibit changes and commercial use.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is taking formulations, facts, and ideas from someone else's published or unpublished work and use in your own. No one should take credit for someone else's work and it must be clear who is behind the work you use and are inspired by.

Plagiarism is:

  • Submitting another's work as your own
  • Submitting your own work or group work that was used before in an earlier course
  • Copying phrases and sentences without indicating their sources, or copying images, diagrams, tables, music, parts of computer programs, etc., without indicating the source and without permission by the copyright holder
  • Using ideas, theories, facts, methods, or data from another's work without citing the source
  • Referencing without citing the source
  • Referencing with similar words to the original text even if the source is indicated correctly. The reference is too similar to the original text if synonyms replace a few words, direct copying of the sentence without citation marks, or directly translating from another language without specifying it is a translation
  • Writing text that builds more upon other sources than your own comments and reflections

LTU uses a tool that makes it possible to check the students' texts and works. Plagiarism and violating copyright law will lead to disciplinary matters.