Information about copyright and fair use

Copyright at Central European University

Central European University is accredited in the United States, Hungary, and Austria. For this reason, the legal copyright principles of the respective country may apply. Most of the students and faculty are in Vienna, so this is the reason why the Austrian Copyright is put into the focus of the considerations. Furthermore, copyright is a territorial right, i.e., the rules will change, depending on where the use of the protected work is taking place.

The legal framework is set forth in the Austrian Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz UrhG). It regulates – among other things – that protected works may not be reproduced, distributed, or made available by third parties without permission of the author(s).

For research and teaching at CEU the most practical ways to follow the Austrian intellectual property rights law are as follows.

Use in scientific work

Works from other sources may be incorporated into the author’s own scientific work and thus reproduced, disseminated and made available (online) without further inquiry if:

  • the author’s own (“citing”) work is scientific.
  • they have already been published before.
  • the scope of their use is justified.
  • they are dealt with in terms of content, and not only embellished with it.
  • they are cited correctly (source is indicated).
  • posting online does not include works from teaching materials (textbooks, lecture notes, etc.) Permission must be obtained for this.

Use for online teaching

Making works of others available online for the purpose of teaching, is permitted without further inquiry, if:

  • the use is made from an educational institution.
  • the works have been published before.
  • the user group is delimited (as with CEU’s elearning plattform, Moodle).
  • the use is not commercial.
  • the use is as far as required for the respective purpose (integration of the foreign work is absolutely necessary, only in extracts, no whole books).
  • the citation is correct (source is indicated)
  • Restriction: Entire teaching materials (textbooks, lecture notes, etc.) may not be placed online, permission must be obtained for this.

Use for talks

Third-party works may be included in publicly held talks without further inquiry if:

  • they have already been published previously.
  • the extent of their use is justified.
  • they are dealt with in terms of content, and not just embellished with it.
  • they are cited correctly (source is indicated).
  • This regulation applies to scientific and instructional lectures.
  • It also applies to pictures and graphics from textbooks.
  • Handouts are allowed (i.e. reproduction and distribution are allowed).
  • Online publication of talks with integrated external works is also permitted if the user group is delimited (as in intranets or learning platforms) and no works from teaching materials (textbooks, lecture notes, etc.) are included (permission must be obtained for this).

Permission obtained from copyright holder

If a third-party work is to be used in your own work, it is also possible within the legal framework to ask the author or the rights holder (publisher, agency, etc.) for permission.

Please pay attention to the following:

  • Full texts may only be printed or stored for personal use and research purposes. Any commercial use is prohibited.
  • Full texts are not allowed to be passed on to third parties, either electronically or in printed form.
  • Systematic download of articles or search results especially by robots, spiders or search engines is prohibited.
  • In case the book scanner is used, digitization of entire books or journal issues is not legally authorized.
  • Your agreement to the copyright note is necessary if you like to use the book scanner.
  • By using the copy machines take note of the copyright note next to the machines in the library.

Use cases

Publication repository

As a rule, publishers have policies about which version of a journal article will be allowed to be uploaded into an institutional repository. Almost all permit the original submitted version (pre-print), some the author’s peer-reviewed version (post-print), and some even the published version (publisher’s PDF). Information about the conditions attached to publications in individual journals can be found on the SHERPA/RoMEO websites. If you are not sure, you can always link to your full text through the article’s DOI (digital object identifier) or the permalink pointing to a database.

Please upload pre-prints/post-prints and do not download copies of articles/book chapters from electronic journals (databases) and upload them to the repository. For further information, you may also consult the SPARC’s Copyright for Authors. We recommend checking your agreement with the publisher before uploading documents to the institutional repository.


You need to clear copyright (or obtain permissions) for all material included in your thesis/dissertation before making it available.

Your agreement with CEU is non-exclusive – you still own the copyright to your thesis/dissertation and you can freely pursue other publishing options depending on the publisher.

Interlibrary Loan ILL/Document Delivery

Interlibrary loan items will be provided only in print and their use may be limited in its scope due to copyright restrictions. The conditions are always set by the lending library/provider.

Documents which we provide via document delivery are submitted due to copyright and contractual reasons in paper format to library patrons.

Many parts of the above-mentioned text correspond essentially to the PDF file Urheberrecht für Lehrende (Copyright for lecturers), Version 3.4 of Vetmeduni Vienna.

With the kind permission of Dr. Michael Bernkopf/Vetmeduni Vienna, extracts were translated and adapted to the needs of Central European University Private University.