Information about copyright and fair use

Copyright and Fair Use

Hungarian copyright law, incorporating the EU copyright harmonisation Directive 2001/29/EC, is governed by Law no. LXXVI of 1999 on Copyright (HU, EN) and its later amendments. All EU member states are also parties to the Berne Convention, which stipulates protection based on the place of first publication.

In the United States, copyright law is governed by the federal Copyright Act of 1976. By the same token, contractual license agreements govern the access, use, and reproduction of most of the CEU Library’s electronic databases and limit their use to non-commercial, educational, or personal research purposes and strictly forbid facilitating unauthorized access by others outside of the University.

Fair use of library documents

Library documents are copyright protected. For private study or non-commercial research you generally can make a single copy of:

  • one complete chapter from a book.
  • one whole article from a single issue of a journal.
  • no more than 10 percent of a work.

In electronic works you can usually print/download a single copy for personal use. Permission of the copyright owner is needed for multiple copying, reproduction (systematic downloading is forbidden), distribution, republishing and selling.

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.

Course readings in Moodle

Copyright laws apply to digital content the same as they do for paper. In general, the library should own at least one copy of the work used in Moodle courses. Copyrighted works may be used without obtaining permission if they comply with the fair use. It is faculty members who are responsible for securing permission to upload their course materials on Moodle. Clearance fees are often high. Please do not upload articles/book chapters downloaded from electronic journals (databases). Linking from Moodle generally does not raise any copyright questions. Always designate the source and the author.


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 any other publishing option.

Interlibrary loan (ILL)

Interlibrary loan items are often made available to our patron 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.