CopyrightCheck: understanding copyright on educational resources

The CopyrightCheck tool analyses educational resources provided to students in the digital learning environment (LMS) and automatically classifies them as copyrighted, open access or proprietary works. This provides insight into the use of digital educational resources.

Student werkt in bibliotheek

Understanding the use of educational resources

Universities all have to deal with it. Controls on copyrighted educational resources in the digital learning environment (LMS). Teachers who place educational resources in the LMS are not always aware of the rules around copyright. Institutions run into problems, such as additional levies, if instructors use educational resources without taking copyright into account. SURF therefore developed a tool together with a number of institutions, commissioned by UNL. To help institutions and publishers (represented by the UvO Foundation) properly regulate the (re)use of copyright-protected educational resources. Less control afterwards, but instead to offer help and advice in advance.

    The tool helps understand how much and in what way copyrighted and open access educational resources is used within the educational institution.

    What is CopyrightCheck?

    CopyrightCheck provides an overview of educational resources that instructors and course coordinators share with students within the digital learning environment (LMS). The tool helps gain insight into how much and in what way copyright-protected and open access educational resources are used within the educational institution. In addition, educational institutions can use CopyrightCheck to report more easily to the UvO Foundation.

    Benefits for institutions

    • Awareness of copyright among teachers increases.
    • Copyright infringement and retrospective levies are easier to prevent.
    • Reports provide research universities and universities of higher education with insight and opportunities for steering
    • Open-access efforts by UNL and UKB are better utilised within education.
    • Licensing agreements between publishers and research universities are also better utilised. We can move towards more customised agreements, based more on actual use.

    Further development

    CopyrightCheck's roadmap includes three areas of focus:

    • Besides management reports and the AIP dashboard, develop an instructor tool to be integrated into the LMS. In the lecturer tool, the lecturer or course coordinator will see when uploading whether a educational resource is classified as acquisition (short, medium or long).
    • Look up more licensing information on educational resources. This is important not to overestimate the number of payable takeovers.
    • CopyrightCheck does not yet analyse images or videos and does not yet look for takeovers within its own work. We will investigate whether images and several separately placed chapters can be jointly recognised as longer takeovers.


    If you work at a higher education institution that pays SURF's Basic Infrastructure Fee, your institution will pay nothing extra for CopyrightCheck from 1 January 2024.

    An additional fee applies for mbo-institutions and non-SURF members.

    Interested in CopyrightCheck?

    Do you have questions or is your institution interested in purchasing CopyrightCheck? If so, please contact product manager Mirjam Büttner at