The internet and social media may look like a smorgasbord of photos, videos and text ripe for the plucking by anyone working in journalism or any other type of publication. However, copyright applies here just as it does everywhere else. Always resist the temptation to swipe something that is currently circulating in the viral ecosystem (the fact that ‘everyone else is doing it’ is always a poor argument).
What is copyright? Copyright is protection for artistic creation. If what was created has a certain degree of autonomy and originality, it will have reached the threshold of originality. This means that it is protected by copyright. An originator has sole rights to their work and must therefore be asked for permission before it is used publicly. There are certain exceptions in Sweden’s Copyright Act that allow the general public to use a work without permission, for example, the right of quotation. To permit it to use works in its day-to-day operations, Swedish Radio has many contracts in place concerning music, literature and images.
A moral right is both the right to be named as the originator, for example to have your name published beside a photo you have taken, and the right not to have your work modified or placed in any context such that your literary or artistic reputation or character is harmed or besmirched. An originator also has the right to remain anonymous.
There are also opportunities to use material that you have not created yourself, for example under Creative Commons and its licensing system (more on this later) or with explicit permission from the copyright holder.
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions Swedish Radio journalists have about copyright online and on social media.
Can I publish a video with music on Instagram? Yes, if it is Creative Commons (CC) music, or if you have obtained permission to publish the music in the video from all rights holders (artist, composer/lyricist, musicians and any record company). This applies to all videos on all platforms. If you intend to elucidate or criticise the subject of the video, i.e. if the clip is a quotation, it is fine. For example, where the end product is a review of an artist’s new music video. Read more about this below under the heading ‘Right of quotation’.
But what if it is for a video on sverigesradio.se? The same applies as in the question above.
Can I publish a video in which music is heard in the background? Yes, you can have as much CC music as you want. If the music happened to be in the background, for example during an interview in town, it is also fine, but the music may not be the main focus of the interview. It may only be in the periphery. If the music is the main focus, the answers above apply.
Does this apply regardless of where the video is going to be published? Yes.
May I publish a video of an artist singing in our studio? Yes, if you reach an agreement with the artist and the artist also wrote the song. If someone else wrote the song, you also need the permission of the rights holder. This applies regardless of whether it will be published on social media or on sverigesradio.se.
We want to make our own version of a song, video ourselves dancing to the music and then publish it. Can we do that? Yes, if you obtain the rights from all rights holders or if the music is licensed under CC. Don’t forget to credit the originator.
If I obtain rights to the music in a film, do I have to indicate where it is published? Yes, that is recommended, and you must do it in writing. An email is sufficient.
I want to read aloud from a book in which our programme is mentioned and make a video of it for YouTube. Is that OK? Yes, if you get the permission of the rights holders. The same applies if it is to be published on Facebook, Instagram or other social media or on sverigesradio.se.
But what if I call it a quotation? Probably not if the video mainly consists of the quotation. A short part can be read out to illustrate, elucidate, comment on, or emphasise what you are talking about. Read more about this below under the heading ‘Right of quotation’.
We are making a video about children playing stringed instruments. Can we have cello music by Bach in the background? Bach’s music is free. However, the recording may still be protected (check the section below on music). Then you need the permission of the musicians (and perhaps the record company).
But isn’t that a quotation? If it is only in the background, it is very uncertain whether the purpose is to quote it. Is it really being used to develop, criticise or elucidate, or is it just to be able to use the music? (You can find out more about quotations if you scroll down) I want to read out part of a poem and publish it as a video on Instagram. Is that OK? Yes, a maximum one-minute video of any of SR’s literature programmes can be published on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. However, there is a price to be paid, and it must be reported via the literature reporting system.
Can I embed videos from YouTube on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if it is published on YouTube with the permission of the rights holders. Remember also to clearly separate the embedded video from other content to maintain the protection of the sverigesradio.se page under YGL. Consider also that videos on YouTube often begin with advertising.
Can I embed videos from YouTube on Facebook? Yes, if it is published on YouTube with the permission of the rights holders.
I have permission to publish a photo. Is there anything I must not forget to do? Yes, remember to name the photographer (read more about moral rights in the introduction).
Can I publish a screen shot of a web page? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
Can I publish a photo of a record cover? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
Can I publish a photo of a book cover? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
Can I publish a photo of a text? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
Can I publish a photo of myself with a computer monitor in the background showing another photo? No, unless you have permission from the holder of the rights to the photo (and other content on the web page), of course. This may be fine if the monitor is an insignificant part of the photo.
Can I publish a photo that I have taken of a work of art in a gallery? No, unless you have permission from the rights holder, of course.
Can I publish a photo of a work of art in a gallery that someone else has taken? No, unless you have permission from the originator of the work of art and the person who took the photo, of course.
The Act states that you may take an image of works of art that are permanently published outdoors? Yes, but after review in the Supreme Court, ‘taking an image’ does not include publication online. Obtain permission from the artist.
I want to take a still image from a video and publish it on sverigesradio.se. Can I? No, unless you have permission from the rights holder of the film, of course.
Can I make a collage of images I have found on sverigesradio.se? Talk to the photographers first.
As an employee, can I make a collage of photos taken of employees of Swedish Radio? Yes, but bear in mind moral rights. You can read more about that in the introduction.
Can I insert a portrait image of an employee of Swedish Radio into a photo taken of another employee of Swedish Radio? Yes, but remember not to infringe the moral rights of the photographers. You can find more information about this in the introduction.
I want to publish a Creative Commons image. What do I need to remember there? To use the licences that Swedish Radio may use (CC BY and CC BY-NC) and to credit the originator under the rules of the licence. For more information, scroll down.
If a listener has submitted a photo, can I use it on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if we have been clear that it may be used in that way. Otherwise, to make sure that Swedish Radio has the right to publish it (and to share the photo), you should ask the listener.
If a listener has posted a photo on our Facebook page, can we share it? Yes, that’s how Facebook works.
Can we use the photo posted on the Facebook page on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if the page clearly states that, if you do as the listener has done, Swedish Radio is granted that right. Otherwise, you should ask the rights holder.
If a listener has used a Swedish Radio hashtag for a photo, can I publish it on sverigesradio.se? No, a hashtag does not grant Swedish Radio any rights to the photo. However, it can be embedded in feeds, for example in Storify. Remember that embedded feeds must be clearly disclaimed from other content on the page to prevent the protection afforded under YGL from disappearing.
Can I publish photos taken by an employee of Swedish Radio on sverigesradio.se? Yes.
Can I publish photos taken by an employee of Swedish Radio on Facebook? Yes, and on other social media.
Can I share photos taken by Swedish Radio’s employees? Yes.
Can I use press photos on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if you do so according to the conditions for the photo. If there are no written conditions, just call and ask.
Can I share a press photo? Check the conditions for each press photo.
I have written a feature about sexist advertising. Can I publish a photo of the advertisement on sverigesradio.se? No, unless you have permission from the rights holder, of course. If you do not have permission, your manager must decide whether it is journalistically justified to commit copyright infringement.
What happens if you publish a photo without permission? You commit a copyright infringement. The rights holder (usually the photographer) is then entitled to compensation and damages for the unauthorised use.
What happens if you do not add the name of the photographer? You commit a copyright infringement. The photographer is then entitled to damages for not being named.
What does it cost to commit an image copyright infringement? We usually use the price lists from Svenska Fotografers Förbund (Sweden’s Association of Swedish Professional Photographers) and/or Bildleverantörernas förening (Sweden’s Image Suppliers Association).
What is the main rule when you want to use a photo? Ensure that you have permission to use it.
Can I quote a photo? No, still images are the only work you cannot quote from (more about the right of quotation below).
Can I post a photo of a lamp or fabric with a particular pattern? You need permission from the originator of the applied artwork or pattern, assuming they reach the threshold of originality, of course. If they do not, you are free to publish the photo if you have taken it yourself. Otherwise, you need permission from the photographer as well.
Can I embed a photo from Instagram on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if it is in accordance with the conditions for the service. Remember also to clearly disclaim the embedded photo from other content to maintain the protection of the sverigesradio.se page under YGL.
I have found some old photos that I want to share. How long are they subject to copyright? Photos that are works of art are protected for 70 years after the death of the originator, and for 50 years after they were taken if they are photographs with no scientific or artistic value. However, as the period of protection for photographs was extended from 25 to 50 years in 1994, photos with no scientific or artistic value are out of copyright if they were taken in 1968 or earlier.
AUDIO AND MUSIC ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Can I upload an audio clip with music to sverigesradio.se? Yes, if it is a series, it can be made available for up to 30 days after the last episode was broadcast. This also applies to previously published literature. Commissioned literary texts and drama can be made available for one year. Live music can be published for two years. The audio clip can then be shared in Swedish Radio’s embeddable player. If this involves contractual participation, payment must be made for the broadcast and the online publication under the contracts, and the music must be reported.
Can I post an audio clip with music directly on Facebook? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course. For literature, look at the last section under the heading ‘Videos’ above. Audio or text extracts from plays lasting for up to one minute may be published on social media, but only with the agreement of the playwright. On certain external platforms (but not Facebook) you can embed Swedish Radio audio via the embeddable player.
Can I upload an audio clip with music to sverigesradio.se without it being broadcast first? Yes, for two years if it is live music and the person performing the music is registered for corporate tax (in Sweden, this is called F-skatt). For more information, scroll down to the question on the protection period later in this section.
A teenage idol from the 1970s has died. Can we publish a music programme on her from the archive directly online? There is no room in the schedule. Yes. Don’t forget to report the music.
Can I share Swedish Radio’s embeddable player? Of course!
If a school class sings, can I use the music any way I like? No, the pupils have rights to their performance. If the music they sang was written by an originator who is still alive or who died less than 70 years ago, the music is also protected (for information about the protection period, scroll down).
I have found music online. Can I use it in a broadcast? Yes, if it is disseminated with the permission of the originator.
We write topical new satirical lyrics for popular songs and sing them in our programme. Can we upload them as audio files to sverigesradio.se? Yes, for two years. They can also be shared in the embeddable player.
I want to quote from a poem on Instagram. Is that OK? See the answer to the question in the last section under the heading ‘Videos’.
I want to post an extract from a play on social media. Can I do that? Yes, up to a minute if it is a play that will be/has been broadcast on Swedish Radio and you have the permission of the playwright.
Can I publish a photo of text on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
Can I publish text written by someone who is not an employee of Swedish Radio on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if you have permission from the rights holder, of course.
Can I publish text written by someone who is not an employee of Swedish Radio on a platform like Instagram? Yes, if you have permission from the rights holder.
Can I publish an extract from a text on sverigesradio.se? Yes, if it is a quotation, i.e. it is part of a context, and the rest of the text on the page elucidates, criticises or develops the extract from the text. The originator must always be stated, and the source of the text. The length of the quotation depends on its relevance to the subject matter of the article. The more relevance, the longer the quotation may be. See under the next heading, for more information on the right of quotation.
Can I publish an extract from a text on social media? See the answer above.
Can I publish just an extract from a text on social media? See the answer above.
Can I publish just an extract from a text on sverigesradio.se? No, because then it is not a quotation (see under the next heading for more information about quotations). If you have permission from the originator, it is OK.
We are going to have community singing on our next outside broadcast. Can we publish the sheet music and lyrics on sverigesradio.se? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
Can we put them on Facebook? No, unless you have permission from the rights holders, of course.
We are going to have community singing on our next outside broadcast and have written new topical lyrics for existing music. Can we publish the lyrics and sheet music on sverigesradio.se? You can publish the lyrics but as for the sheet music, you need to have permission from the rights holders (for new lyrics for existing music in audio format, see the last paragraph under the heading ‘Audio’).
Can I post my own text and just write ‘Music: Summer’? Yes.
Do I need to pay when I use a poem by Karin Boye (1900-1941). Aren’t her poems free to use? Yes, she has been dead for more than 70 years, so the poem is free to use. However, a reading may be protected (see below). Copyright works are protected for 70 years after the death of the originator, and performances/recordings of copyright works for 50 years after the performance/recording.
Consequently, in 2018, works by originators who died in 1947 or earlier are free, and performances/recordings made in 1967 or earlier are free. However, this does not apply to commercial recordings, which are protected for 70 years after the year of recording. For a commercial recording to be free to use, it must have been made in 1962 or earlier (as the period of protection was extended from 50 to 70 years in 2014). For photos, see the last section under the heading ‘Photos’.
RIGHT OF QUOTATION
What is a quotation? This is when you use an extract from a work to criticise, develop or elucidate the extract, as part of your own work, or to emphasise your own position. The work and examples you quote from must be published with the permission of the originator, and you are entitled to quote from all works apart from still images, and on all platforms.
The quotation must be placed in a context and not just used to make your own product a ‘bit more fun’ or because you want to play that clip to the listeners. So you need to be careful not to use more than is actually needed for the purposes of quotation. When quoting, you must indicate the name of the originator and the source of the quotation. Don’t forget to link to the original source at article level if the quotation is from an online newspaper, for example. In certain cases, however, there should be no link, for example if Swedish Radio does not want to name a person who is named in the original news item.
How long can a quotation be? There is no exact limit for how long or short a quotation may be. You may use as much as you need so that the audience understands how the quotation sounds, but no more. If it is music or literature, you do not need to remain within the quotation length. You can use as much as you want and then report the use, and make payment under the contract.
Can I quote a still image? No, images are the only copyright works from which you cannot quote.
JI have found a photo with a Creative Commons licence. Can I share it on social media? That depends on the licence the photo has, and how you intend to share it.