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Copyright FAQ

What does copyright actually mean? Here are some questions and answers about what happens when you or someone else creates something unique.

Flicka fotograferar med mobilen

Photo: Hans Berggren/Scandinav.

1. What is copyright?

A copyright comes into being as soon as you’ve created something new and original all by yourself a picture you’ve drawn, a song you’ve written, a photo you’ve taken, a video you’ve made, etc. You have the right to control what you’ve created.

2. What is a “work”?

What you’ve created is called a “work”, like a work of art. You decide whether anyone else is allowed to copy and perhaps share your work online or distribute it through other channels. Anyone who gets your permission to use your work must make it clear that you’re the creator of the work.

Nobody can use your work in an offensive way. Nor are people allowed to change or do anything weird to your work.

3. Do you always have to ask before using copyrighted works?

You can copy protected works for private use without asking. But if you want to use someone else’s work in your own work – by editing someone else’s video into your own or pasting someone else’s text into your essay, for example – you need the permission of the copyright holder.

4. Do you have to register your copyright with an authority?

No. The protection comes into being as soon as the work is created, and is held by the person who created the work. Copyright applies throughout much of the world.

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