Uses in the classroom

Copyright also applies for schools. However, the Copyright Act permits teachers and students to use protected works in class. In class, you can listen to music, sing songs, read and write stories or watch films as much as you like. It does not matter if the teacher sells or rents copies of the works. The use of works is not only permitted in the classroom, in the presence of the students – the teacher can also put a work on the school’s intranet, as long as the class has access to it. That being said, a work may not be uploaded on the publicly accessible school website without the permission of the rights owner.


Teachers are not permitted to completely or almost completely reproduce copies of works that are commercially available such as books, CDs or DVDs. An almost complete copy is one that is so comprehensive that the user would have no interest in buying a complete copy. There are no specific rules such as “Ten pages, two chapters or 10% of the work may be reproduced.” As part of the applicable joint tariff, the rights owners have, however, granted permission for the recording of full pieces of music and films from the radio and television.


The exception for using works in class does not cover the copying of paintings, musical notation or computer programs or the recording of lectures, stage performances or concerts. However, in this case too, the applicable joint tariff authorises certain uses. The collective management organisation ProLitteris can provide you with more information.

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