Copyright

The Swedish Copyright Act (Swedish Code of Statutes, SFS 1960:729) gives all originators the same protection, regardless of nationality. The persons who create a literary or artistic work have the right to decide how the work may be used. The copyright act also applies to material published on the Internet.

In order for a literary or artistic work to be granted copyright, the work must meet the threshold of originality, i.e., the work must have a certain degree of originality and independence. The requirements for meeting the threshold of originality are considered low in Sweden. Most literary or artistic works are therefore protected by copyright. 

How long is a work protected by copyright?

A work is protected by copyright 70 years after the death of the originator. Anonymous works are protected 70 years after the publication of the work.

What works are protected by copyright?

  • Factual texts (news articles, research articles, textbooks, student theses, etc.) and literary texts (novels, short stories, poems, etc.) as well as translations.
  • Works of art (photographs, paintings, sculptures, drawings, images, etc.). Building plans and utility goods.
  • Computer programs, databases and catalogues.

How may I use texts written by others?

  • You have the right to make single copies for private use of limited parts of literary works.
  • You have the right to quote from published works according to good practice and context.
  • Public documents from authorities, the government and local authorities can in most cases be used freely
  • The name of the author must always be stated when using his/her work

How may I use images created by others (photographs, illustrations, diagrams, tables, films, videos, audio files)?

  • You have to ask for permission from the originator before using copyrighted images. The permission should be in writing and should be saved.
  • State the source immediately after each image and in the reference list or in a separate list of illustrations
  • Permission is required if you use tables/diagrams from a book/journal if they distinctly have an  image-like layout
  • Concerning photographs of individuals, permission must also be granted from the individual being photographed.
  • Concerning photographs of works of art, permission must also be granted from the artist or the copyright owner.

Where do I find the copyright owner of an image?

  • On the reverse page of the title page (for books)
  • In the list of illustrations of a work
  • In close proximity to the image

More information

Writing guide