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Health, Safety and Environment / Safety / Data security

Who owns the information and the results

Information and results represent values that are often linked to copyright and intellectual property rights.




Copyright, as regulated by the Copyright Act, protects man-made works.

Copyright protects artistic, scientific and literary works. Copyright applies from the moment the work is created and, unlike patents and trademarks, without any form of registration. The prerequisite is that the end result is something new and original that expresses an individual creative effort. This applies to all forms of expression, such as paintings, sculptures, books, publications, exam questions, presentations, self-written songs, computer programmes, drawings or photographs.

The Copyright Act ( bestows the author with the authority over his intellectual property. To use copyrighted material, you must have the author's permission.

There are a number of agreements that regulate the use of other people's intellectual property. Universities and colleges have an agreement with Kopinor which allows teachers to copy a certain number of pages, which they can then pass on to their students.

Use of copyrighted material

You must have the author's permission to use his / her  intellectual property.

This means, for instance, that you are not allowed to download other people's music, pictures or text from the internet to your own website / blog. The material you wish to use must be published and made available with the consent of the author. You can, however, freely link to other people's intellectual property. By making a link, you are simply referring to the place where the material can be found without personally copying or disclosing it. This is a completely legal way to share things.

The right to quote

The right to quote is a restriction to the author’s exclusive rights. It is rooted in right to freedom of speech, which is meant to ensure free discussion and debate. The right to quote means that you can freely reproduce excerpts from others' intellectual property to illuminate a point and / or comment on the work that the quote originates from. When quoting, the author and his/ her work must be mentioned with the  correct source reference.

The quote must be loyal to the meaning of the contenxt that it is derived from and only make up a small part of your work (e.g. your exam answer). The material must not be changed or deteriorated - you are therefore not allowed to reproduce the entire work, but only a part, a section or a detail.

Art (e.g. public statues) and photographs (e.g. photographs of celebrities and politicians in a public context) that are accessible to everyone may be used as illustrations. However, there are some limitations in this regard; the material must be used in a critical / scientific context, such as an exam answer, it must not be aimed at a large audience and not used commercially.

Creative Commons (CC)

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organisation that works to make intellectual property accessible and to facilitate for sharing based on the author’s conditions. Several of the pictures used on this site about data security and protection of personal information are retrieved from Flickr and available under CC. The restrictions that apply can be understood from the letter combinations specified in the captions. You can read more about what the letter combinations mean in one of the links under the heading "More about this topic".

Copying in social media

An important aspect of the social media Twitter, for instance, is that you can "retweet”  (i.e. reproduce) tweets. This is a central element of the rules of the game and legal as long as it takes place inside Twitter. To extract tweets in order to use them in another context, e.g. in research, would be something else.

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Intellectual property rights

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is a collective term for copyright and industrial rights; i.e. legal exclusive rights that protect intellectual property.

Industrial rights mainly include patents, registered or incorporated trademarks and designs. With the help of such rights, companies and research institutions can manage the values of their innovations.

An idea that has materialised in one form or another, an invention, a particular design or pattern, a book or a dissertation are all examples of intellectual properties that you might want to legally protect.

At OsloMet we have a IPR policy regulating students and employees' rights to work results.

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IPR policy at OsloMet.

OsloMet's rules about ownership of information and results.