Dutch term – Auteursrecht

Auteursrecht (literally: author law) is the Dutch term for copyright.

Here are some things that you need to know about copyright in the Netherlands:

  • Copyright expires seventy years after the death of the creator, after which time the work becomes part of the public domain.
  • Copyright requires originality. There is no copyright on a truthful reproduction of a record in the public domain. The provider of the scan can set limits on reuse in the terms of use of the website, but this is rare in the Netherlands.
  • Copyright is automatic. An author  doesn’t need to place a copyright notice on the work or register it somewhere to claim copyright.
  • There is no “fair use” doctrine in Dutch law. There is a right to quote, which is more limited than fair use in other countries. The quoted material may only be a minor part of the work.
  • In general, works created by the government are free of copyright. Under the reuse of government information law, anybody is entitled to receive a copy at cost price.

(and I am not a lawyer, yada yada so don’t take my word for it but consult a lawyer if you have any questions)

writing man

Writer behind his desk. Credits: Willem van de Poll, collection Nationaal Archief (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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