Use for educational purposes

According to art. 19 para. 1 (a) CopA, the use of works for a teacher and their students for educational purposes is permitted. This exception is limited by the intention behind it – insofar as it refers to teaching in the broader sense and covers the use of the work by the teacher and their students, but the use of the work must have a direct educational purpose.

The scope of this exception is also narrower than use for personal purposes. In fact art. 19 para. 3 (a) CopA prohibits the complete or substantial reproduction of works available commercially. In order to determine if a work, in its commercial form, has been substantially reproduced, it is necessary either to identify the percentage of the work which has been reproduced or ask if a consumer is prepared to settle for the incomplete reproduction of the work (Ruedin P.E. in: de Werra/Guilliéron (ed.), CoRo, Propriété intellectuelle [Intellectual Property] p. 198).

The right of a teacher or student to make a work, for example a photo or some other piece of work, available on social media is therefore subject to several conditions:

  • The work in question must only be made available to the group of people comprising the teacher and their students. The unrestricted publication on social media of a work, even if it is intended for students, does not comply with this requirement.

  • The teacher or the student must not publish a substantial amount of the work in its commercially available form. In fact, when content is shared over the Internet, the action of the sender in making it available inevitably equates to reproduction by the recipient, which is outside of the scope of application of this exception.