Licences and limitations related to copyright

Lukko ketjussa

The general principle of copyright is that a work may be used in the manner specified in the Copyright Act, and only with the permission of the author and in the manner permitted by the author.


Licences for the use of a work may be granted by the author of the work or by another holder of the rights. A licence may also be obtained from a copyright society to whom the copyright holders have assigned the authority to grant permission to use works on their behalf.

According to the limitations of the Copyright Act, works may be used without the permission of the rightholder in certain situations. For instance, works may be quoted in a manner consistent with good practice, and copied for the purpose of private use. However, computer programs and databases must not be copied for private use. Other exceptions include, inter alia, the use of works in teaching activities, archives, libraries and museums, copying for the needs of the disabled, and the use of works for information purposes.

Copyright does not require registration or a separate entry. If the copyright holder so wishes, however, he or she may describe the terms and conditions for the use of the work with an open licence or specify them in the terms and condition of use on a website. For example, Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation with a standardised licence system, by which the copyright holder can explain how the work is permitted to be used.

Information about Creative Commons licences (in Finnish)

Copyright licences from copyright organisations

Centrally obtained licences for government and educational institutions

The Finnish National Agency for Education negotiates and acquires licences for photocopying and digital use of works in educational institutions and state administration, as well as licences for the use of television and radio programmes in educational institutions.

More detailed information regarding the content and scope of these licences is available on Kopiosto’s website.

Teosten käyttöluvat / Kopiosto


Links to other websites

Contact information

Perttu Virtanen, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Kulttuuri- ja taidepolitiikan osasto (KUPO), Division for Copyright Policy and Audiovisual Culture Telephone:0295330505   Email Address: