Copyright at the Historical Archives of the European Union

Audio-visual works are protected by copyright laws. The Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) generally does not own the rights to the audio-visual materials in its holdings. Therefore, it does not presume to grant or deny permission for users to publish or otherwise distribute the material or charge fees for the use of such material. Users are responsible for assessing and abiding by copyright or other restrictions on materials found in the HAEU holdings, before publishing or distributing them.

Whenever possible, the HAEU provides information about copyright and other restrictions in the conditions of access and use, and/or in the archival descriptions associated with the materials. The HAEU provides such information in order to respect the moral rights of the creators, but also to provide context to facilitate users’ understanding and help them determine the appropriate use.

General Rules

The Rules Governing the Access and Use of the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) and specifically the “Publication section”, specifies that it is the responsibility of the user to discuss copyright issues with the authors or holders of exploitation rights prior to publishing or distriburing audio-visual material:

  • (8) The publication and dissemination of reproductions of records preserved at the HAEU is prohibited. Derogations to this rule may be requested for non-commercial uses, academic utilization and educational purposes.
  • (13) Any violation of copyrights or abuse of personal data resulting from the use of copies of documents held at Historical Archives is exclusively the user’s responsibility.

Rights Statements

The HAEU is working to assess the copyright status of each audio-visual holding. Users may find rights statements in the Reproduction Conditions field of the respective holding or collection.

Example: Fabrizia Baduel Glorioso

Reproduction Conditions

The HAEU may not own all the rights on the audio-visual materials present in this fonds. Images produced by the European Commission and the European Parliament may be used without restrictions for non-commercial purposes such as research and education. For images where information on the creator or on the reproduction rights is lacking, it is the responsibility of the user to investigate and abide by potential copyright restrictions. Likewise, users should also investigate copyright or other restrictions on images produced by third parties such as external agencies or freelance photographers. Any copyright violations resulting from the use of audio-visual documents held at the Historical Archives of the European Union are the sole responsibility of the user.

A rights statement may also be present in the description of the specific item:

Term Scope note
Some copyright restrictions may apply. To indicate items created by commercial photographers or external agencies that were deposited by entities or individuals who were not themselves the copyright holders of the image.
No known restrictions on publication, except for commercial purposes. To indicate items that apparently have no restrictions except restrictions on commercial use. This normally applies to images produced by the EU institutions or agencies, or institutions that have created or commissioned the audio-visual works, and where exploitation rights are held by the depositing institutions. Images produced by institutions can also be found in private collections.
No information on creator or on reproduction rights is available To indicate an item for which, thus far, the Archives has not discovered information regarding the creator or reproduction rights associated with it.
Rights status not evaluated To indicate items for which the Archives has not yet evaluated copyright or other possible restrictions on usage, and thus cannot provide any information in that regard.
Public Domain To indicate items in in the public domain, such as photographs created by an author who has been deceased for more than 75 years.

How can I find out who created or produced the document?

Check the document to find indications on copyright. In the case of photographs, this information may often be found on the back. If there is no mention of copyright, the material is considered of unknown authorship.

Please note that determining copyright and authorship of videos and films is even more complex. These materials may include footage from various sources, and there could be several holders of the exploitation rights.

Films may also have an audio element, whereby some parts may be restricted to specific uses.

How to cite HAEU audio-visual items

When HAEU material is reproduced in a publication or website, or otherwise distributed, the HAEU requests a correct and complete citation of the source.

The citation should include:

  • the authorship (author and/or institution) of the resource
  • reference to the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU)
  • the specific collection which includes the image
  • the image reproduction (ID) number

Example 1

User has selected a photo found in the Francois Ortolli (FXO) holding, file FXO-236 with code FXO-236-01 and unknown authorship.

  • Unknown Author / HAEU, FXO-236-01

Example 2

User has selected a photo found in the Franco Maria Malfatti (FMM) holding, file FMM-75 with code FMM-75-05 taken by Jean Louis Debaize and provenance of the Photo Library of the European Commission.

The source may be cited as in the examples below.

  • Jean Louis Debaize - Photo Library of the European Commission / HAEU, FMM-75-05

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