Films are protected under the Danish Copyright Act

Films are protected by the Danish Copyright Act. Therefore you are not allowed to use films in e-learning unless you have permission or if it just a quotation, etc. See below.

Which films are protected under the Danish Copyright Act?

  • The Danish Copyright Act protects among others:
  • Documentaries
  • Short films
  • Animated cartoons
  • Puppet films
  • Computer animated films
  • Etc.

Who owns the copyright?

There are often an incredible number of people who share the copyright to films, for example scriptwriters, directors, actors, makeup artists, editors etc. The people who participate in making a film normally sign over most of their rights to the film company behind the film.

If you want to use films in e-learning contexts you need permission from the film company. You also need permission from any copyright holders who have not signed over their rights to the film company.

The easiest way to go about it is to contact Copydan AVU Medier who will be able to help you along.

What about very old films?

Films are protected until 70 years after the year of death of the director, scriptwriter, dialogue writer or the film score composer. If a film is so old that is no longer subject to copyright protection, you can use it in e-learning without permission.

Films from online services

Sometimes your educational institution already has permission, for example because it has an agreement with an online service that entitles the users to use copyright protected films for e-learning purposes. The online service has then secured the necessary permissions enabling users to use certain films as part of e-learning. This does not imply that you can use copyright protected films without permission: you have simply been given permission.

When are you allowed to use copyright protected films in e-learning contexts without the permission of the copyright holders?

  • If your educational institution has an agreement with Copydan AVU Medier stipulating that teachers are allowed to use films for e-learning purposes, you can use films as defined in the agreement.

You can read more about your possibilities at

  • You are allowed to use quoted passages to a limited extent, that is, borrow a small part of a film and use what you have borrowed in your e-learning material. It is only a quotation if what you borrow has a limited extent in the film as well as in your e-learning material. The quoted passage must be “moving pictures”. Using a still image from a movie, however, is not a quotation. If you want to use a still for e-learning purposes, you must follow the rules that apply to the use of images in e-learning.

I’m only going to use films in a closed group forum on an intranet. Surely that is OK?

No, it is not. The Danish Copyright Act generally does not discern between Inter- and intranet.

Is it legal to link to copyrighted films in e-learning contexts?

Read more about this in the article on e-learning and linking here at

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