Frequently asked questions on copyright
What does the IB do with my work when it is submitted for assessment?
If you are a Diploma Programme candidate your school sends your exam scripts by courier to the examiner who has been selected to mark them. He or she could be anywhere in the world but will always send the marked scripts to the IB’s curriculum and assessment centre in Cardiff, in the United Kingdom. Here, the scripts are sorted and checked so that the material can be available for awarding the grades and, later, for the enquiry upon results process. Occasionally, artwork is sent directly to the curriculum and assessment centre for marking, but your school will tell you more about this if necessary.
The IB keeps all material until the close of the session. After that, most material, both scripts and artwork, is destroyed and paper items sent for recycling. Some material is kept for use in teacher training workshops, and a very small amount may be kept for use in IB publications including those intended to support teachers, especially when new courses are introduced.
I want to enter my extended essay for a competition. May I do this?
Yes, you may do this, both before and after the work is assessed. You hold the copyright. However, the IB would prefer that this happened afterwards simply to help ensure that you do not get an unfair advantage over other candidates and receive more feedback on your work than normal. You may also publish the essay but under the same constraints.
What is the difference between my holding the copyright in a piece of my work and it being the property of the IB?
You hold the copyright in any work that you create using your own skill, intelligence or imagination. When your school sends your work to the IB for assessment you retain copyright but give permission to the IB to use it as it needs. On the other hand, the physical item that is sent in becomes the property of the IB. This means that the IB has the freedom to dispose of paper scripts, three-dimensional artwork, tapes of music, and any other submitted candidate material, when it no longer needs it; it cannot store all items of candidate work indefinitely and needs to be able to periodically dispose of material to free up storage space. If you want any of your work back, you must ask your school to reclaim it through the enquiry upon results service.
What does “giving a non-exclusive licence to the IB to reproduce my work” mean?
You retain copyright of your material even when it is sent to the IB. However, the IB may need to copy it for examiners and moderators as part of the assessment process for your Certificate or Diploma. It also uses samples of candidate work to help teachers understand what the IB is looking for so that they can help students to better understand the course and prepare for examinations. A non-exclusive licence means that you give permission to the IB to do what it needs to do and that you can still do what you want to do with your work.
If my work is used in workshops or IB publications for teacher training, will everyone know that it is mine?
No, the IB always protects the identity of candidates and their schools when it reproduces candidate work for this purpose.
If my work is used in other IB publications, perhaps for promotional purposes, or to show the variety of high-level work that IB students can achieve, will my achievement be acknowledged?
Yes. For example, after an examination session the IB selects very good pieces of work for publication on the virtual gallery or the virtual concert hall on one or other of its websites. In such cases, the names of the candidate and the school are given.
What is “exclusive copyright” and when might I think of claiming it?
If you have produced something of exceptional quality or individuality—perhaps a design for a new product or a musical composition or a computer program—you might like to make use of this commercially, or you may wish to send an extended essay for publication. In these cases, you may not want the IB to reproduce your work for publication. You may therefore wish to withdraw the licence to the IB to use this piece of work and claim exclusive copyright. This is not a right to claim frivolously—and you should note that this is unlikely to apply to an examination script. First discuss with your teacher any claim you are thinking about, and he or she will, if really necessary, help you complete and send in the relevant IB form with your work. Watch out for the deadline for this.
I want to put IB guides and past examination papers on my website so that other students can see them. Is that okay?
No, these materials are the copyright of the IB and are not intended for open access on the worldwide web. The IB does not give permission for this use, so please do not copy such files in this way. A student’s school will decide which documents their students need, and make these available. It is not up to you to make that decision on their behalf.
I would like to use the IB logo on my website. Can I do this?
No, use of the IB logo is restricted to the organization itself. You may not use it. IB World Schools are allowed to use a special logotype on their websites, but this is limited to the institution.
Can I get graduation gifts that show I studied an IB programme?
Students at IB World Schools can choose from a wide selection of IB merchandise via our online store, which includes a variety of graduation souvenirs. They can also approach suppliers licensed by the IB to produce customized graduation gifts (see store.ibo.org)
Copying IB materials
May I make copies for teachers in my school of the guides that the IB sends to schools?
Yes, you may make as many copies as you need for your teachers of all or part of the guides and other programme publications that the IB has posted on the IB’s online curriculum centre (OCC). Please ensure that the IB’s name and the document title always appear on any extract.
Can I also make copies for students?
Yes, you may also make copies in the same way for your students, when it is necessary for teaching purposes and for their learning. But the IB expects that you would want to be selective about how much you copied.
Instead of making paper copies I would like to post files from the OCC on the school’s intranet for teachers and students to use whenever they need them. Is this permitted?
If you can restrict access to these materials on your school’s intranet, perhaps by password-protection, you may copy files of relevant IB programme documents. We just ask that you maintain their identity as IB documents. Of course, if you were an Middle Years Programme (MYP) school, for instance, you would not post documents for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) or Diploma Programme, even though you could download them from the OCC.
I want my students to have past examination papers to work on. How can I give them copies?
As a general rule you may distribute paper copies of the examination papers provided you have bought a copy of the CD-ROM on which all papers and markschemes from a single session are published. We ask that you keep control of the CD-ROM and do not release the electronic file of any examination paper or post it on any website. However, this changes from the May 2007 examination session onward. This and all subsequent CD-ROMs are being produced as network-ready which means that you may post those files - but not the earlier ones - on your school's secure intranet in the same way as other IB publications. They should not be available to the public. This is to protect the integrity of the papers, the rights of other copyright holders whose work we may be using in an examination question (we do not publish examination papers where the rights holder has not given permission for online use of their work) and to reduce the access to papers of students in other schools.
Can my students have graduation mementoes that have the IB logo on them?
IB World Schools and their students can choose from a wide selection of IB merchandise via our online store, which includes a variety of graduation souvenirs. They can also approach suppliers licensed by the IB to produce customized graduation gifts using the IB World School logo (see store.ibo.org).
How can I show my school’s status as an IB World School?
IB World Schools may use the IB World School logo to indicate their special working relationship with the IB, that is, its status as a school authorized to offer an IB programme and you may use it on the school’s stationery, publications, website and non-commercial promotional material. It is not for use by parent or student groups or for personal websites. If you have any queries, please contact us at email@example.com.
How can I obtain the IB World School logo?
IB coordinators and heads of IB World Schools may download the IB World School logo in a variety of formats from the secure pages on this website.
You may also email requests for the IB World School logo to: firstname.lastname@example.org. This facility is only available to schools that are fully authorized to offer one or more IB programmes.
How can I use the IB World School logo? For example, can I use it on items of the school uniform?
The logo may be used on the school’s stationery, publications, website and non-commercial promotional material. The right to use this logo is restricted to the school itself and not for use by parent or student groups. If an IB World School wants to use the logo for any purpose other than those mentioned, the coordinator should make a request in writing to email@example.com.
Can I change the IB World School logo to match my school’s colours or lettering?
No. When using the logo provided by the IB neither the school nor its supplier may modify it in any way. The logo is available in full colour and black and white versions. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I print the logo on T-shirts or other promotional material?
IB World Schools may use the IB World School logo on promotional material such as T-shirts, as long as they are not commercial items. However, you can purchase official IB World School T-shirts, and other IB merchandise, via our online store.
Where should I seek permission if I would like to use the logo for any other purpose?
If an IB World School wants to use the logo for any purpose not mentioned in the Rules and policy for use of IB intellectual property, the coordinator should make a request in writing to email@example.com.
What formats are logos available in?
How can I let parents and students at my school know what the IB is all about?
The IB produces leaflets about its programmes especially for distribution to parents and students, which you may purchase from our IB store or download from the pages about our programmes on this website (via the What We Offer drop down menu). These particular materials may be copied for wider distribution, but if you have any queries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you may take text especially for this purpose from the pages of this website about the programme that you are implementing and use it to create your own information sheets. If you want to put information on your website, we ask that you create a link to the IB’s website from a relevant page.
Can I let parents and students have copies of curriculum materials for the subjects the students are studying?
Yes, provided that you buy the relevant programme documents, as a candidate school you have the same freedom to copy IB material as IB World Schools.
Is there an IB logo that we can use on our school stationery or website?
No, the use of the IB logo is restricted to the organization itself and you have to wait until your school is authorized as an IB World School before you can use that logo. You may not use either logo.
I am writing an article for a newspaper. Can I get a picture of IB students in the classroom to support the article?
The IB cannot give permission for this; you must go directly to an IB World School for permission.
Can I include extracts from past IB examination papers in the article?
You may use questions from a paper for criticism and review purposes but you should remember that sometimes third party copyright material is included and we cannot give you permission to use that.