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As regards the use of copyrighted material within the European Union. The European Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society provides in its art. 5 an exhaustive list of exemptions that can be implemented by the Member States.
Amongst that list, the exemption(s) invoked must cover the reproduction and communication to the public (since the publication on the Internet implies those two acts). Generally, exemptions will be based on the purpose of the intended use. For instance, the Directive provides for an exemption to the exclusive right of reproduction and communication to the public when it is made for the sole purpose of illustration for teaching or scientific research, as long as the source, including the author's name, is indicated, unless this turns out to be impossible and to the extent justified by the non-commercial purpose to be achieved.
Another exemption is “reproduction by the press, communication to the public or making available of published articles on current economic, political or religious topics or of broadcast works or other subject-matter of the same character, in cases where such use is not expressly reserved, and as long as the source, including the author's name, is indicated, or use of works or other subject-matter in connection with the reporting of current events, to the extent justified by the informatory purpose and as long as the source, including the author's name, is indicated, unless this turns out to be impossible”.
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