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Copyright Information for Thesis and Dissertation Publication: Home

Information to help students comply with Canadian copyright law when publishing their thesis or dissertation

Copyright Information For Theses and Dissertations

All Royal Roads students are required to submit a copy of their thesis or dissertation for publication in DSpace@RRU (Royal Roads University’s digital archive), Library and Archives Canada, and ProQuest.

Copies of your work will be available for sale online through ProQuest, which means that your thesis or dissertation is technically a commercial work.  Many organizations allow use of their work for non-commercial, educational purposes without permission; this does not necessarily apply to your thesis or dissertation.  While writing your thesis or dissertation it is important to remember this fact, and as you choose ‘third party’ materials (any material that you did not create yourself, such as figures, maps, diagrams, photographs, and long quotations), to illustrate your own work, know that you will need to obtain copyright permission for these from the copyright owner(s) before your thesis or dissertation can be published.

You are personally responsible for ensuring that your thesis or dissertation complies with Canadian Copyright Law by obtaining copyright permission to use third-party material in your thesis or dissertation. By submitting your thesis or dissertation for publication you are confirming that you have obtained any necessary copyright permissions.

This guide is designed to help you understand your responsibilities, and provide resources to help you obtain copyright permissions.

4 Reasons You Should Care About Copyright

1. It's good scholarly practice.

As mentioned in the Copyright Basics section, copyright law does not protect ideas, it protects the expression of those ideas. It is obvious that in a scholarly context that you must cite the sources of ideas contained in your work. It is no less necessary to ensure that, if you are incorporating someone else's work into your work (whether course materials or research) you do so legally.

2. There may be legal consequences if you don't

If you publish material in your thesis without obtaining copyright permission, you are opening yourself up to a variety of potential consequences. If the copyright owner informs ProQuest, Library and Archives Canada, and DSpace@RRU that you have used copyrighted material without permission your thesis will be removed from these databases, and your work will no longer be available to the scholarly community. The copyright owner may choose to take you to court and sue for damages.

3. Employers expect you to be aware of copyright.

Understanding your copyright responsibilities and rights is essential to being a competent digital citizen. Employers expect that staff members understand the Internet, digital best practices and legal obligations. Knowing about copyright will help ensure that you don't get yourself (and your employer) into legal trouble.

4. Copyright doesn't just protect other people's works; it protects yours as well.

Copyright protection applies to works that you create, as soon as the works are created. There is no need to register one's copyright in order for your work to be protected. Knowing the limits of what you can do with others' work will inform you about what rights others have (and don't have) to use your work.
Adapted from UBC's "Why should I care" guide used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 licence

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