Copyright and Third Party Permissions

Authors submitting theses or dissertations to Theses Canada own the copyright for their work and retain their intellectual property rights. Copyright infringement, the unauthorized copying or use of a work, is not permitted at any time, and no one can reproduce this material without the copyright holder’s expressed consent.

Here are common examples of how you can protect your copyright:

  • Where students have written their theses or dissertations with co-authors, each co-author must sign the university’s license.
  • If material has been previously published and copyright was assigned to a publisher, students must obtain written permission to include this material in their thesis or dissertation and must submit a copy of this permission when submitting their work.
  • Where an author has permission to include copyrighted material in a thesis or dissertation, but does not have permission to further reproduce or distribute the material, the material should be identified by a credit within the work. The thesis or dissertation should include a “bookmark” indicating that that there is no further distribution of this material, as the rights are held by another.

Contact your university’s Copyright Officer or the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) for additional information related to copyright.


As part of the submission process, you will enter into a license agreement with your university that permits the university to retain, preserve, and provide open online access to your thesis or dissertation, and to supply it to LAC for inclusion in the Theses Canada database, a national collection of open access Canadian theses and dissertations.

Note as of October 2014: Any university that does not yet have a revised license agreement that covers Theses Canada is advised to continue to use the Theses Non-Exclusive Licence [PDF 208 KB] form.

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