Copyright Guide for Thesis Preparation

The licence you will agree to

As a graduate student at Concordia, you hold the copyright of your thesis for the entire term of copyright protection. As a condition of receiving your degree, you are asked to grant  Concordia University permission to make the work openly available. At Concordia, your thesis is submitted through Spectrum, the University’s institutional repository. Upon deposit, you agree to Spectrum Concordia University Research Repository’s Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence.

The Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence

The Spectrum Concordia University Research Repository’s Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence has been revised (November 5, 2022) to include Library and Archives Canada’s Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence, formerly a separate document requiring signatures. 

The Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence stipulates that you own the copyright to your thesis but that Concordia University and Library and Archives Canada will: 

... archive, preserve on any medium and format, perform, produce, reproduce, translate theses and dissertations in any format, including but not limited to electronic, digital or paper format, and to make available in print or communicate online by telecommunication to the public, loan, distribute for non-commercial purposes, for research and private study.

You can enter into other agreements, such as publishing your thesis, so long as subsequent licence agreements respect that Concordia University and Library and Archives Canada have a non-exclusive right to make your thesis available. For example, you cannot assign an exclusive licence for your thesis to a publisher as part of a publishing contract, as you have already been granted a non-exclusive licence. Generally, you should inform any publisher interested in your thesis that it will be available on the Internet and in other databases by Concordia University and Library and Archives Canada.

While depositing your thesis is a requirement, you can place an embargo on your thesis for up to two years from your final submission date. Under exceptional circumstances and with written justification to the Thesis Office, the embargo may be renewed. See “deferment” in Student Guide To Thesis Preparation. Once embargoed and deposited, the abstract and basic bibliographical details will still appear to the public. 

IP Policy Background for the Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence

The Thesis Non-Exclusive Licence originates from the University’s Policy on Intellectual Property, which is also reflected in the University’s Graduate Calendar and the Thesis Regulations from the Thesis Office.

Paragraph 34 in the Policy on Intellectual Property (VPRGS-9):

34. Upon submission of a thesis by a graduate student, the graduate student shall be deemed to have granted the University a non-exclusive, royalty free licence to reproduce, archive, preserve, conserve, communicate to the public by telecommunication or on the internet, loan, distribute the thesis worldwide for non-commercial purposes, in any format including electronic. In the event of a deferment of a thesis for distribution or publication, it is understood that the University’s licence to communicate, loan and/or distribute shall only take effect as of the expiry of the agreed upon deferment period.

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