Graduate College

FM: Copyright


As a graduate student, copyrighting impacts you in two ways. First, as the writer, you have legal rights concerning the contents of your thesis/dissertation. Second, as a researcher, you must make every effort not to violate the copyrights of others. Please visit for more information.

Copyrighting Your Own Work
All works under copyright protection and published in the United States on or after March 1, 1989, are subject to mandatory deposit. Usually, the holder of the copyright is required to submit two copies of the copyrighted work to the Copyright Office. Section 704 of the Copyright Act states that these deposits “are available to the Library of Congress for its collection, or for exchange or transfer to any other library.” Circular 1 Copyright Basics and Circular 7d Mandatory Deposit of Copies ( provide useful information about the copyright process.

If you have questions, you may contact the Copyright Office Public Information Office on the Internet at or by phone at 202-707-3000. The form used to register a copyright for most documents is Form TX. Certain documents in the performing arts, such as musical scores or plays, may require Form PA. Contact the Copyright Office if you are not sure which form to use. Application forms are available online at

You can apply for a copyright through UMI/ProQuest when you submit your document through ETD. If you plan on copyrighting your document, follow these additional formatting instructions:

Place the copyright symbol (©) on the lower half of a second page after the title page with the year and your name centered between the margins. The copyright symbol meets the requirements of the Universal Copyright Convention to which the United States and most European and Asian nations belong. You should also include the statement “All Rights Reserved” below the copyright line. This statement will afford additional protection under the Buenos Aires Convention, to which the United States and most Latin American nations belong.


©2011 Your Full Name
All Rights Reserved

The copyright page will become your second page, between the title page and the abstract. Please note that the copyright page does not change pagination; your abstract will still be page ‘i’.
If you include a copyright page then you must pay the copyright fee.

Using the Copyrighted Work of Others
Copyrighted material includes tables, charts, graphs, maps, questionnaires, illustrations, photographs, literary works, etc. It is against the law to reproduce copyrighted materials, in full or in part, without permission of the copyright owner. If you need to include copyrighted source material in your document, you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to its use. The written permission you secure from the author or publisher to use copyrighted work in your document should be included in an appendix.

Fair Use
Fair Use rights have the same legal standing in the law as the copyright owner's rights. Fair Use allows for the limited use of copyrighted content (such as tables, maps, or works of art) to create new works that benefit society. Before you complete your document, consult:

Including Non-printMedia with Theses/Dissertations
Non-print media, such as audio or video files may be used to store information that accompanies your thesis/dissertation. The information stored on such files, particularly any included software, must not violate any copyrights.