University of California, Riverside

Graduate Division



Dissertation/Thesis Copyright and Fair Use


Below you will find a list of resources we’ve gathered to assist you with copyright questions that may arise in the process of writing and filing your dissertation. This information is meant to act as a general guide and not as a substitution for professional legal advice.

Copyright Information

bulletFAQ - Use of Copyrighted Materials

Frequently asked questions about the use of copyrighted works from the University of California.

Questions addressed on this page:

  • If I find it on the web, it's free to use, right?
  • How can I tell if copyright has been renewed?
  • What about a work that has been published outside of the United States?
  • Is it fair use to post copyrighted materials on my course web page?
  • Are there exceptions for people with disabilities?

bulletFAQ - Copyright Ownership and Protection

Frequently asked questions about copyright ownership and protection from the University of California.

Questions addressed on this page:

  • Where can I learn more about the UC Open Access Policy?
  • Why would I want to register my copyright?
  • How do I put a copyright notice on my work?
  • How can I put a work in the public domain?
  • What is the copyright status of charts, tables and graphs created from data?
  • Someone has contacted me asking for permission to use my article (or book chapter, or other work). What do I do?
  • What can I do if I find my work being distributed online without my permission?
  • How can I make sure my rights are protected when I sign a publishing agreement?

bulletFAQ - Copyright and Permission

Frequently asked questions about copyright and permission from the United States Copyright Office.

Questions addressed on this page:

    • How do I get permission to use somebody else's work?
    • How can I find out who owns a copyright?
    • How can I obtain copies of someone else's work and/or registration certificate?
    • How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission?
    • How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else's work?
    • Somebody infringed my copyright. What can I do?
    • Could I be sued for using somebody else's work? How about quotes or samples?
    • Do you have a list of songs or movies in the public domain?
    • I saw an image on the Library of Congress website that I would like to use. Do I need to obtain permission?
    • Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and if not, what is the penalty for doing so?
    • Can a school show a movie without obtaining permission from the copyright owner?
    • My local copying store will not make reproductions of old family photographs. What can I do?

bulletFAQ - Creative Commons

Frequently asked questions about Creative Commons Licenses from the Creative Commons organization.

Questions addressed on this page:

      • What are Creative Commons licenses?
      • How do CC licenses operate?

      • How should I decide which license to choose?

bulletA Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining Copyright Permission

bulletCopyright in Teaching, Research and Publishing

Copyright information and resources from the UCR Library.

bulletCopyright Law and Graduate Research

A detailed look at “Copyright Law and Graduate Research” by Kenneth Crews, which explains fair use and other copyright considerations at great length.

bulletA Graduate Student's Guide to Copyright

A useful guide from University of Michigan with information about how to determine if permission is required and how to obtain it.

Fair Use Information

bulletFair Use - An Overview

A brief overview of fair use from the United States Copyright Office.

bulletFair Use - An Overview and Guidelines

An overview of and guidelines for fair use from the University of California.

bulletFair Use of Images

A statement on the fair use of images for teaching, research, and study from the Visual Resources Association.

bulletFair Use Checklist

A checklist to assist you in determining if fair use applies from the copyright advisory office at the Columbia University Libraries.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Graduate Division
University Office Building

Tel: (951) 827-4302
Fax: (951) 827-2238
E-mail: graddiv@ucr.edu

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