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Copyright: The essentials

This guide provides answers to the most frequently asked questions with regard to copyright in Canada as well as the copyright compliance at McGill University and beyond.

Copyright & licensing for McGill theses

All McGill students keep the copyright of their thesis, but with the Final Thesis Submission, they are required to agree to two non-exclusive licences via the myThesis submission platform, one with McGill Library and one with Library and Archives Canada. McGill Library and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) consider graduate theses important sources of original research and make them available in electronic form in open access. The McGill license permits McGill University to make the thesis available in electronic form through McGill repository eScholarship@McGill. The license with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) permits the thesis to be visible and accessible by creating bibliographic records available through the Theses Canada Portal.

By signing these licences, students: 

  • Grant to McGill "a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty free license, to reproduce, convert, publish, archive, preserve, conserve, communicate and distribute, and loan, in paper form, in microform, electronically by telecommunication or on the internet, and/or any other formats as may be adopted for such use from time to time."
  • "Grant permission and authorize McGill University to permit access to my thesis and make it available to interested persons in paper or electronic form, through the library, interlibrary and public loan."
  • Grant to LAC a licence "to reproduce, publish, archive, preserve, conserve, communicate to the public by telecommunication or on the Internet, loan, distribute and sell my thesis (the title of which is set forth above) worldwide, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, in microform, paper, electronic and/or any other formats."

Using materials from a McGill thesis

Anyone seeking permissions to use material from McGill theses, must seek them directly from the author, as McGill Library does not hold any copyright in students' work.

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