For Current Clarkson Students

Why am I being asked to fill out a Copyright License? 

Clarkson University Libraries and other departments on campus would like to digitize Clarkson’s master’s theses and PhD dissertations and add them to a digital repository. This form will ensure that we have the ability to digitize theses and dissertations going forward, and allow us to include your work in a Clarkson Digital Repository should one be created. 


Clarkson University library staff are not attorneys and cannot offer legal advice. If you feel you need legal advice before making decisions about the Copyright License form, please contact an attorney. 

Frequently Asked Questions – Copyright License

What is this Copyright License for?

As discussed above, this is intended to give Clarkson University the right to make copies, digitize (or otherwise convert) your work, and make your work available to the public in a digital repository.

What is Section 106 of Article 17 of the United States Code? 

This is also known as the Copyright Act, and it sets out copyright law and copyright protections in the United States. You can view the text of the law here.

What does “I have obtained and submitted written permission statements from the owner(s) of each third-party copyrighted item included in my thesis or dissertation” mean? 

If you use materials, such as graphics or images, created by other authors in your work they may be covered by their own set of copyright protections. This section is intended to ensure that you have gotten permission to use copyrighted works where necessary. 

In the second section granting “irrevocable, non-exclusive, non transferable rights” to Clarkson University, which option(s) should I check? 

This is entirely up to you, and depends on your individual circumstances. You may wish to speak to your advisor or mentor regarding which option(s) is the most appropriate to your specific circumstances. 

The first option, “paper duplication for purposes of library catalog and lending,” grants Clarkson University the right to create printed, bound copies of the work and distribute them for library purposes, such as circulation. 

The second option, “conversion to digital or later-developed medium,” grants Clarkson University the right to convert your thesis or dissertation into a digital format, or any format to be developed in the future. 

The third option, “duplication and distribution of a converted copy: Clarkson Community,” would allow Clarkson University to distribute the copy(s) made under option two to the Clarkson Community only, including students, employees, trustees and community members with library cards. 

The fourth option, “duplication and distribution of Converted Copy: World-wide,” would allow Clarkson University to distribute the copy(s) made under option two to anyone world-wide, without geographic limitations. 

The last option, “full license of all rights,” grants Clarkson University a full transferable and irrevocable license to your work, including the right to publish, distribute, prepare derivative works, engage in performances related to your work, and display your work. 

What does “any inclusion of the work in the library’s collection shall result in the abstract, bibliography, and metadata being published in the libraries’ digital catalogs and databases” mean? 

This allows the Clarkson University Libraries to include basic information about your thesis or dissertation in the library’s online catalog and databases. Including this information in the catalog and databases will make sure that library users can find your work. 

What is an embargo? 

An embargo allows you to grant these rights to Clarkson University, but with a delay. In other words, an embargo grants rights to Clarkson University to place your work in a digital repository at a later date of your choice. Select this option if you want to delay having your work available to the public, and indicate the date at which you would like your materials available to the public. 

Frequently Asked Questions – Image Release

What is the image release for? 

As stated on the form, this portion of the license allows Clarkson University to use your name and likeness (such as your face, voice, or social media presence) to promote your work. 

What is NY Civil Rights Law §51? 

You can find the text of this law here. As stated above, if you have questions about this law, we encourage you to consult an attorney. 

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