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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


TRU operates under Canadian copyright law. Students must provide evidence that they have obtained permission to use any copyrighted material in the thesis. The Intellectual Property Office will be able to help you.

Copyright law protects the ownership and usage of all printed, artistic, digital, musical, and other produced works. Copying such material without proper citation or obtaining written permission to do so by the producer(s) or copyright holders to such work is a violation of copyright law.

For information regarding copyright regulations refer to the Intellectual Property Office. Information presented here is for a general guide ONLY. Expertise regarding copyright and correct citations is with the Intellectual Property Office

Generally, the use of copyrighted material does not require written permission from the copyright holder providing that as all quotations, original ideas, and paraphrasing is completely and correctly cited by the thesis author in the style appropriate to their discipline of study. However, there are also many instances when written approval is required. Discuss your source usage with your supervisor and the Intellectual Property Office to determine if such steps are necessary.

Obtaining authorization: What to do if permission is required

You must include written proof of any required copyright authorization for each instance where permission is required when submitting your thesis.

If you are using information that you previously published, and assigned copyright to the publisher, you must obtain written permission from the publisher to use your work in the thesis. Check the publisher’s website first, as many journals have special instructions for thesis writers posted. If the work was created with co-authors, their written permission to use their material is also required.

Apply for authorization as soon as possible and well in advance of the thesis submission deadline.

All written authorizations must be originals, signed in ink. Electronic mail authorizations will not be accepted.

If the copyright holder provides permission via an alternate method to that of the TRU form, all of the information requested by the TRU form must be provided, and the copyright holder must provide written and signed approval on personal/company letterhead, or their own consent form, indicating that she/he understands how the copyrighted material will be used, and whether the use of such material is conditional or unconditional. If the use is conditional the copyright holder must provide specifics on the conditions of use.

When approaching a copyright holder for authorization:

  • State who you are, your institution and what you are working on.
  • Indicate what the copyrighted material will be used for and if you will be altering it in any way. If possible, send a copy of the material you would like to use, along with any alterations you would like to make.
  • Request that the copyright holder complete and sign the accompanying Use of Copyrighted Material Consent Form by a specific date.
  • Ask if the copyright holder would like a copy of the completed thesis.
  • Inform the copyright holder that you will be granting licenses to the TRU Library and the Library and Archives Canada, and provide links to the licenses.
  • Keep records of all correspondence, including emails.

When authorization is obtained, all copyrighted information must be fully cited, and must contain the copyright symbol, the name of the copyright holder, and a statement that the use/alteration of the work is by permission.

What if I can’t obtain authorization?

All of the copyrighted material must be removed from the thesis. In the resulting blank space the student must indicate that copyrighted material was removed due to copyright restrictions, give a full description of the removed material’s content, and provide a full citation to the copyrighted source.

For more instructions and information, and examples of copyright citations, contact TRU Library and an appropriate TRU Library information and/or research librarian will be able to assist.

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