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Copyright in the digital era: Introduction

Identifying the conditions of use of copyrighted works in a thesis published online


Related guides


This is a wide and complex topic; therefore this guide on copyright and digital technology will focus on issues related to thesis work.

Being the author, the doctoral student is responsible for the content of their thesis however it may be circulated.

The overarching principles of copyright apply likewise for digital works and for any document being circulated online.

Online circulation of a thesis requires to take several legal criteria into consideration and to determine:

  • whether the doctoral student is sole author or co-author of their work.
  • whether they used or copied pre-existing works, in which case the beneficiaries’ authorization is necessary.
  • whether confidential data is being used.
  • whether the doctoral student is tied by contract or convention to a company or a laboratory.

The circulation and promotion of a research work are subjected to regulations on copyright in a digital context.

Subject Guide

To cite this guide

Moro, Séverine; Dubois, Anne-Céline. "Copyright in the digital era". In UBL (Université Européenne de Bretagne). Forma@Doct. Rennes, UBL, 2010 (last updated on 18/11/2013). Available on: