On this page
Start here for FAQs and resources about using copyright protected materials in your thesis, dissertation or other graduate project.
Please see the Research Commons for assistance with all other aspects of your thesis, and for thesis workshops, which include a copyright component.
Contact the Copyright Office (email@example.com) with any questions, or to request an in-person or email consultation or thesis copyright review.
Frequently asked questions
Some text derived from University of Waterloo (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) and University of Saskatchewan (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5) copyright FAQs.
See Copyright basics FAQs for information on how copyright works in Canada and at SFU and general information about the Canadian Copyright Act.
Copyright and your thesis
Copyright tools and forms
Copyright Decision Tree
Provides steps to determine whether you can use a copyright protected work in the way you would like to, both for teaching and for other purposes. Use this in conjunction with other resources and information on this website.
Copyright Decision Tree (text version)
Canadian Public Domain Flowchart
A visual tool by the Copyright Office at the University of Alberta (2023, licensed CC BY) to help determine when the copyright term for a work expires, the work enters the public domain in Canada and it can be used freely (in Canada) without permission or payment of royalties.
Template permission letter
For contacting copyright holders for permission to reproduce their material in your thesis. This letter can be adapted to other situations where you need a copyright holder's permission to reproduce their material. Note: You do not need a formal signed letter granting permission - email correspondence in which you request permission and let the copyright holder know that your thesis will be publicly available online, and in which they clearly grant permission, is acceptable.
Copyright workshop videos, slides and handouts
Copyright and your Thesis workshop slides by the Copyright Office
This brief presentation is usually included in the Research Commons' Thesis Word Template workshop.
Copyright Workshop Videos by the Copyright Office
These videos are based on our faculty workshops, and include Copyright Basics (an introduction to the basic elements of copyright law in Canada), and Teaching and Copyright (a two-part look at finding and sharing material, which is aimed at instructors but Part 1 particularly can also be applied to finding material you can reproduce in your thesis).
Grad workshop handout noting key copyright considerations for students writing their theses.
About Creative Commons licenses by the Copyright Office
SFU copyright resources
Scholarly Publishing (SFU Library)
Provides authors with information about options for publishing their scholarly works, including the traditional publishing business model as well as alternatives such as open access journals, open access institutional and disciplinary repositories, Creative Commons licensing and retaining certain creator rights.