Should You Register a Copyright for Your Thesis?

Perhaps you already knew how hard it is to publish a research. The process of writing and revising a thesis seemingly takes a lifetime. You cried blood over every chapter. You went days trying to please people to answer your surveys and questionnaires then spent sleepless nights tallying results, all with the hopes that you can defend your whole study in front of panelists with never-ending questions.

Once you made it, you’re overjoyed. Finally, the thesis hustles are over. If you want to sleep having it beside you, it’s completely understandable. If you want to bring it everywhere you go or have it framed, well all people who underwent thesis making probably feel the same way.

When time came that you actually did it, you’ll hear some buzz about copyright registration and whether or not you’ll give it a go for your already-published research. And so you thought, “Do I need to register a copyright for my thesis?”

Well, answering that right off the bat isn’t too ideal. To help you make a decision, it’s important that you recognize first what copyright is.

What is copyright in the first place?

Copyright is a legal right created by the law which grants the creator of an original work the exclusive rights for its usage and distribution. If a certain individual uses the material in your thesis without your consent, you may sue him through this intellectual property right to stop the infringement. You can also receive compensation for any damages that you incurred as a result of the said infringement.

What materials are copyrightable?

Copyright is available to either published works or unpublished ones. Copyrightable works are categorized as below:

  • literary works
  • musical works, including any accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural plans, drawings and actual buildings

All the aforementioned categories must be widely scrutinized. Legal Zoom articulates an example for this: “The codes used to create computer programs can be registered as literary works whilst maps and architectural plans may be registered as pictorial, graphic and sculptural works. A dance may also be registered as both a choreographic work (if it is written down or recorded) and as an audiovisual work (if it is filmed).

“A copyright does not protect an idea or plan: it protects the expression of that idea or plan.” Legal Zoom

A certain work must be more than an idea in order to be secured by a copyright. It should be established in a tangible form of expression. This only implies that the works must be written or otherwise recorded.

Furthermore, copyrightable work, say your thesis, should be original. If you have it copied from someone else’s works, then it won’t qualify a copyright registration. Famous lines and statements and facts are amongst the works that aren’t copyrightable. But if formed or conveyed in original way, then a copyright may protect the expression, though not the actual items included. Simply put, a copyright protection is extended to an author’s original and creative contribution to a piece.

What’s great about registering a copyright for your thesis?

Here’s the truth: Your thesis or any piece of work already have a copyright protection as soon as you have it organized in a tangible form.

If that’s the case, you may wonder: “What’s the sense of still registering a copyright if is already protected right at the moment your concepts are fixed.” To tell you, there are even a heap of more advantages you can reap once you give registration a go.

Like patent with lawyers to aid you, say qualified patent attorney Philippines, there are professional personnels you can reach to regarding a copyright registration. When you register a thesis copyright within months of its publication or before any act of infringement happens, it will be easier for you to stop the infringing act and recover money from the violator. Copyright registration creates a legal presumption that your copyright is valid. It also allows you to recover up to hundreds of thousand of dollars (depending on the weight of the violation and damages made); This is without you needing to prove any actual monetary motive.