The dissertation /thesis is the intellectual property of the student. Copyright is automatic, but registration with the Copyright Office establishes a public record of the copyright claim. Please see below how to register your copyright with the Copyright Office under “Doctoral Dissertations” and “Master’s Thesis.” Appropriate copyright notice should be printed on the title page. It should include 1) the symbol © or the letter c in a circle, or the word “Copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.” 2) year of first publication of the work 3) the name of the owner of the copyright. An example is shown below.
© 1998 John Doe
All Rights Reserved
While copyright registration is not generally required for protection, the copyright law provides advantages to copyright owners who do register. Among these advantages are the following:
Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim; Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin and for foreign works not originating in a Berne Union country. (For information on when a work is of U.S. origin, request Circular 93 from the Library of Congress);
If made before or within five (5) years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate; and
If registration is made within three (3) months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
Copyright registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.
For information about registering the copyright on your ETD, contact the Library of Congress website at http://copyright.gov/eco/