Administration and Organization
UCLA Copyright Policy

Policy Regarding Unpublished Materials

Manuscripts, Archives, Photographs, Oral Histories, and Other Unpublished Works

Status: The Copyright Revision Act of 1976 dramatically changed copyright protection for unpublished works. Most significantly, the 1976 Act terminated perpetual copyright protection for unpublished records. For the first time, unpublished records are protected by federal statutory law for a specified period of time. For further information on when unpublished documents enter the public domain, refer to the chart prepared by Professor Laura N. Gassaway, University of North Carolina.

Use guidelines and procedures: As with published works, Title 17 permits reproduction of unpublished records without securing permission from the copyright owner when the copying amounts to fair use of the material. Reproduction of unpublished records, however, may also be subject to special and additional copying restrictions imposed by the records creator or the donor. Therefore, before reproduction of any unpublished records can be permitted, it will be necessary to check acquisition files, contracts, deeds of gift, etc., to determine whether any special copying restrictions exist.

If copying is permissible, the mediated copying procedures must be followed. If permission to reproduce is required, the requester will be provided with available information regarding ownership and a description of basic procedures for acquiring permissions. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the requester to obtain all permissions and to comply with Title 17.

Theses and Dissertations

Status: For purposes of administering library policies on copyrighted materials under the provisions of this document, UCLA masters theses and doctoral dissertations are to be treated in the same manner as unpublished, copyrighted works.

Ownership: Copyright resides with the student and not with the university.

Use guidelines and procedures

  • Reproduction of doctoral dissertations filed since 1962
    Beginning in 1962, UCLA dissertations have been microfilmed by ProQuest Information and Learning (formerly Bell & Howell/University Microfilms International) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and are available for purchase in both microfilm and hard copy from Dissertation Express. According to UCLA's agreement with ProQuest, all requests for copies of dissertations will be forwarded to ProQuest. Therefore, an individual or a library requesting reproduction of a UCLA dissertation filed since 1962 must order it through Dissertation Express.
  • Reproduction of doctoral dissertations filed before 1962
    Requests for copies of dissertations completed before 1962 should be forwarded to University Archives. By examining forms kept on file in the Archives Office, the staff will determine whether the author has placed any restrictions on the reproduction and distribution of the dissertation.
  • Reproduction of masters theses
    All requests for copies of UCLA masters theses should be forwarded to University Archives, where staff will determine whether the author has authorized the Library to reproduce and distribute his/her thesis.