Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the Development and Utilization of the Dissertation Process

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper explicitly identifies the copyright subject of the dissertation, and focuses on intellectual property rights issues of dissertation; and the author as its copyright owner, in the commercial development and feasible solutions.

Key words: Dissertation; Subject of right; University; Paper development agency; Commercial development; Authorization; Royalty

Dissertations are research papers, written by postgradu ates, who worked under the guidance of supervisors, r eferred to a large number of documents, and repeated experiments, in order to obtain a doctor's or master's degree. So, under normal circumstances, dissertations represent the direction of the latest academic development of the discipline, with high academic and reference value. With the advancement of science and technology, dissertations have not only the form of a printed version, but also the electronic version, in particular, in the form of network version. And the electronic version increasingly demonstrates its strong advantage in the way of convenient, fast, ease of custody, ease of use, ease of circulation. Since ease of downloading is also one of its characteristics, it had caused widespread concern of the copyright protection for dissertations in society when 482 masters and doctors sued Beijing Wanfang Company for copyright infringement in 2008.

According to the statistics from www.chinacourt.org, at least more than 1100 masters and doctors have filed the similar lawsuits in Beijing, Shanghai and other places of the country. The fundamental reason of massive paper infringements is the copyright defects in its database: Information services providers are often faced with hundreds of millions of information, but the situation of the copyright owners of the information are very complex, and even the subject of rights is not clear. Moreover, the current law also does not provide an effective licensing model, which makes information services providers almost impossible to solve this copyright issue. With the gradual strengthening awareness of intellectual property rights protection, rights holders' long-term accumulation of disputes will be collective outbreak.

1. THE IDENTIFICATION OF RIGHTS SUBJECT OF DISSERTATIONS

Because copyright related provisions of dissertations are not clear and also is the legal ownership of dissertations in the state, the legal ownership of dissertations correspondingly becomes complicated. If the legal ownership of dissertations keeps uncertain, there will be a great risk of intellectual property rights infringement in development and utilization of dissertations. From the view point of Copyright Law of the PRC, clarification of rights ownership, exactly the subject of copyright, is the premise of protection, license or transfer of rights. Then, it can be said that the most important issue need to address in the discussion on the protection of the rights of dissertations is to determine the rights ownership.

The main sources of dissertations in our country are the following: 1) Optional Subjects, the contents of the dissertation are neither a part of research projects from mentor, nor from university scientific tasks; 2) Research Tasks, research tasks need participation of postgraduates in the mentor's research projects or university scientific tasks, and thus the results of the projects are made as the contents of dissertations; 3) Dissertations Submitted by Equivalents Applying for Graduate Degree, these are their accomplishments completed independently in their work practices (Li, 2005, pp. 20-21).

For the first type, the completion of the dissertation is an independent behavior of a student. Although in the process of determining topics and writing, there may be some guidances generally from experts, professors, and in particular, from supervisors, they only work as references. According to Article III ?? Regulations for the Implementation of the Copyright Law of the PRC, any organizational activity, consultation, material support or other auxiliary activities conducted or offered for other person's creative work, shall not be deemed as creation. …