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Location: Torino - Class: COMPUTER SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (LM-32)
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Copyright and Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights
Copyright and Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights

Graduation theses are among the works protected by the Law on Copyright (no. 633 of 22/04/1941).  Article 1 states that “this law protects the  works of the mind having a creative character and belonging to literature, music, figurative arts, architecture, theatre, or cinematography, whatever the style or form of expression”; article 2 of the same law includes a list of non-exhaustive examples of protected subject matter and explicitly mentions scientific works among them. According to national jurisprudence “the graduation thesis is a work of the mind which can be protected in accordance with copyright law” (cfr. App. Perugia, 22 February 1995, in Pluris database).
Copyright law protects the style, not the idea, of a work.
The style must have a particular degree of creativity and novelty. The student who has written the thesis is the author of the thesis; therefore, he/she fully owns the moral and economic rights to it. 

Creative Commons licenses (CC)   
Creative Commons licenses help authors retain the right to economically exploit their own creative work, while allowing others to use it free of charge under certain terms. Thanks to these licenses the author establishes an agreement with his/her users: the authorship of the work is clearly acknowledged, but at the same time the work can be disseminated and shared. The traditional copyright system prescribed by the law establishes that a work cannot be used without permission of the author, while Creative Commons licenses allow certain types of uses.    
These licenses facilitate the sharing process of a work;  they use a clear language that even search engines can easily understand, and help authors clarify which rights they want to transfer to their users. When authors choose a Creative Commons License, they retain copyright, but offer to the community some exclusive rights that are normally reserved to authors by copyright law.  
If you choose to release your work with a Creative Commons License which includes the “non-commercial” attribution, you require the users of your work (licensees) not to use it for commercial purposes. In any case, the creator (who owns the rights to the work covered by the license) can decide any time to use his/her work for commercial purposes.  
We suggest you release your theses with a CC BY-NC-ND license: this license limits the use that potential readers can make of your work, since they can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.  
We remind you that:
  • your thesis must not include any part covered by copyright and used without explicit permission of the author. It must not include personal and sensitive data, any other confidential data or information protected by industrial secret. 
  • If your thesis contains a reference to any discoveries or ideas that will be patented in the future,  you need to postpone the dissemination or publication of your thesis until the patent has been registered. After filing the patent application, you must place your thesis under an 18-month embargo.

Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights  
The results of a research activity carried out by a student for his/her thesis project can be worth being protected  by Industrial Property Rights (for instance, a patent) or copyright (for example, software and works of industrial design). The Industrial and Intellectual Property Rights Regulations of Politecnico di Torino (issued with Rectoral Decree no. 299 of 22/07/2007) provide the regulatory framework adopted by the University in this field. All students are required to accept these Regulations when they enrol in any Bachelor’s degree programme and comply with these rules. Industrial and Intellectual Property Rights Regulations are available on the website of Politecnico.

Theses containing patentable results, software or works of industrial design     
If your thesis contains results which are susceptible of patent protection, first of all, you must verify with your Supervisor if your thesis meets the requirements for patent protection of the invention; then, you need to contact the competent Politecnico office before your thesis oral defence. In addition to this, before you submit your thesis, you must follow the dedicated procedure and  request that the confidentiality of your thesis is preserved for a period of time sufficient to verify if it meets the  requirements for protection of the findings and eventually to apply for a patent.
We remind you that, before applying for a patent, you must keep your invention strictly confidential; in fact, any form of “pre- dissemination” (for example, during the thesis oral defence) invalidates the patentability of your findings. If your thesis includes software or works of industrial design, we recommend you inform the competent offices of Politecnico.
Reference is made to the Industrial and Intellectual Property Rights Regulations of Politecnico di Torino (issued with Rectoral Decree no. 299 of 22/072007) which regulates the ownership of intellectual and industrial property rights and internal procedures in this field.

When access to a thesis needs to be restricted for a certain period of time, you may apply for an embargo to be placed on public access to your thesis; in this case, the University will not publish or disclose the contents of your thesis, including data and images contained in the document, except for metadata (name and last name, thesis title, etc.).
During the embargo period a thesis is kept in the institutional archives of the University and no public access to it is permitted; only metadata will be of public domain.
As a general rule, the embargo period lasts 12,18 or 36 months but you can apply for a longer embargo period. When the embargo period expires, your thesis will be released to open access, unless you request otherwise and justify the extension request.  
An embargo period can be granted if the request is duly justified, in particular in the following cases:
  • necessity to avoid disclosure of thesis results that are susceptible of  being patented, in order to preserve the novelty requirement for the patent
  • confidentiality agreements or prior arrangements or contracts with outside organizations or companies
  • confidentiality and/or ownership of the results belonging to outside organizations or companies which took part in the research activity
  • publication
  • public security (if the content of the thesis can somehow threaten public or national security)
  • privacy reasons ( if the thesis is about a person who is still alive or has recently died and there is a risk of privacy violation)