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.
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.