In my dissertation I have mentioned Copyright © 2023 , [My Name]. All Rights Reserved.

In order to upload it on the HAL Thèses website (belonging to the French government), I shoild choose a license from the list.

I have attached a screenshot for reference:

enter image description here

Could you please advise me on which option from the list of licenses corresponds to "All Rights Reserved"?

  • 5
    You want straightforward ’Copyright’ - you are retaining all rights, not giving any permissions to anyone else.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 17 at 16:21
  • 1
    @Jon - Sounds like a (good) answer!
    – cag51
    Commented Apr 17 at 19:55
  • So I agree with the people who say that "Copyright" is probably the answer to your question.... but strictly speaking if you don't assign a license to the site you are uploading to, then they do not have permission to publish it! But perhaps there is a license for that specified separately in the site's T&Cs.
    – Flyto
    Commented May 8 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


You will want to choose what everyone around you is also choosing. Take a look at the choices made by your peers who submitted their theses before you.

As for the actual question: There is a difference between the concept of "Copyright" and "License". For example, you can release your works under a "liberal" license that allows others to use them more or less as they see fit; in this case as the author you continue to have the copyright in your work, but you are not retaining any of the rights associated with it. The "license" is how you specify how others can use the work that you have the copyright for.

  • Specifically, by asserting "All Rights Reserved" they are not allowing any of the other options besides straightforward Copyright by themselves.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 17 at 17:47
  • At least in the United States (and as far as I can tell, in France as well) this answer is not entirely correct - works in the public domain do not have a copyright, and if an author puts their work in the public domain, they are giving up the copyright entirely and have no say how the work is used thereafter (though France's "moral rights" of authors, where they must still be recognized as the creator of that work, still apply.) Commented Apr 17 at 17:53
  • @WhatTheDuck Yes, good point. I edited my answer. Commented Apr 18 at 2:53

Straightforward "copyright" is the license corresponding to "all rights reserved". However, works can have "Copyright © [year] [name]" on them without being ARR. A work under, say, a CC-BY license is under the copyright of its author, who has simply chosen to have laxer restrictions on reuse than one's rights under the Berne Convention. Due to said convention, there's no actual need to declare a work "all rights reserved" -- this is the default assumption in all Berne signatory countries, which is "virtually all of them".

In theory, an interesting test case could come out of "author labels work as ARR, unintentionally uploads under non-ARR license on a repository, someone reuses it by its accidental license". I suspect variants of this have already happened by way of Wikimedia Commons, which gets 1. a lot of drive-by uploads by people who don't understand its licensing and 2. a lot of massive database scrapes and image resales by people who do.

As a total aside, "three different PD or PD-equivalent licenses" on that list seems a bit much.

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