8 Facts About Canadian Copyright Law

Ottawa, Canada

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada

There are so many interesting facts about Canadian copyright law. This post sets out eight random facts.

Copyright Protection is Automatic

ONE – It is not mandatory to use a copyright symbol in order to have copyright protection in Canada; protection is automatic upon a work being “fixed,” for example, a poem written on paper or a document saved on a hard drive.

TWO – The duration of copyright protection in Canada is life-plus-fifty, or the end of the calendar year fifty years after the year in which the author died. (Compare to  life-plus-seventy as in the US and in EU countries.)

THREE – Deposit of a work with the Canadian Copyright Office is not possible; any copy of a work sent to the Copyright Office will be sent back to the applicant, without any examination of the work or verification of its relation to the application with which it was sent.

Moral Rights in Canadian Copyright Act

FOUR – In addition to economic rights, the Canadian Copyright Act provides authors with three kinds of moral rights.

i.     Right of paternity which allows an author the right to have her name on her work, remain anonymous or to use a pseudonym.

ii.     Right of integrity which allows an author to prevent changes to a work that may be harmful to the author’s honour or reputation.

iii.     Right of association which allows an author to prevent use of a work in association with a product, service, cause or institution that may prejudice the author’s honour or reputation.

Fair Dealing in Canada

FIVE – There is no fair use provision in Canada. There is a fair dealing provision for specific purposes: research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review and news reporting. If the use falls within one of these purposes, then you must determine fairness by applying your facts to the following factors set out in a Supreme Court of Canada case: the purpose of the dealing; the character of the dealing; the amount of the dealing; alternatives to the dealing; the nature of the work; the effect of the dealing on the work; and any other factors that may help a court decide whether the dealing was fair.

SIX – The Canadian Copyright Act allows an individual to use copyright protected materials when creating a new work such as a mash-up and to post the new work online on a site like YouTube.

International Copyright Law

SEVEN – If you have copyright protection in Canada, then you have automatic protection in the “other” 166 countries that belong to the Berne Copyright Convention.  Canadian works will be protected in those countries according to the copyright laws of those countries.

EIGHT – When reproducing content while physically in Canada, even content from another country, you apply Canadian copyright law.  Thus in Canada, works have protection for life plus 50, even works created in the US that would be protected in the US for life-plus-70.

 

See the book Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition.

One Comment

  1. Paul Pival says:

    Hmmm, does this mean Mickey Mouse is fair game in Canada?

    “When reproducing content while physically in Canada, even content from another country, you apply Canadian copyright law. Thus in Canada, works have protection for life plus 50, even works created in the US that would be protected in the US for life-plus-70.”

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