Copyright & Electronic Rights: Laws and Agencies
The CAA and Copyright
Copyright protection for Canadian writers was the reason for the creation of the Canadian Authors Association in 1921 and the CAA has played a key role in copyright protection for Canadian writers in its long history.
Writers concerned about copyright should consider CAA membership to ensure a continuing strong voice for Canadian writers.
An important part of copyright protection for creators is to ensure that those not in compliance are reported and made subject to the penalties for their actions. See Protecting the Rights of Access Copyright Affiliates for more information.
Government & Regulatory Sites
Canadian Copyright Law
The Copyright Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate of Industry Canada, is responsible for formulating and implementing an integrated Canadian copyright policy.
See also Canadian Intellectual Property Office's Copyrights section for information about registering your copyright.
Canadian Copyright Reform
The Canadian Copyright Reform Process is hosted by the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate at Industry Canada and the Copyright Policy Branch at the Department of Canadian Heritage.
More about copyright modernization is found here:
Canadian Copyright Enforcement
Government of Canada Competition Bureau's Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines.
International Copyright Law
Canadian Copyright Agencies
Access Copyright () — 1.800.893.5777 — has replaced CANCOPY.
The Electronics Rights Licensing Agency (TERLA) was dissolved and has turned the responsibility for the protection of writers' electronic rights to The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright).
The Canadian Authors Association maintains a Access Copyright group membership and encourages individuals with published material to register as an individual member.
If your writing is published in a format that may be copied onto a website, CD-ROM, electronic database or other digital storage medium and sold you should register.
- Canadian Copyright Institute is an association of creators, producers, publishers and distributors of copyright works.
- Public Lending Right Commission
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
- National Library of Canada on Copyright (archived page).
International Copyright Agencies
- U.S. Copyright Office.
- World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO).
- The Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society collects revenue from photocopying and other re-uses of written work and distributes it to 35,000 writers in the U.K. and elsewhere.
Locating the Copyright Owner
Seeking the Copyright Owner?
Kristin Demuth, Membership Officer at The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, offers the following advice when seeking the copyright owner of a literary piece:
- The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency does have an agreement with the Copyright Board of Canada, which is the only body in the country that can issue a licence allowing someone to use copyrighted material when the copyright owner is unlocatable. Requests for such licences must be submitted to the Copyright Board, and they make the final decision, but The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency assists with trying to locate the rightsholder and setting an appropriate fee.
- Before approaching the Copyright Board it must the shown that the potential user has done a thorough search for the rightsholder. We suggest trying the publisher as a starting point. However, there are a number of other sources we use ourselves in searching for rightsholders.
- The National Library's AMICUS Web lets you search over 25 million full records from 1,300 Canadian libraries. For magazines, Publist is a very good site for tracking down publishers of periodicals and scholarly journals. The Library of Congress also has a site for searching its bibliographic databases. We also make use of Canada 411 and other Internet phone directories when trying to find individual creators.
- We also consult Books in Print, both in print and on CD-ROM. It comes in both Canadian and International versions. For tracking down publishers we recommend the Book Trade in Canada, the Literary Marketplace and the Quill & Quire directories. The Q&Q directories are published seasonally and are especially useful in cases where publishers have been sold, gone out of business or sold lists because they include listings of which publishers represent other publishers or agency lines.
- If someone has consulted a number of these sources and still cannot track down a rightsholder, then we would advise that they contact the Copyright Board. The Board's phone number is (613) 952-8621.
- While we will try to assist people in locating rightsholders, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency just does not have the manpower to devote to this as a full time service.
Note: Unlocatable copyright holders are listed on the Access Copyright Website.
General Copyright Information
- Copyrightlaws.com () is an informative website devoted to international copyright law, digital property, media, and other intellectual property issues by lawyer and writer Lesley Ellen Harris.
- Compleat World Copyright () by author, country, institute, journal, media, multilateral & topic.
- Intellectual Property in the Global Village by Harry Hillman Chartrand (). For those that need all the facts, the author recently self-published a new book The Compleat Canadian Copyright Act: Current, Past & Proposed Provisions of the Act 1921 to 1997 for CDN$99.00 plus GST.
- Intellectual Property by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Copyright Questions & Answers () is a blog by Lesley Ellen Harris.
- Michael Geist's Blog (). Professor Michael A. Geist is Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.
- Speak Out on Copyright () is a copyright blog by Michael Geist.
International Copyright Sites
- Law.com Technical Law Practice Center deals with the struggle to apply older laws to new technologies !-- updated link October 13, 2008 -->
- Creative Commons is an alternative way to share intellectual property with a variety of licences in combination: Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivative Works, and Share Alike.
- Copyright Clearance Center maintains bilateral agreements with other Reproduction Rights Organizations worldwide help to create a global system for licensed content use.
- Copyright Central is a part of the Copyright Clearance Center with copyright news, blogs and education.
- 10 Big Myths about copyright explained is an attempt to answer common myths about copyright seen on the net and cover issues related to copyright and USENET/Internet publication.
- The Copyright Website deals with copyright issues on the Web.
- Plagiarism Today discusses the issues of plagiarism, content theft and copyright issues.
Updated March 8, 2012