Canada Copyright

Canada Copyright

What is Copyright?

Copyright in literal terms refers to ‘the right to copy’. This right is a sole right granted to the owner of original work for the production, reproduction, or conversion of the work or a part of it. Copyright is used to protect the ownership rights of original textual content, artistic performances, sound recordings, communication signals, lectures, architectural designs, computer programs and some other intellectual properties.

Canada Copyright Registration

Generally, your work is automatically protected by copyright immediately upon creation. However, registering your copyright at the Canada Copyright Office confers the copyright owner additional rights and protections. For example, you get a certificate of registration that can be used in court as evidence that you own the protected work. Canada copyright registration also gives public notice that the copyright exists.

Note that there are some limitations to registered copyrights. The Canada Copyright Office does not police or check on registered works and the works being used. Canada copyright registration also does not guarantee that the legitimacy of ownership or the originality of a work will never be questioned.

Canada Copyright Protection

The provisions of copyright varies according to laws and countries. In the case of the Canadian copyright law, the sole right to copy is granted throughout the lifetime of the author (and the days following the date of demise until the end of the calendar year) and an additional 50 years after the death of the author. What this means is that if the author created his property on the 1st of February 1997 and died on 15th June 2021, the author retains the copyright from 1st of February 1997 until 31st December 2021 and an additional 50 years until 31st December 2071.

There are however certain other terms that exist as exceptions to this general rule. For instance, copyright to Government publications are extended till the remainder of the calendar year in which the work is first published, and for 50 years after that. So this is approximately 51 years. Meanwhile, for properties with more than one author, the copyright is extended until the remainder of the calendar year in which the last author dies, and for an additional 50 years. For anonymous authors, copyright exists for either the remaining days in the calendar year of the first publication of the work plus 50 extra years or the remainder of the calendar year of the making of the work plus 75 years.

Canada Copyright Application

Required details for a Canada copyright application include the title of the work, and the category of the work, such as literary (books, speech, lectures, computer programs); dramatic (script, screenplay, motion picture film, choreography); musical (musical composition, music, beats, instrumental); artistic (sculptures, drawings, paintings, maps, photographs, charts, engravings, sketches, illustrations, architectural works).

Other required details include the date and place of first publication, the name and complete mailing address of the owner of the copyright. And in the case that the author is dead, the date of death must be provided. The application should also contain a declaration stating the authorship of the owner of the copyright, and an assignee of the copyright.



To get started on your patent, trademark, or copyright application, email us at To consult a USPTO registered patent and trademark attorney, please visit


The video below discusses US copyright registration, but the general concepts also apply to Canada copyright registration.


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