Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.


This category is used to describe works consisting of text. This includes novels, poems, song lyrics without music, tables, compilations of literary works, catalogues, reports and translations of such works. Computer programs are also included in this category.


Included here is any piece for recitation, choreographic work or mime where the scenic arrangement or acting form is in writing or otherwise. Also included are cinematographic productions such as films and videos. Examples of dramatic works are screenplays, scripts and plays.


This category is used to describe any work of music or musical composition with or without words and includes any compilations of these. This definition does not cover song lyrics without music.


Included here are paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship and architectural works.

What rights does the copyright owner have?

Copyright allows copyright owners to control and benefit from the use of their creations by reproducing, performing or publishing the work. Copyright also protects the integrity of the work by preventing distortion, mutilation or improper use of it which may prejudice the honour or reputation of the creator.

How does copyright arise?

In Canada, copyright arises as soon as the work is created. Registration of your copyright is optional but strongly recommended. A certificate of registration is proof that copyright applies to the work and that the person registered is the owner of such copyright.

What is the term of copyright protection?

The general term for which copyright subsists in most works is for the life of the author plus fifty years after the calendar year in which the author dies. You should place a copyright notice on your work identifying your name, the copyright symbol ©, and the date of first publication (e.g. Copyright © 2012, John Smith).

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