Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42)

Act current to 2016-05-12 and last amended on 2015-06-23. Previous Versions

 [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 4]

Works in which Copyright may Subsist

Marginal note:Conditions for subsistence of copyright
  •  (1) Subject to this Act, copyright shall subsist in Canada, for the term hereinafter mentioned, in every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work if any one of the following conditions is met:

    • (a) in the case of any work, whether published or unpublished, including a cinematographic work, the author was, at the date of the making of the work, a citizen or subject of, or a person ordinarily resident in, a treaty country;

    • (b) in the case of a cinematographic work, whether published or unpublished, the maker, at the date of the making of the cinematographic work,

      • (i) if a corporation, had its headquarters in a treaty country, or

      • (ii) if a natural person, was a citizen or subject of, or a person ordinarily resident in, a treaty country; or

    • (c) in the case of a published work, including a cinematographic work,

      • (i) in relation to subparagraph 2.2(1)(a)(i), the first publication in such a quantity as to satisfy the reasonable demands of the public, having regard to the nature of the work, occurred in a treaty country, or

      • (ii) in relation to subparagraph 2.2(1)(a)(ii) or (iii), the first publication occurred in a treaty country.

  • Marginal note:Protection for older works

    (1.01) For the purposes of subsection (1), a country that becomes a Berne Convention country, a WCT country or a WTO Member after the date of the making or publication of a work is deemed to have been a Berne Convention country, a WCT country or a WTO Member, as the case may be, at that date, subject to subsection (1.02) and sections 33 to 33.2.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (1.02) Subsection (1.01) does not confer copyright protection in Canada on a work whose term of copyright protection in the country referred to in that subsection had expired before that country became a Berne Convention country, a WCT country or a WTO Member, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Application of subsections (1.01) and (1.02)

    (1.03) Subsections (1.01) and (1.02) apply, and are deemed to have applied, regardless of whether the country in question became a Berne Convention country, a WCT country or a WTO Member before or after the coming into force of those subsections.

  • Marginal note:First publication

    (1.1) The first publication described in subparagraph (1)(c)(i) or (ii) is deemed to have occurred in a treaty country notwithstanding that it in fact occurred previously elsewhere, if the interval between those two publications did not exceed thirty days.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (1.2) Copyright shall not subsist in Canada otherwise than as provided by subsection (1), except in so far as the protection conferred by this Act is extended as hereinafter provided to foreign countries to which this Act does not extend.

  • Marginal note:Minister may extend copyright to other countries

    (2) Where the Minister certifies by notice, published in the Canada Gazette, that any country that is not a treaty country grants or has undertaken to grant, either by treaty, convention, agreement or law, to citizens of Canada, the benefit of copyright on substantially the same basis as to its own citizens or copyright protection substantially equal to that conferred by this Act, the country shall, for the purpose of the rights conferred by this Act, be treated as if it were a country to which this Act extends, and the Minister may give a certificate, notwithstanding that the remedies for enforcing the rights, or the restrictions on the importation of copies of works, under the law of such country, differ from those in this Act.

  • (2.1) [Repealed, 1994, c. 47, s. 57]

  • (3) to (6) [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 5]

  • Marginal note:Reciprocity protection preserved

    (7) For greater certainty, the protection to which a work is entitled by virtue of a notice published under subsection (2), or under that subsection as it read at any time before the coming into force of this subsection, is not affected by reason only of the country in question becoming a treaty country.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 5;
  • 1993, c. 15, s. 2, c. 44, s. 57;
  • 1994, c. 47, s. 57;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 5;
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 34;
  • 2012, c. 20, s. 5.

Term of Copyright

Marginal note:Term of copyright

 The term for which copyright shall subsist shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, be the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 6;
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 58.
Marginal note:Anonymous and pseudonymous works

 Except as provided in section 6.2, where the identity of the author of a work is unknown, copyright in the work shall subsist for whichever of the following terms ends earlier:

  • (a) a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work and a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year, and

  • (b) a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the making of the work and a period of seventy-five years following the end of that calendar year,

but where, during that term, the author’s identity becomes commonly known, the term provided in section 6 applies.

  • 1993, c. 44, s. 58.
Marginal note:Anonymous and pseudonymous works of joint authorship

 Where the identity of all the authors of a work of joint authorship is unknown, copyright in the work shall subsist for whichever of the following terms ends earlier:

  • (a) a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work and a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year, and

  • (b) a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the making of the work and a period of seventy-five years following the end of that calendar year,

but where, during that term, the identity of one or more of the authors becomes commonly known, copyright shall subsist for the life of whichever of those authors dies last, the remainder of the calendar year in which that author dies, and a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.

  • 1993, c. 44, s. 58.
Marginal note:Term of copyright in posthumous works
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work, or an engraving, in which copyright subsists at the date of the death of the author or, in the case of a work of joint authorship, at or immediately before the date of the death of the author who dies last, but which has not been published or, in the case of a lecture or a dramatic or musical work, been performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication, before that date, copyright shall subsist until publication, or performance in public or communication to the public by telecommunication, whichever may first happen, for the remainder of the calendar year of the publication or of the performance in public or communication to the public by telecommunication, as the case may be, and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.

  • Marginal note:Application of subsection (1)

    (2) Subsection (1) applies only where the work in question was published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication, as the case may be, before the coming into force of this section.

  • Marginal note:Transitional provision

    (3) Where

    • (a) a work has not, at the coming into force of this section, been published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication,

    • (b) subsection (1) would apply to that work if it had been published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication before the coming into force of this section, and

    • (c) the relevant death referred to in subsection (1) occurred during the period of fifty years immediately before the coming into force of this section,

    copyright shall subsist in the work for the remainder of the calendar year in which this section comes into force and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year, whether or not the work is published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication after the coming into force of this section.

  • Marginal note:Transitional provision

    (4) Where

    • (a) a work has not, at the coming into force of this section, been published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication,

    • (b) subsection (1) would apply to that work if it had been published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication before the coming into force of this section, and

    • (c) the relevant death referred to in subsection (1) occurred more than fifty years before the coming into force of this section,

    copyright shall subsist in the work for the remainder of the calendar year in which this section comes into force and for a period of five years following the end of that calendar year, whether or not the work is published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication after the coming into force of this section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 7;
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 58;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 6.
 
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