Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42)

Act current to 2016-01-25 and last amended on 2015-06-23. Previous Versions

 [Repealed, 1993, c. 44, s. 59]

Marginal note:Cases of joint authorship
  •  (1) In the case of a work of joint authorship, except as provided in section 6.2, copyright shall subsist during the life of the author who dies last, for the remainder of the calendar year of that author’s death, and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year, and references in this Act to the period after the expiration of any specified number of years from the end of the calendar year of the death of the author shall be construed as references to the period after the expiration of the like number of years from the end of the calendar year of the death of the author who dies last.

  • Marginal note:Nationals of other countries

    (2) Authors who are nationals of any country, other than a country that is a party to the North American Free Trade Agreement, that grants a term of protection shorter than that mentioned in subsection (1) are not entitled to claim a longer term of protection in Canada.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 9;
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 60.

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 20, s. 6]

 [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 8]

Marginal note:Cinematographic works

 Except for cinematographic works in which the arrangement or acting form or the combination of incidents represented give the work a dramatic character, copyright in a cinematographic work or a compilation of cinematographic works shall subsist

  • (a) for the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the cinematographic work or of the compilation, and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year; or

  • (b) if the cinematographic work or compilation is not published before the expiration of fifty years following the end of the calendar year of its making, for the remainder of that calendar year and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.

  • 1993, c. 44, s. 60;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 9.
Marginal note:Where copyright belongs to Her Majesty

 Without prejudice to any rights or privileges of the Crown, where any work is, or has been, prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department, the copyright in the work shall, subject to any agreement with the author, belong to Her Majesty and in that case shall continue for the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 12;
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 60.

Ownership of Copyright

Marginal note:Ownership of copyright
  •  (1) Subject to this Act, the author of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright therein.

  • (2) [Repealed, 2012, c. 20, s. 7]

  • Marginal note:Work made in the course of employment

    (3) Where the author of a work was in the employment of some other person under a contract of service or apprenticeship and the work was made in the course of his employment by that person, the person by whom the author was employed shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright, but where the work is an article or other contribution to a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, there shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be deemed to be reserved to the author a right to restrain the publication of the work, otherwise than as part of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical.

  • Marginal note:Assignments and licences

    (4) The owner of the copyright in any work may assign the right, either wholly or partially, and either generally or subject to limitations relating to territory, medium or sector of the market or other limitations relating to the scope of the assignment, and either for the whole term of the copyright or for any other part thereof, and may grant any interest in the right by licence, but no assignment or grant is valid unless it is in writing signed by the owner of the right in respect of which the assignment or grant is made, or by the owner’s duly authorized agent.

  • Marginal note:Ownership in case of partial assignment

    (5) Where, under any partial assignment of copyright, the assignee becomes entitled to any right comprised in copyright, the assignee, with respect to the rights so assigned, and the assignor, with respect to the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of the copyright, and this Act has effect accordingly.

  • Marginal note:Assignment of right of action

    (6) For greater certainty, it is deemed always to have been the law that a right of action for infringement of copyright may be assigned in association with the assignment of the copyright or the grant of an interest in the copyright by licence.

  • Marginal note:Exclusive licence

    (7) For greater certainty, it is deemed always to have been the law that a grant of an exclusive licence in a copyright constitutes the grant of an interest in the copyright by licence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 13;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 10;
  • 2012, c. 20, s. 7.
Marginal note:Limitation where author is first owner of copyright
  •  (1) Where the author of a work is the first owner of the copyright therein, no assignment of the copyright and no grant of any interest therein, made by him, otherwise than by will, after June 4, 1921, is operative to vest in the assignee or grantee any rights with respect to the copyright in the work beyond the expiration of twenty-five years from the death of the author, and the reversionary interest in the copyright expectant on the termination of that period shall, on the death of the author, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, devolve on his legal representatives as part of the estate of the author, and any agreement entered into by the author as to the disposition of such reversionary interest is void.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as applying to the assignment of the copyright in a collective work or a licence to publish a work or part of a work as part of a collective work.

  • (3) [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 11]

  • (4) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 10 (4th Supp.), s. 3]

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 14;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 10 (4th Supp.), s. 3;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 11.

 [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 12]

Moral Rights

Marginal note:Moral rights
  •  (1) The author of a work has, subject to section 28.2, the right to the integrity of the work and, in connection with an act mentioned in section 3, the right, where reasonable in the circumstances, to be associated with the work as its author by name or under a pseudonym and the right to remain anonymous.

  • Marginal note:No assignment of moral rights

    (2) Moral rights may not be assigned but may be waived in whole or in part.

  • Marginal note:No waiver by assignment

    (3) An assignment of copyright in a work does not by that act alone constitute a waiver of any moral rights.

  • Marginal note:Effect of waiver

    (4) Where a waiver of any moral right is made in favour of an owner or a licensee of copyright, it may be invoked by any person authorized by the owner or licensee to use the work, unless there is an indication to the contrary in the waiver.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 10 (4th Supp.), s. 4.
Marginal note:Term
  •  (1) Moral rights in respect of a work subsist for the same term as the copyright in the work.

  • Marginal note:Succession

    (2) The moral rights in respect of a work pass, on the death of its author, to

    • (a) the person to whom those rights are specifically bequeathed;

    • (b) where there is no specific bequest of those moral rights and the author dies testate in respect of the copyright in the work, the person to whom that copyright is bequeathed; or

    • (c) where there is no person described in paragraph (a) or (b), the person entitled to any other property in respect of which the author dies intestate.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent succession

    (3) Subsection (2) applies, with such modifications as the circumstances require, on the death of any person who holds moral rights.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 10 (4th Supp.), s. 4;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 13.

PART IICopyright in Performers’ Performances, Sound Recordings and Communication Signals and Moral Rights in Performers’ Performances

Performers’ Rights

Copyright

Marginal note:Copyright in performer’s performance
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a performer has a copyright in the performer’s performance, consisting of the sole right to do the following in relation to the performer’s performance or any substantial part thereof:

    • (a) if it is not fixed,

      • (i) to communicate it to the public by telecommunication,

      • (ii) to perform it in public, where it is communicated to the public by telecommunication otherwise than by communication signal, and

      • (iii) to fix it in any material form,

    • (b) if it is fixed,

      • (i) to reproduce any fixation that was made without the performer’s authorization,

      • (ii) where the performer authorized a fixation, to reproduce any reproduction of that fixation, if the reproduction being reproduced was made for a purpose other than that for which the performer’s authorization was given, and

      • (iii) where a fixation was permitted under Part III or VIII, to reproduce any reproduction of that fixation, if the reproduction being reproduced was made for a purpose other than one permitted under Part III or VIII, and

    • (c) to rent out a sound recording of it,

    and to authorize any such acts.

  • Marginal note:Copyright in performer’s performance

    (1.1) Subject to subsections (2.1) and (2.2), a performer’s copyright in the performer’s performance consists of the sole right to do the following acts in relation to the performer’s performance or any substantial part of it and to authorize any of those acts:

    • (a) if it is not fixed,

      • (i) to communicate it to the public by telecommunication,

      • (ii) to perform it in public, if it is communicated to the public by telecommunication otherwise than by communication signal, and

      • (iii) to fix it in any material form;

    • (b) if it is fixed in a sound recording, to reproduce that fixation;

    • (c) to rent out a sound recording of it;

    • (d) to make a sound recording of it available to the public by telecommunication in a way that allows a member of the public to have access to the sound recording from a place and at a time individually chosen by that member of the public and to communicate the sound recording to the public by telecommunication in that way; and

    • (e) if it is fixed in a sound recording that is in the form of a tangible object, to sell or otherwise transfer ownership of the tangible object, as long as that ownership has never previously been transferred in or outside Canada with the authorization of the owner of the copyright in the performer’s performance.

  • Marginal note:Conditions

    (2) Subsection (1) applies only if the performer’s performance

    • (a) takes place in Canada or in a Rome Convention country;

    • (b) is fixed in

      • (i) a sound recording whose maker, at the time of the first fixation,

        • (A) if a natural person, was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, or a citizen or permanent resident of a Rome Convention country, or

        • (B) if a corporation, had its headquarters in Canada or in a Rome Convention country, or

      • (ii) a sound recording whose first publication in such a quantity as to satisfy the reasonable demands of the public occurred in Canada or in a Rome Convention country; or

    • (c) is transmitted at the time of the performer’s performance by a communication signal broadcast from Canada or a Rome Convention country by a broadcaster that has its headquarters in the country of broadcast.

  • Marginal note:Conditions for copyright

    (2.1) Subsection (1.1) applies if

    • (a) the performer’s performance takes place in Canada;

    • (b) the performer’s performance is fixed in

      • (i) a sound recording whose maker, at the time of its first fixation,

        • (A) was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, in the case of a natural person, or

        • (B) had its headquarters in Canada, in the case of a corporation, or

      • (ii) a sound recording whose first publication in a quantity sufficient to satisfy the reasonable demands of the public occurred in Canada; or

    • (c) the performer’s performance is transmitted at the time of its performance by a communication signal broadcast from Canada by a broadcaster that has its headquarters in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Conditions for copyright

    (2.2) Subsection (1.1) also applies if

    • (a) the performer’s performance takes place in a WPPT country;

    • (b) the performer’s performance is fixed in

      • (i) a sound recording whose maker, at the time of its first fixation,

        • (A) was a citizen or permanent resident of a WPPT country, in the case of a natural person, or

        • (B) had its headquarters in a WPPT country, in the case of a corporation, or

      • (ii) a sound recording whose first publication in a quantity sufficient to satisfy the reasonable demands of the public occurred in a WPPT country; or

    • (c) the performer’s performance is transmitted at the time of its performance by a communication signal broadcast from a WPPT country by a broadcaster that has its headquarters in that country.

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (3) The first publication is deemed to have occurred in a country referred to in paragraph (2)(b) notwithstanding that it in fact occurred previously elsewhere, if the interval between those two publications does not exceed thirty days.

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (4) The first publication of a sound recording is deemed to have occurred in a WPPT country, despite an earlier publication elsewhere, if the interval between the publication in that WPPT country and the earlier publication does not exceed 30 days.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 15;
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 61;
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 14;
  • 2001, c. 27, s. 235;
  • 2012, c. 20, s. 9.
 
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