Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42)

Act current to 2014-11-11 and last amended on 2012-11-07. 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 [Repealed, 1993, c. 44, s. 59]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 [Repealed, 2012, c. 20, s. 6]

 [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 8]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.