Copyright: The Basics

Copyright is a form of intellectual property rights that protects the expression of an idea.

What may be copyrighted?

Any original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work (“Works”). Copyright also applies to other items, including sound recordings, communication signals and performer’s performances.


Works must be original and fixed (e.g. in a material form, identifiable).

Rights in Copyrighted Works

The rights in copyrighted Works include the sole right to produce, reproduce, perform and publish the Work and any translation thereof. Certain Works may enjoy additional rights as identified in the Copyright Act.

Registration not required

In Canada, copyright automatically applies in the creation and fixation of any original Work (provided the creator/author is a citizen of or is ordinarily a resident in Canada or a copyright Treaty country). No registration of copyright is required. However, registering your copyright may provide some benefits, such as acting as a public notice that copyright exists and identifying the owner of the copyright.

Period of Protection

In Canada, copyright generally lasts for the lifetime of the author + 50 years after their death.

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.

Contact Sander Law to discuss your copyright matter!