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Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42)

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Act current to 2022-07-25 and last amended on 2020-07-01. Previous Versions

Interpretation (continued)

Marginal note:Compilations

  •  (1) A compilation containing two or more of the categories of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works shall be deemed to be a compilation of the category making up the most substantial part of the compilation.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) The mere fact that a work is included in a compilation does not increase, decrease or otherwise affect the protection conferred by this Act in respect of the copyright in the work or the moral rights in respect of the work.

  • 1993, c. 44, s. 54

Marginal note:Definition of maker

 For greater certainty, the arrangements referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition maker in section 2, as that term is used in section 19 and in the definition eligible maker in section 79, include arrangements for entering into contracts with performers, financial arrangements and technical arrangements required for the first fixation of the sounds for a sound recording.

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2

Marginal note:Definition of publication

  •  (1) For the purposes of this Act, publication means

    • (a) in relation to works,

      • (i) making copies of a work available to the public,

      • (ii) the construction of an architectural work, and

      • (iii) the incorporation of an artistic work into an architectural work, and

    • (b) in relation to sound recordings, making copies of a sound recording available to the public,

    but does not include

    • (c) the performance in public, or the communication to the public by telecommunication, of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or a sound recording, or

    • (d) the exhibition in public of an artistic work.

  • Marginal note:Issue of photographs and engravings

    (2) For the purpose of subsection (1), the issue of photographs and engravings of sculptures and architectural works is not deemed to be publication of those works.

  • Marginal note:Where no consent of copyright owner

    (3) For the purposes of this Act, other than in respect of infringement of copyright, a work or other subject-matter is not deemed to be published or performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication if that act is done without the consent of the owner of the copyright.

  • Marginal note:Unpublished works

    (4) Where, in the case of an unpublished work, the making of the work is extended over a considerable period, the conditions of this Act conferring copyright are deemed to have been complied with if the author was, during any substantial part of that period, a subject or citizen of, or a person ordinarily resident in, a country to which this Act extends.

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2

Marginal note:Telecommunication

 A person who communicates a work or other subject-matter to the public by telecommunication does not by that act alone perform it in public, nor by that act alone is deemed to authorize its performance in public.

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2

Marginal note:Communication to the public by telecommunication

  •  (1) For the purposes of communication to the public by telecommunication,

    • (a) persons who occupy apartments, hotel rooms or dwelling units situated in the same building are part of the public, and a communication intended to be received exclusively by such persons is a communication to the public;

    • (b) a person whose only act in respect of the communication of a work or other subject-matter to the public consists of providing the means of telecommunication necessary for another person to so communicate the work or other subject-matter does not communicate that work or other subject-matter to the public; and

    • (c) where a person, as part of

      • (i) a network, within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act, whose operations result in the communication of works or other subject-matter to the public, or

      • (ii) any programming undertaking whose operations result in the communication of works or other subject-matter to the public,

      transmits by telecommunication a work or other subject-matter that is communicated to the public by another person who is not a retransmitter of a signal within the meaning of subsection 31(1), the transmission and communication of that work or other subject-matter by those persons constitute a single communication to the public for which those persons are jointly and severally liable.

  • Marginal note:Communication to the public by telecommunication

    (1.1) For the purposes of this Act, communication of a work or other subject-matter to the public by telecommunication includes making it available to the public by telecommunication in a way that allows a member of the public to have access to it from a place and at a time individually chosen by that member of the public.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (2) The Governor in Council may make regulations defining “programming undertaking” for the purpose of paragraph (1)(c).

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) A work is not communicated in the manner described in paragraph (1)(c) or 3(1)(f) where a signal carrying the work is retransmitted to a person who is a retransmitter within the meaning of subsection 31(1).

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2
  • 2002, c. 26, s. 1
  • 2012, c. 20, s. 3

Marginal note:What constitutes rental

  •  (1) For the purposes of paragraphs 3(1)(h) and (i), 15(1)(c) and 18(1)(c), an arrangement, whatever its form, constitutes a rental of a computer program or sound recording if, and only if,

    • (a) it is in substance a rental, having regard to all the circumstances; and

    • (b) it is entered into with motive of gain in relation to the overall operations of the person who rents out the computer program or sound recording, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Motive of gain

    (2) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(b), a person who rents out a computer program or sound recording with the intention of recovering no more than the costs, including overhead, associated with the rental operations does not by that act alone have a motive of gain in relation to the rental operations.

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2

Marginal note:Exclusive distributor

 The Governor in Council may make regulations establishing distribution criteria for the purpose of paragraph (b) of the definition exclusive distributor in section 2.

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2

Marginal note:Exclusive licence

 For the purposes of this Act, an exclusive licence is an authorization to do any act that is subject to copyright to the exclusion of all others including the copyright owner, whether the authorization is granted by the owner or an exclusive licensee claiming under the owner.

  • 1997, c. 24, s. 2

PART ICopyright and Moral Rights in Works

Copyright

Marginal note:Copyright in works

  •  (1) For the purposes of this Act, copyright, in relation to a work, means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatever, to perform the work or any substantial part thereof in public or, if the work is unpublished, to publish the work or any substantial part thereof, and includes the sole right

    • (a) to produce, reproduce, perform or publish any translation of the work,

    • (b) in the case of a dramatic work, to convert it into a novel or other non-dramatic work,

    • (c) in the case of a novel or other non-dramatic work, or of an artistic work, to convert it into a dramatic work, by way of performance in public or otherwise,

    • (d) in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work, to make any sound recording, cinematograph film or other contrivance by means of which the work may be mechanically reproduced or performed,

    • (e) in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to reproduce, adapt and publicly present the work as a cinematographic work,

    • (f) in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to communicate the work to the public by telecommunication,

    • (g) to present at a public exhibition, for a purpose other than sale or hire, an artistic work created after June 7, 1988, other than a map, chart or plan,

    • (h) in the case of a computer program that can be reproduced in the ordinary course of its use, other than by a reproduction during its execution in conjunction with a machine, device or computer, to rent out the computer program,

    • (i) in the case of a musical work, to rent out a sound recording in which the work is embodied, and

    • (j) in the case of a work 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 copyright owner,

    and to authorize any such acts.

  • Marginal note:Simultaneous fixing

    (1.1) A work that is communicated in the manner described in paragraph (1)(f) is fixed even if it is fixed simultaneously with its communication.

  • (1.2) to (4) [Repealed, 1997, c. 24, s. 3]

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 3
  • R.S., 1985, c. 10 (4th Supp.), s. 2
  • 1988, c. 65, s. 62
  • 1993, c. 23, s. 2, c. 44, s. 55
  • 1997, c. 24, s. 3
  • 2012, c. 20, s. 4

 [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

  •  (1) Except as provided in section 6.2 and in subsection (2), where the identity of the author of a work is unknown, copyright in the work shall subsist until the end of 75 years following the end of the calendar year in which the work is made. However, if the work is published before the copyright expires, the copyright continues until the earlier of the end of 75 years following the end of the calendar year in which the first publication occurs and 100 years following the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.

  • Marginal note:Identity of author commonly known

    (2) Where, during any term referred to in subsection (1), the author’s identity becomes commonly known, the term provided in section 6 applies.

Marginal note:Anonymous and pseudonymous works of joint authorship

  •  (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), where the identity of all the authors of a work of joint authorship is unknown, copyright in the work shall subsist until the end of 75 years following the end of the calendar year in which the work is made. However, if the work is published before the copyright expires, the copyright continues until the earlier of the end of 75 years following the end of the calendar year in which the first publication occurs and 100 years following the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.

  • Marginal note:Identity of author commonly known

    (2) Where, during any term referred to in subsection (1), 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 50 years following the end of that calendar year.

 
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