What is Copyright?

Copyright is a legal mechanism that protects the Moral and Economic Rights of Content Creators in association with their Works. In Canada, copyright protection generally lasts for 70 years after the death of the Content Creator. When this period of time lapses, the work enters into the public domain and its use is free and unrestricted.

The term ‘Content Creator’ refers to authors, artists, musicians, performers, photographers, movie and music producers, etc.

The term ‘Works’ refers to artistic, dramatic, literary, and musical works as well as sound recordings, performers’ performances, and broadcast signals.

Moral Rights

Content Creators have the right to protect their reputations and the integrity of their Works.

IntegrityThe use of a work must not jeopardize its integrity.
AssociationThe use of a work must not harm the content creator’s reputation.
AttributionThe use of a work, in whole or in part, must acknowledge the source of the work and its content creator.

Economic Rights

Content Creators have the right to exploit the economic potential of their Works by controlling how their Works are used.

ReproductionAny replication of the work by any means.Example: making copies by photocopying, scanning, downloading, etc.
Conversion/TransferChanging the format of a work.Example: making digital copies of a print materials.
Distribution/Rental/SaleCirculating the work or copies of the work whether for profit or not.Example: distributing paper handouts in class or emailing a PDF.
ExhibitionDisplaying a work in public.Example: using an overhead projector to display an image for the class.
Public PerformancePerforming a work in public.Example: Showing a movie to the class or re-enacting scenes from a play.
First PublicationDetermining how the work is first made available to the public.Example: posting to a website or publishing in an academic journal.
CommunicationTransmitting the work to the public by means of wired or wireless broadcast or telecommunication.Example: using FanshaweOnline to make a digital copy of a work available to the class.
Adaptation/TranslationModifying the work.Example: adapting a novel to create a film or translating a passage from one language to another.
AuthorizationAuthorizing any of the abovementioned acts.Example: granting permission to reproduce a work for use within a coursepack that will be sold to students.

Failure to respect Moral Rights and the exercising of any Economic Rights without the authorization of the Content Creator would constitute copyright infringement.