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Things to know

  • Copyright protection in respect of an original work arises upon the creation the work  
  • Although registration of copyright is not necessary, but registration provides presumptions that are useful in the event of litigation
  • Copyright generally lasts for the life of the author of the work plus 50 years
  • The Copyright Act protects moral rights of authors, which generally include the right to the integrity of the work, the right of attribution, and the right to remain anonymous. Moral rights are not assignable and can be waived only by the author

Things to do

  • When you suspect that someone has infringed your copyright, consider filing an application to register the copyright before starting a lawsuit to benefit from useful evidentiary presumptions provided by the registration
  • An application to register copyright may be filed electronically with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) on its website. The application sets out, among other things, the applicant’s name and address, the title of the work, the category of work (e.g. literary, dramatic, etc.), the author(s), and the date and country of first publication if the work has been published. It is not necessary to submit a copy of the work with the application.
  • CIPO only conducts a cursory examination of the application. If the application meets the formal requirements, registration typically issues within days of filing the application. Although it is not necessary to engage a legal professional to assist in the application process, it is advisable to obtain legal advice when preparing the application.
  • Have a waiver of moral rights signed by each person involved in the creation of a work protected by copyright
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