05. How does copyright work differently in Canada and the United States?

In general, the copyright laws in the U.S. and Canada are different. For example, the U.S. has a provision known as "fair use" that is different from the Canadian equivalent ("fair dealing"). See Question 07: What is fair dealing and how does it relate to copyright? for more information.

06. How does copyright work internationally?

Copyright is recognized internationally thanks to international conventions. So, generally, your copyright will be protected in other countries, but there may be some differences in terms of how your work would be protected. If you’re concerned about someone’s use of your work outside of Canada, you will need to check the copyright laws of that jurisdiction to confirm whether the use in question infringes your copyright.

03. How long does copyright last?

How long copyright lasts depends on the country a work originates from and the country a user works in. In Canada, copyright generally lasted for the lifetime of the author, plus 50 years; however, at the end of 2022, the term after an author's death was extended to 70 years to align with current copyright terms in the United States and in many parts of Europe. This general rule can differ depending on factors such as the type of work, the manner of publication, and the date of creation/publication.

Copyright and publishing

The following pages provide information about copyright as it applies in publishing your research:

02. What rights does a copyright owner have?

Copyright gives the copyright owner several legal rights, such as the right to copy and translate a work, the right to communicate a work to the public by telecommunication, and the right to assign permission to third parties to circulate the work on the copyright owner's behalf. These rights are qualified by certain exceptions that balance the copyright owner’s interests with the public interest in allowing the use of copyright-protected works for purposes such as education and research.

01. What does copyright cover?

Copyright protects literary, artistic, dramatic and musical works, as well as sound recordings, performances and communication signals. These categories encompass a wide range of materials, from books, articles, posters, manuals, and graphs to CDs, DVDs, software, databases, and websites.