ARCHIVED — New Rights and Protections for Copyright Owners
Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.
For copyright owners who want to better protect their online work
The purpose of this information sheet is to give general introductory information aboutcurrent copyright law and to explain what would change under the proposed amendments. If you need to know how the law applies to a particular situation, please seek advice from a lawyer.
- The Copyright Act has not been reformed significantly for the past 10 years. New rights and protections are required if rights holders are to better reach new markets, adapt their business models and combat infringement in a digital environment.
Under the proposed new rights and protections
It would be clearly illegal to:
- Post a copyright work (song, film, video game, software, photograph, etc.) online (via a website, an email, a peer-to-peer [P2P] service or otherwise) without the authorization of the copyright owner.1 (Making available right)
- Break or provide tools designed to hack a digital lock (password, anti-copy device, time-limited trial system) placed on a copyright work without the authorization of the copyright owner. (Technological measures)
- Remove or modify information (to identify the rights holder, terms and conditions of use, etc.) embedded in copyright work without the authorization of the copyright owner. (Rights management information)
- Distribute a copyright work in a tangible form (CDs, books, DVDs, etc.) for the first time without the authorization of the copyright owner. (Distribution right)
- Distort or mutilate a copyright performance (theatre play, live concert, dance, etc.), or to associate a product with it, without the authorization of the performer. (Performer's moral right)
- Directly or indirectly reproduce (via traditional broadcast, Internet or otherwise) a copyright performance without the authorization of the copyright owner. (Reproduction right)
In contrast with the existing rules, photographers would always be considered the authors of, and the first owners of, copyright in photographs, including commissioned photographs (e.g., wedding photos).
The terms of protections for some actual rights would be extended to:
- fifty years after publication for sound-recording makers and performers
- life plus 50 years for photographers
1 The copyright owner is not necessarily the creator of the work. Copyrights are tradable, and creators can decide to give, license or sell them.
- Date modified: