Creativity should not be controlled, captured or meddled with. Quite often it manifests itself as a work of art, a piece of music, an idea, a research paper, a new technology, a logo or a tagline which is authentic as well as unique in nature. A copyright aims to protect these original works of art and technology against unlicensed or unethical use.
As a business owner, one of the major risks you face while commercializing your Intellectual Property (IP) is the threat of infringement. This makes it crucial for entrepreneurs to be adept with the Copyright law of Canada and the nuances of commercializing your IP.
To get you started, here are 5 important facts about the copyright law that you should know:
Fact #1 Scope of the Copyright Law
According to the Government of Canada’s official website, the Copyright Act protects literary works which applies to all works containing text, dramatic works such as films, plays, screenplays and scripts, musical works which refer to any kind of musical composition, and artistic works. This act is also applicable to performers’ performances such as communication signals (television, radio and mobile networks) and sound recordings.
Fact #2 Duration of the Copyright
Any legally registered copyright is valid throughout the author’s lifetime, for the remaining months in the calendar after he/she dies and 50 years beyond that. After this time frame, the work is considered to be a part of the public domain. In case where a copyrighted product/work has more than one author, the 50 year period begins following the death of the last author.
Fact #3 Copyright Symbol
As per the Copyright Law of Canada, you do not need to mark your protected works with the copyright symbol. But if you intend to be cautious, you can use the copyright symbol on your work to signal to the public that your work is protected by copyright law. This can also be applied to original works which are not officially registered under the copyright law.
Fact #4 Ownership of Copyright
According to 13 (1) clause of the Copyright law, barring the presence of a formal contract stating otherwise, all unique works of art created by an individual under the employment of another person or organisation belong to the employer or owner of the organisation. However, copyright protection for works written for a newspaper, magazine, journal or any other publication extends to the author of the work and she also reserves the right to restrain the publication of her work in case of a feud with the employer.
Fact #5 Registration
Another unique fact about the Copyright law in Canada is that your work does not need to be registered in order to be protected. The moment you create an original piece of work which meets the parameters set by the Copyright Act, your work is automatically protected. However, a copyright registration certificate may be used as evidence of your ownership of your work.
As a business owner, it is crucial to be completely aware of the Copyright Law, its various clauses and its implications for your business. Our professionals at Prowse Chowne can help you learn more about the various IP legislation (patents, trademarks and copyright) applicable to your operations.