What is Copyright?

In Canada, “copyright” refers to the bundle of statutory rights conferred by the Copyright Act on the copyright owner and author of the work. These rights arise automatically when an original literary, artistic, musical or dramatic work is fixed in a material form. An “original” work does not need to be unique or creative, but must involve some intellectual effort in skill and judgment.

Typical works in which copyright can subsist include books, articles, sheet music, illustrations, photographs, motion pictures, works of sculpture and computer programs.

Copyright extends to the original expression in the work and not to any underlying idea. Consequently, copyright does not extend to underlying schemes, systems or methods, but can extend to how they are presented, for example.

For more information on copyrights, please consult an intellectual property professional.