This guide was designed solely for informational purposes for Georgian College students, faculty & staff.
All other users are encouraged to check and confirm the information with their institution.
This site is prepared by library staff and is not reviewed by legal counsel.
Copyright is the right to copy or reproduce a legally protected work. Copyright law protects creators' rights while allowing users some rights to copy or reproduce a legally protected work.
In Canada, a work is automatically protected by copyright once it becomes fixated (saved, printed, written, drawn, etc.). Copyright protection exists whether or not a copyright symbol appears on the work.
Video Source: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. (2016). What is a copyright? (Canada) [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/ljNS5p3cqls .
Canada's Copyright Act defines
Included in the Act are legal exceptions to Copyright such as Fair Dealing and other exceptions specific to academic institutions and libraries.
Copyright protects literary and artistic creations such as:
Copyright does not protect ideas, procedures, mathematical concepts or facts!
Authors or creators of Copyrighted works have both economic and moral rights.
Economic rights include the right to produce, reproduce, publish, distribute, perform or sell their works. Moral rights can be waived but cannot be transfer to another person or given away. Moral rights include:
The right to be anonymous or use a pseudonym.
The right to prevent distortion, mutilation or modification of your work.
The right to be credited for your work or not.
Copying includes all forms of reproduction including:
It can also mean to share, perform and recreate.
The Public Domain refers to works are no longer protected by copyright - they now belong to the public.
In Canada, copyright lasts the lifetime of the author + 70 years*. After this period, the work enters the public domain and can be used free of charge by others without the need to request permission. Some examples of content that are in the Public Domain include the text of Shakespeare's original plays and the original Winnie-the-Pooh character (not the Disney version, with red shirt),
Sources of content for works that are in the Public Domain:
We recommend that you always cite your source - even if the work is found in the Public Domain!
*NEW: As of December 30, 2022, the duration of Copyright in Canada has been adjusted to 70 years after the author's death.