Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer # 315
When does a Copyright arise and where is it legal?Region: Ontario Answer # 315
In Canada, the act of creating an original work immediately establishes a copyright for the creator. It is not necessary to register a copyright to have the copyright rights in Canada. Once the work is put in a fixed form, for example, a story written on paper, you automatically have copyright protection. If you want to register copyright in your works, for a small fee, you can do so with the Copyright Office, which is part of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Registering a copyright may help you if you take legal action against anyone who infringes your copyright.
Copyright protection is automatic as long as, at the time the work was created, the creator was either a citizen or ordinarily resident in a country that subscribes to an international copyright treaty. The treaty covers most of the countries in the world, but if you are unsure about any particular country, you should contact the Copyright Office, or a copyright lawyer.
The international conventions also provide Canadian authors with copyright protection in over 100 countries which belong to the convention agreement. Canadian copyright owners are given protection under the laws of each particular country. Some of these countries may require registration for copyright protection. To register a copyright in Canada, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
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