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Glossary of Copyright Terms

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Assignment is the transfer of copyright from the owner to a second party. Copyright is assignable, moral rights are not assignable. Many people confuse Assignment with licensing. Licensing grants permission for only a limited while assignment transfers the ownership of the copyright itself.
Ownership/Assignment - Copyright Act of Canada]


The author is the creator of a copyrighted work.
Ownership/Author - Copyright Act of Canada

Berne Convention
The Berne [Switzerland] Convention is an international agreement for the protection of literary and artistic works. Countries that are party to the Berne Convention are obliged to give nationals of other signatory countries minimum levels of copyright protection. Canada is a party to the Berne convention.
The Berne Convention - Cerebalaw

A collective is an organization that administers rights on behalf of its members or clients. Copyright collectives typically negotiate and grant licenses, collect and distribute licensing income, and enforce member and client rights in cases of infringement.
Collective Administration - Copyright Act of Canada

Copyright Act
The Copyright Act of Canada is the legislation C-42 enacted by the government concerning copyright in Canada.
The Copyright Act

Copyright Board of Canada

The Copyright Board is a federal regulatory tribunal responsible for approving all copyright tariffs and fees. The Board sets the rates for licenses when the owners and users cannot agree on terms and when the owner of the copyright cannot be located.
The Copyright Board of Canada

Copyright Office
The Copyright Office is part of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. It is responsible for registering copyrights in Canada. Under Canadian law, copyright exists automatically for original works at the moment that they are fixed in a material (on a page or CD, for example) or digital (in RAM or a computer chip) form. Registration of a work with the Copyright office can assist in the resolution of disputes from claims of infringement, but is not necessary for proving copyright.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Crown Copyright
Crown copyrights exist for works made by or for the government (The Crown) such as legislation and government publications. Permission is not required to reproduce acts of legislation, court decisions, or decisions of tribunals. The user is required to ensure the accuracy of the copy and to indicate it is not the official version. Some Crown Copyright materials require permission for use from the government, though that varies among provinces and the federal government.
Ownership/Crown Copyright - Copyright Act of Canada

Exceptions to Copyright

Exceptions are provisions in the act that allow specific uses of copyright material without securing permission from the copyright holder. In the absence of an exception, the use would be an infringement. Exceptions are very specific and have limited applicability. Users should not assume that an exception applies in their case without consulting expert advice.
Exceptions to Copyright - Copyright Act of Canada

Fair Dealing
Fair dealing is an exception for using a copyright work for private study, research, criticism, review, or news reporting. Fair dealing is the most widely used exception in Canadian Copyright. Fair dealing does not permit the unauthorized use of a work for teaching in a classroom.
Exceptions/Fair Dealing - Copyright Act of Canada

Fair Use
Fair use is an exception to the United States copyright law that does not apply in Canada. For more information on Fair Use see "U.S.A: Exceptions" and "U.S.A.: Exceptions Wizard
Fair Use - U.S. Copyright Office


Infringement is the unauthorized use of a copyright work.
Infringement - Copyright Act of Canada

Intellectual Property

The broader grouping of rights that includes copyright, trade marks, patents, industrial design, integrated circuit typography.
Intellectual Property - Canadian Intellectual Property Office


A license is the grant of permission to use a copyright work for a specific and limited use. A license does not convey the transfer of ownership in the copyright, assignment of ownership in the copyright, or the right to use the work in any fashion other than the use specifically granted.
License - Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Moral Rights
Moral Rights are the rights of a creator to the integrity of the work and the right to be named as the work's creator after sale or transfer of the copyright and/or the physical work.The moral right is not assignable.
Moral Rights - Copyright Act of Canada

National Treatment
National Treatment is the provision in the Copyright Act that extends the copyright protection enjoyed by Canadian citizens and residents in Canada to nationals of other countries that are party to any of the Berne Convention, Rome Convention, and/or the Universal Copyright Convention. Canadian citizens and residents are similarly protected in non-Canadian countries that are signatories. That means that a Canadian citizen is protected by the provision of the US copyright act for any infringement that may take place in the United States.
National Treatment - Department of Justice Canada

Neighbouring Rights
Neighbouring Rights are also known as Copyright in Performer's Performances, Sound Recordings, and Communication Signals. These are rights to remuneration (getting paid) for performers and producers of sound recordings and broadcast programs when these are performed or communicated in public. Neighbouring rights include rights of recording artists, record producers, and broadcasters.
Neighbouring Rights - Copyright Act of Canada

Private Copying
The private copying of music recordings for personal use is not an infringing activity. The Copyright Board has a tariff for the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) on blank media (cassette tapes, recordable CDs, etc.) under the Right of Remuneration legislation. These payments cover the private copying of musical works.
Private Copying - Copyright Act of Canada

Public Domain
A work is in the Public Domain after the expiration of its term of Copyright Protection.
Public Domain - Canadian Copyright Law, Lesley Ellen Harris

Rome Convention

The Rome Convention is an international agreement for the protection of performers, producers of sound recordings, and broadcasting organizations that establishes minimum protection requirements for countries that are party to the convention.Canada is party to the Rome Convention.
Rome Convention

Term of Copyright
Copyright exists for a specified period of time. In Canada the term of copyright is for the life of the creator of the work plus the 50 years that follow the creator's death concluding with December 31 of that 50th year. There are other considerations in determining the term of copyright should the work be a work for hire, or meet other conditions.
Term of Copyright - Copyright Act of Canada

Universal Copyright Convention
Canada is party to the Universal Copyright Convention as adopted in Geneva in 1952 and revised in Paris in 1971.
Universal Copyright Convention

Works that are Subject to Copyright
In Canada, copyright subsists in every original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work for the term specified in the Copyright Act of Canada.
Works in Which Copyright May Subsist - Copyright Act of Canada

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