The Book

Copyright affects everyone. Anyone who has ever written a letter or email message, made a sketch, or taken a photograph (even with a smart phone) is a “creator” of copyright protected material. And anyone who has ever photocopied an article, digitized an image, or downloaded a document from the internet is a “user” or consumer of copyright protected material.

Copyright law is very complicated. The purpose of this book is to demystify Canadian Copyright Law and set out its fundamental principles in everyday language. This book is written for those who create copyright materials, use copyright materials, acquire the rights to content, and share and disseminate content. Its audience is the individual as well as those who work in institutions and organizations in a broad range of fields including cultural, entertainment, education, information and computer software, whether for-profit or nonprofit organizations, and whether your use of content is for commercial or noncommercial or personal purposes. Many of us share the same experience in that the internet and digital content and distribution has made copyright everyone’s business.

Intellectual property, and especially copyright, is a growth industry. It is also an often misunderstood area of the law. One of the basic problems in understanding copyright is that we cannot see it. Perhaps that is why people who would not dare steal a towel from a hotel room would, without a second thought, photocopy a book or reproduce a computer program or image found online.

History of the Book, Canadian Copyright Law

Three Previous Editions of Canadian Copyright Law

Three Previous Editions of Canadian Copyright Law

From left to right in the above photograph, the first edition was published in 1991; the second edition was published in 1995; and the third edition was published in 2001.

The newest (fourth) edition addresses major legislative changes in 2012 to the Canadian Copyright Act, recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and detailed information on how the law applies to digital content and social media

This site was established in 2014 in order to supplement Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition.

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