Tag Archives: Canada

What is a Copyright Policy or Copyright Guidelines?

A copyright compliance policy or copyright guidelines can have many purposes. Purposes include:

  • providing information to help determine who owns works created during employment
  • explaining the terms and conditions in licenses for using digital content
  • establishing a procedure for clearing permissions in copyright-protected works
  • providing guidelines on interpreting fair dealing

One way to explain the role of a copyright compliance policy or copyright guidelines is as a summary of copyright management procedures for your organization or institution. Depending on the contents of the policy or guidelines, it can also be an educational tool and serve as reference material on copyright issues relevant to your organization or institution. Another important role of a copyright compliance policy or guidelines is to provide a single, consistent approach to copyright issues.

Although it may initially be read cover-to-cover, a copyright compliance policy or guidelines is more likely to be consulted on an as-needed basis, so a strong index and/or search tool is recommended to ensure its effectiveness. A policy or guidelines should always be “live” and be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect changes in copyright law, technology, organizational policies, and the way in which you use copyright-protected materials in your organization.

What is the purpose of your Copyright Policy or Guidelines?

Do you have a Copyright Compliance Policy or Guidelines? Does it stay true to your purpose(s)? Or are you now articulating your purposes so that you can develop a Policy or Guidelines? Need assistance developing a copyright policy or guidelines? Click here.

“Orphan Works” in Canada – Unlocatable Copyright Owner Licences in 2012-2013

What is an Orphan Work?

An orphan work is one in which the copyright owner cannot be identified or located. Many countries are grappling with how to legislatively deal with orphan works. The Canadian Copyright Act has had a provision in its Act since 1988 to allow the Copyright Board of Canada to provide licences for the use of published works where the copyright holder cannot be located. Pages 273 – 278 of the book Canadian Copyright Law discusses how the unlocatable copyright owner provision works, how to apply to obtain a licence to use a work of an unlocatable copyright owner, and examples of licences granted by the Board.

Unlocatable Copyright Owner Licences

In the Copyright Board’s recently issued 2012-13 Annual Report, it is stated that 24 applications for an unlocatable copyright owner licence were filed with the Copyright Board and eight licenses issued in the fiscal year 2012-13. Licences were issued for the following purposes:

  • synchronization, reproduction and communication to the public by telecommunication of an excerpt of a song
  • reproduction and communication to the public of posters, periodicals and monographs
  • the digital reproduction and the communication to the public by telecommunication of two jokes
  • the mechanical reproduction and public performance of a musical work
  • the reproduction and the republication on hard copy of the text in a book (this was a renewal of a previously granted licence)
  • reproduction and communication of a photograph in a documentary  film
  • the reproduction, the making available and the communication to the public by telecommunication of three paintings

Do you have a work in which you cannot identify or locate the copyright owner? Apply to the Copyright Board of Canada for a licence!

Learn more about Canadian Copyright Law.