Tag Archives: copyright permissions

Canadian Copyright for Bloggers

Canadian Copyright Law for Bloggers

I recently spoke in Montreal at a food bloggers conference. My presentation was about legally using content as well as protecting content in your own blog. Because it was a food bloggers conference, the number one question I was asked throughout the conference was reproducing recipes and are recipes protected by copyright. Bottom line: a list of ingredients are not protected by copyright however the prose used to describe how to make the recipe is protected by copyright. Of course you can’t really protect phrases like, Add half a cup of sugar. So many food bloggers and recipe book authors try to create a style with specific phrases and wording so it’s obvious when someone is copying their style. Is a style protected by copyright? No, but the exact words used to describe how to make a recipe are protected by copyright.

Copyright tips for bloggersAnother big issue for food bloggers is attribution. Even if you use a list of ingredients without permission and you explain how to make the recipe in your own words, ethically you should attribute the original recipe author and also link to the author’s website or the recipe itself if it’s available online.

See my list of copyright tips for staying legal and protecting your content from the Food Bloggers Conference.


Access Copyright moves offices

New Address for Access Copyright

Pages 258 to 260 of Canadian Copyright Law discusses obtaining permission for specific copyright-protected works. Access Copyright administers the rights for text and visual works in published print materials such as books, magazines, journals and newspapers.

Access Copyright licenses users throughout Canada, excluding Quebec. By doing so, it provides individuals and organizations with permission to use content in their repertoire for print and digital copying.

Authors, visual artists, and publishers can directly join Access Copyright or may have membership in Access Copyright through membership in their national and regional organizations.

Please update page 260 of Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition for the contact information for Access Copyright. The new contact information is:

Access Copyright

The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency

320 – 56 Wellesley Street West

Toronto, Ontario  M5S 2S3

www.accesscopyright.ca, info@accesscopyright.ca

416.868.1620 or 1.800.893.5777



Creative Commons Canada has a New Site

When I last looked at the Creative Commons (CC) Canada site in the latter part of 2013, it did not have an internet presence. We could say that CC Canada was “between” sites. Creative Commons Canada now has a new site with CC licenses unique to Canadian copyright law. (Please update the URL for CC Canada on page 212 of the book Canadian Copyright Law to www.creativecommons.ca)

What is a Creative Commons Licence?

A CC licence is a licence that a creator places on his work that sets out the terms and conditions of use of that work.

Creators and CC Licences

A creator can choose from six free Creative Commons Canada licences. The licences are not flexible so a creator has to carefully choose the licence that most closely reflects how he wants his copyright-protected work to be used. For example, the Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) licence allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon his work non-commercially, and although any new works must acknowledge the underlying work and be non-commercial, those new works do not have to be licensed on the same terms as the original work.

Consumers and CC Licences

If you are using a work with a CC licence, keep in mind that the mere use of a CC licence does not mean that the work is the same as public domain or copyright-free. You must read the licence terms and determine what uses of that content are allowed with and without permission.

How to Obtain Permission to Use Canadian Government Content

If you think you can use a government brochure without permission, you should first do some research to determine what’s protected under Canadian copyright law.

Government Works are Protected by Copyright in Canada

In Canada, federal government materials are protected by copyright. These government materials are called “Crown works.” Federal, provincial and territorial government materials are all protected by copyright.

Do You Need Permission to Use Canadian Government Materials?

Obtaining permission to use government works in CanadaAccording to the Reproduction of Federal Law Order, anyone may, without charge or requesting permission, reproduce enactments and consolidations of enactments of the Government of Canada, and decisions and reasons for decisions of federally constituted courts and administrative tribunals. This is provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced and that the reproduction is not represented as an official version.

Materials other than statutes and decisions, etc., may be reproduced without permission if for personal or public noncommercial purposes or for cost-recovery purposes. (Specifics of such use are set out on pages 270 – 271 of the book Canadian Copyright Law.)

Permission to reproduce Government of Canada works is always required if the work is being revised, adapted or translated. Until very recently, Public Works and Government Services Canada offered a streamlined procedure for obtaining permission using an Application for Copyright Clearance of Government of Canada Works and submitting it to Public Works and Government Services Canada. However, this procedure (as outlined on pages 271 – 272 of the book Canadian Copyright Law) has changed.

Procedure for Obtaining Copyright Permission from Canadian Government has Changed

Since late 2013, you must clear copyright in Canadian government materials directly from the department or agency that created the materials. The Canadian government offers this list of 31 Departmental contact points for Crown Copyright and Licensing with email addresses for each department or agency. Note that of the 31 listed names, only two have URLs for online copyright clearances:

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has an online Copyright Authorization Form.

Industry Canada provides an Apply for Crown Copyright Clearance form.

Clearing Crown or Government Works in Canada

Time will tell whether the previous “one-stop” clearance system or this new “department-specific” one is more efficient. If you have experience in clearing Canadian government works (Crown works), please share with us by posting a comment below.