The Role of The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
The Canadian Copyright Office which is part of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is discussed in various parts of the book Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition (CCL). For example:
- page 20 of CCL discusses responsibility for copyright in Canada and the role of CIPO
- page 44 discusses how to register copyright with the Canadian Government through CIPO
- page 255 examines locating a copyright owner through online and in-person searches in the Canadian Copyrights Database and in-person at CIPO
The Copyright Section
The Canadian Intellectual Property (IP) Office has a comprehensive website for each area of IP in Canada. The site was recently updated and is more visually appealing and much easier to navigate than before.
When you enter the copyright section of the site, there is a slider which provides you with various choices: a guide to Canadian copyright law; a link to search copyright records; and an explanation of Canadian copyright law. You can also easily choose things such as register a copyright, view registration fees, order documents, and transfer copyright ownership. Even more information is set out by several icons: learn; apply; online services; and resources. Many of the links return you to the older website design though it’s possible that these older pages will soon be updated.
Have URL’s Within the CIPO Changed?
Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition, includes several URLs within the CIPO website. I asked @CIPO through Twitter whether the URLs in its new website had changed and the reply was: @copyrightlaws Most of our links haven’t changed. If you encounter issues, let us know here: http://ow.ly/B6aw3. And if you do encounter any changed URLs, please let me know too so I can post them here and share the updates with other readers of Canadian Copyright Law, Fourth Edition. Email Lesley.
A Useful Site for Canadian Copyright Law
This website is very useful as a primary resource for researching Canadian copyright law issues. The Canadian Copyright Act and Copyright Regulations as well as additional copyright information is only a click away once you enter the site. There is also a “What’s new” section which at the time of writing this post says, “There is no recent news at this time.” Though in the same area as the what’s new section is a reminder that says E-filing: save time and money, Register in 5 days! Impressive turn around for copyright registration. View the new CIPO website.
Learn more about Canadian copyright law.
Keep up-to-date on copyright seminars, news and blog posts – subscribe to copyright e-letter.
There are a couple of initiatives by the U.S. Copyright Office that may be of great assistance to Canadians (Americans and others too) who need to locate copyright owners, register copyright- protected works under the U.S. Copyright Office registration system, and understand how the U.S. Copyright Office consistently approaches and interprets the U.S. Copyright Act and the Office’s mandate.
New U.S. Copyright Office Website
The U.S. Copyright Office website has an entire new look. It is much cleaner and easier to navigate. On the home page, you are initially given four choices: register a copyright; record a document; search records; and learn about statutory licensing. As Canadians you are likely entering the U.S. Copyright Office website to register your work or to search the records to locate a copyright holder. Registering a work with the U.S. Copyright Office is described in detail on pages 52-55 of Canadian Copyright Law. This updated site has a tutorial on completing an electronic copyright registration. Another common use of the U.S. Copyright Office site is to search the records to locate a copyright holder and perhaps obtain permission to use a work. A tutorial that details each step of searching the records is also accessible from the home page of the website. There is tons of other useful information so worth taking a look and browsing through the new website.
Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition
On 19 August 2014, Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante released a draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition – a 1,200 page document that in many parts reads as a treatise on U.S. copyright law. The Compendium sets out administrative practices relating to registration and recordation policy. It remains in draft form for 120 days pending final review and implementation. Prior editions of the Compendium were for the most part internally directed and this third edition is a comprehensive overhaul that makes the practices and standards of the Office more accessible and transparent to the public. It addresses basic copyright principles such as standards of copyrightability, joint authorship, work for hire, and routine questions like fees, records retrieval and other procedural issues. The compendium will be of help to Canadians seeking in-depth information on what applications for copyright registration will be accepted by the U.S. Copyright Office, who may file a copyright registration application, examination practises, and copyright office services.
Both the updated U.S. Copyright Office website and the Compendium are helpful resources to add to Chapter 15, An Overview of American Copyright Law, in Canadian Copyright Law.
Learn more about Canadian copyright law.
Automatic Protection in Canada and the U.S.
Copyright protection in Canada and the U.S. is automatic upon creation of a work in a fixed form. For example, once a poem is on paper, it is protected by copyright. Or once an article is saved on your computer, it is protected by copyright. Registration of the work is not mandatory in either country but there are advantages to registering a work and many Canadian authors and copyright owners register their works with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and/or the U.S. Copyright Office. (Chapter 4, Canadian Copyright Law, Are Formalities Required to Obtain Copyright Protection?) discusses automatic protection and registration.)
Fees for Copyright Registration
Canadian registration fees: Filing an application for copyright registration for a work or other subject-matter in Canada via the CIPO website is $50 CDN. Filing an application by fax or mail is $65 CDN.
U.S. registration fees: U.S. copyright registration fees are changing on 1 May 2014. The current fee of $35 US for filing a copyright registration online will remain for single authors (not joint authors), single works (not collections) and for works that are not a work made for hire. All other works will cost $55 US to file online. Filing a paper form is currently $65 and this will increase to $85.
On 1 May 2014, you should pencil in the new fees in your copy of Canadian Copyright Law – page 53 is where you’ll see the fees. Click for a full list of the new copyright office fees.
The following table compares copyright registration in Canada and the U.S. as of 1 May 2014.
|U.S. Copyright Office
$35 or $55 US