The Author

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    Lesley is a lawyer, author and educator. She’s also a mom, wife, dog owner (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), tennis player, kayaker, and loves walking anywhere in the world. She’s an avid Scrabble player and knows the 101 2-letter words acceptable in the Scrabble dictionary.

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    Lesley recently launched the Copyright Leadership Certificate and the Certificate in Canadian Copyright Law.

    Lesley began working in copyright in the summer of 1984 while a law student at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. She has been blogging about copyright law since 1998 at her well known site,

    Why a Book on Canadian Copyright Law?

    After writing several articles on copyright law, in 1990 Lesley decided to write the first edition of Canadian Copyright Law to meet a need she recognized for plain English materials that explain Canadian copyright law. Little did she know that over two decades later, the fourth edition would be published.

    Lesley Ellen Harris in her office

    Lesley Ellen Harris in her office

    In her own words, Lesley says:

    When this book was initially published in 1991, I had not heard of the internet.  In 1995, when the second edition of this book was being written, I had my very first email account on the Ottawa’s free-net, officially known as the National Capital Freenet.  I had never “surfed” the web though I was familiar with the internet as it then existed, consisting of Archie and Veronica and Gopher.  On May 21, 1998, and so by 2001 and the third edition of this book, I had claimed “real estate” on the internet @ and I had a virtual office.  Almost all my correspondence with clients and students went online.  I no longer carried business cards but merely handed-out my URL and told people to click on my website photo to access me via email.  I cancelled my telephone line and began using only a cellular phone. 

    At the time of this book (the fourth edition!), now available in print and, for the first time, also as an e-book, social media has exploded.  We have yet again new ways of communicating with friends, family and colleagues, and sharing copyright-protected content, with LinkedIn since 2002, Facebook since 2004 and Twitter since 2006.  Everyday we read about social media such as Pinterest (launched 2011) and how it may infringe copyright; new copyright infringement cases settled-out-of-court or decided by a court; proposed and enacted copyright statute amendments in countries around the world; as well as proposed and new trade agreements and international treaties that deal with copyright issues.

    Lesley consults on U.S., Canadian and international copyright and digital licensing issues.  She has written 4 books on copyright and licensing digital content (9 books if you count new editions), edited and published The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter for 18 years (1997 – 2014), and develops and teaches in-person and online training courses on copyright law and licensing digital content. Follow Lesley on Twitter @Copyrightlaws.


    In the words of her clients:

    We recently engaged Lesley on the development of Copyright and Licensing Guidelines for the Bank of Canada.  Lesley was a pleasure to work with.  She is extremely knowledgeable, provided us with insightful and valuable advice, and was able to produce exactly the practical set of guidelines we were looking for in a succinct timeline.  – Susan Hodges, Knowledge & Information Services, Bank of Canada

    Lesley provided exactly the up-to-date copyright information and resources we needed, in a timely and painless fashion, and our staff benefitted greatly from her eTutorial. We highly recommend her services. – Dan Holbrow, PD Coordinator, Museums Association of Saskatchewan

    Email Lesley.

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