Copyright in Canada, for your information...


Copyright in Canada is automatic upon creation of a work and usually lasts for the artists lifetime plus fifty years.

Now, like no other time in history, everyone can easily be a photographer a writer, artist just by publishing their works electronically via the internet. Just as easy on the other side of the coin your works can be copied by anyone. If you happen to find out someone has ripped off your work what can you do?

If you happen to be wealthy you can hire a lawyer and sue or you can have a membership in an organization that will go to bat on your behalf. In Canada there are two such organizations. If you are a serious creator its to your advantage to belong to one of these:

Access Copyright - The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency Founded in 1988 with the purpose of licensing public access to copyrighted works such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic published works in the form of books, magazines, journals and newspapers. Now digital works are also included.

This organization, across Canada, through licensing agreements with libraries, copy shops, schools and archives collects a fee for every copy made (which may or may not include your published material) this money is divided amongst its members once a year as royalties. They also provide legal assistance for members.

Membership is free. Access copyright is a non profit organization - check out their website for more details.

Canadian Artists Representation Copyright Collective Inc. (CARCC) Through this agency and its licensing service it can help artists protect copyright and benefit from it. Some copyrights administered by CARCC are exhibition, reproduction, reprography and telecommunications. Once you become an affiliate you assign copyright to CARCC for the purpose of administration, that is, for authorising and licensing your works.

Any time an affiliate’s licensed work is used in a public exhibit, gallery or reproduction a fee is negotiated based on the CARFAC Minimum Fee Schedule.

Like Access Copyright there is no membership fee.

In the past I have served on the boards of four of the preceding organizations and presently a member of two and I highly recommend them all if you are a serious creator.

Check out more details on why you should become a member of CARCC at, or visit other arts organizations involved with artist advocacy matters like Visual Arts Nova Scotia and CARFAC/CARFAC Maritimes (N.S., N.B. and P.E.I.).