Copyright Info for Canadians

copyrightA number of visitors to my WIR office have asked me about copyrighting their work. Sometimes, I get nail-biting writers who fear someone may “steal” their beautiful words. So I thought I’d share some information today on Canadian copyright.

Here’s what John Degen, Executive Director of the Writers’ Union of Canada has to say on the subject:

While it is always a good idea to take some basic steps to indicate ownership of an original work, please note that registration of copyright is not required in Canada, and instances of ownership challenge are relatively rare. Your ownership of a work attaches to that work at the moment of creation. Steps such as keeping signed and dated drafts of a work, and using sealed registered mail to record ownership of a work are often advised if there are concerns about a potential challenge, but a paid registration is not necessary. You are advised to always indicate ownership by using the © symbol, and to not sign away or assign your copyright in a contract.

This well-produced video from the Intellectual Property Office in the UK, while concerned with British law, contains excellent information for Canadian authors as well. (Please note one important difference between UK and Canadian copyright – British law protects copyright for the life of the author plus 70 years; in Canada, for the time being, the term is the life of the author plus 50 years.)

If you are a published writer, you should also consider visiting these sites on copyright information:

Access Copyright

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

And if you’re a songwriter, check out SOCAN.

Here is an interesting article on blogging and copyright by Lesley Ellen Harris.

Writing Quote:  “My problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity” – Cory Doctorow, Canadian author (b. 1973).
Writing Tip: The Guardian’s “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction.” (Part One)

Writing Prompt:  Just after he died, he sat up…


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