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Copyright applies to all original, dramatic, musical, artistic and literary works (including computer programs). It also applies to performances, communication signals and sound recordings.

  • Literary works, e.g., books, pamphlets, computer programs and other works consisting of text;
  • Dramatic works, e.g., films, plays, screenplays, scripts, etc.;
  • Musical works, e.g., musical compositions; and,
  • Artistic works, e.g., paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures, plans, etc.

Copyright does not subsist in ideas, methods and systems.

This includes:

  • making or building things
  • scientific or technical methods or discoveries
  • business operations or procedures
  • mathematical principles – formulas, algorithms
  • any concept, process or method of operation

In Canada, copyright generally lasts for the lifetime of the author, plus 50 years.

Generally, copyright is recognized in other countries due to international conventions. As a result, your copyright will be protected in other countries, but it is only protected under that country’s laws, which may be different from the level of protection you would get in Canada.