Copyright in Canada

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a law that protects moral and economic rights of content creators. Copyright has rights for both creators and users in an effort to create a balanced and fair use of copyrighted works. There are also exceptions available, such as fair dealing, consult your college's copyright policies to learn more.

In Canada, copyright protection is automatic upon the creation of a work. As soon as you produce something original in fixed form (written, video, audio on a CD, etc.) you own the copyright for that item (unless you’ve agreed to sign it over to someone else). Only the copyright owner has the right to decide when and how the work is used (from  The Copyright Act).

And remember even if a work does not have a copyright symbol ©, the work is still protected under The Copyright Act.

What is Protected?

All original creative works are protected

This includes: 

  • artistic works such as drawings, engravings, paintings and photographs
  • computer/digital material like clip art, computer programs, databases, emails, blogs, wikis and websites
  • dramatic works including radio and television shows, films, plays and musicals
  • literary works such as books, magazines, pamphlets and newspapers
  • musical works such as arrangements, adaptations, sound recordings and sheet music

Copyright at SLC

Overview of Copyright Policies

What policies should I be aware of?

A Warning

If you are found infringing on The Copyright Act you could:

Terms of Use

This guide has been adapted from the CLO Learning Portal Copyright page (archived) and the Faculty Toolkit.

This site was designed solely for informational purposes for St. Lawrence College faculty, staff and students. All other users are encouraged to check and confirm the information with their institution(s). This site is prepared by library staff and is not reviewed by legal counsel.