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What is Copyright?

16 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2019    Copyright


Copyright is a legal term that describes the rights given to creators of material so they can benefit from their work. The purpose of the Act is to try and balance the rights of the creator, the copyright owner, and the user. More information can be found on the SLC Libraries Copyright Guide:

In Canada, Copyright is automatic for content in a fixed form. If you write a book or draw a picture, those things are under copyright. A copyright symbol does not have to be present for the work to be protected.

Copyright does not come into effect until a fact or idea has entered a fixed form. No one can infringe on your copyright unless you have written it down, drawn it, painted it, recorded it, etc.

What are the consequences of infringing the Copyright Act?

  • Legal liability both criminal and civil

  • Liability for both yourself and the college

  • Up to $5000 fine for non-commercial infringement

What can be copyrighted?

Literary Works

Artistic works

  • Books

  • Poems

  • Plays

  • Articles

  • Photographs

  • Art work

  • Charts

  • Graphs

  • Maps

Musical works

Communication signals

  • Sound recordings

  • Musical scores

  • Radio broadcasts

  • Television broadcasts

Dramatic works

Material published on the internet

  • TV shows

  • Plays

  • Films

  • Web pages

  • Blog posts

  • YouTube videos

Performer's Performance


  • Performance of a work

  • Recitation of a work

  • Improvisation of a work


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