A Guide to Copyright

  1. This electronic version of the guide is the official one.
  2. In the event of any inconsistency between this guide and the applicable legislation, the legislation must be followed.
  3. Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Understanding Copyright — The Basics

Purpose of this guide

This guide explores what copyright is, the registration process and the benefits of registration. It is not intended as a complete text on Canadian law regarding copyright or a substitute for advice from a legal professional knowledgeable in the area of intellectual property.

For more detailed information on copyright and the requirements for registration, please consult the Copyright Act and Copyright Regulations.

The Client Service Centre can also provide further information.

Definitions of terms used in this guide are listed in the glossary.

Who we are

The Copyright Office is responsible for registering copyrights in Canada, and is part of the Copyright and Industrial Design Branch of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), a special operating agency of Industry Canada. CIPO is responsible for administering Canada's system of intellectual property rights: copyright, patents, trademarks, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies.

The main functions of the Copyright Office are to:

  • register copyrights;
  • register assignments and licences; and
  • maintain the Register of Copyrights.

Contact us

The Client Service Centre is the central point of contact for communicating with CIPO. Information Officers can provide information on CIPO's products and services, as well as guidance in navigating the various intellectual property databases.

Visit the "Copyright" section of the website for the following:

  • instructions on getting started;
  • access to the Canadian Copyrights Database;
  • legislation, including the Copyright Act and Copyright Regulations; and
  • online and printable forms, including the application for registration.

Protecting valuable creations

A poem, painting, musical score, performer's performance, computer program—all are valuable creations, although perhaps no one can measure their worth. Some may earn a lot of money in the marketplace and others none at all. Regardless of their merit or commercial value, Canadian law protects all original creative works, provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act have been met. This means that if you own the copyright to a poem, song, or other work, you have rights that are protected under the Copyright Act.

Simply put, the Act prohibits others from copying your work without your permission. Its purpose, like that of other pieces of intellectual property legislation, is to protect copyright owners while promoting creativity and the orderly exchange of ideas.

What is copyright?

In the simplest terms, "copyright" means "the right to copy." In general, copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of it in any form. It includes the right to perform the work or any substantial part of it or, in the case of a lecture, to deliver it. If the work is unpublished, copyright includes the right to publish the work or any substantial part of it.

Copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of it in any form.

Copyright also applies to other subject-matter consisting of performer's performances, sound recordings and communication signals. For these, the applicable rights may differ somewhat. For example, the copyright in a sound recording consists of the sole right to publish the sound recording for the first time, to reproduce it in any material form, to rent it out and to authorize any such acts.

People occasionally confuse copyright with patents, trademarks, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies. Although all of these are forms of intellectual property, they differ as follows:

  • Copyright provides protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs) and other subject-matter known as performer's performances, sound recordings and communication signals.
  • Patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter) or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
  • Trademarks may be one or a combination of words, sounds or designs used to distinguish the goods or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace.
  • Industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament, or any combination of these features, applied to a finished article.
  • Integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional configurations of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.

What is protected by copyright?

Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act have been met. Each of these general categories covers a wide range of creations, including:

  • literary works: books, pamphlets, computer programs and other works consisting of text;
  • dramatic works: motion picture films, plays, screenplays, scripts, etc.;
  • musical works: musical compositions with or without words; and
  • artistic works: paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures, plans, etc.

Copyright also applies to subject-matter other than works, consisting of:

  • performer's performances meaning any of the following when done by a performer:
    • a performance of an artistic, dramatic or musical work, whether or not the work was previously fixed (recorded) and whether or not the work's term of copyright protection has expired;
    • a recitation or reading of a literary work, whether or not the work's term of copyright protection has expired; and
    • an improvisation of a dramatic, musical or literary work, whether or not the improvised work is based on a pre-existing work.
  • sound recordings: recordings consisting of sounds, whether or not a performance of a work, but excludes any soundtrack of a cinematographic work where it accompanies the cinematographic work; and
  • communication signals: radio waves transmitted through space without any artificial guide, for reception by the public.

Conditions for copyright

Works

Copyright applies to every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work where the author was at the date of the making of the work a citizen or subject of, or a person ordinarily resident in, Canada or some other treaty country.

Copyright also applies when a work is first published in a treaty country even if the author was not a citizen or subject of, or a person ordinarily resident in, Canada or some other treaty country.

A treaty country is defined as a Berne Convention country, a Universal Copyright Convention country or a World Trade Organization (WTO) member.

The Minister may also extend protection to other countries that are not treaty countries by way of notice in the Canada Gazette.

Subject-matter other than works

Performer's performances

Copyright applies to a performer's performance if it takes place in Canada or a Rome Convention country, or if it is fixed (recorded) in a sound recording whose maker is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or a Rome Convention country. If the maker of the sound recording is a corporation, it must have its headquarters in Canada or a Rome Convention country.

Copyright also applies if the performance is fixed in a sound recording whose first publication occurred in Canada or a Rome Convention country, or if the performer's performance is transmitted by a communication signal broadcast from Canada or a Rome Convention country by a broadcaster that has its headquarters in the country of broadcast.

Sound recordings

The maker of a sound recording has a copyright in the sound recording if at the date of the first fixation the maker is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, a Berne Convention country, a Rome Convention country or a WTO member. If the maker of the sound recording is a corporation, it must have its headquarters in one of the foregoing countries. Copyright also applies if the sound recording is first published in one of those countries.

Communication signals

A broadcaster has a copyright in the communication signal that it broadcasts if it has its headquarters in Canada, in a country that is a WTO member or in a Rome Convention country and broadcasts the communication signal from that country.

Benefits of registration

The Copyright Act provides that a certificate of registration of copyright is evidence that copyright exists and that the person registered is the owner of the copyright. However, please note that the Copyright Office is not responsible for policing or checking on registered works and their use, nor can it guarantee that the legitimacy of ownership or the originality of a work will never be questioned.

How long does copyright last?

General rule

Generally, copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 years following the end of that calendar year. Therefore, protection will expire on December 31 of the 50th year after the author dies.

Some exceptions are discussed below. Note that these exceptions are not all-encompassing. Any issues where clarification of ownership is required should be resolved with the help of a legal professional knowledgeable in the area of intellectual property.

Works of Crown copyright

These government publications are created for or published by the Crown. Copyright in these works lasts for the remainder of the calendar year in which the work is first published, and for 50 years after that.

Joint authorship

In the case of a work that has more than one author, the term will last for the remainder of the calendar year in which the last author dies, and for 50 years after that.

Unknown author

In the case of a work where the identity of the author is unknown, copyright in the work shall exist for whichever is the earlier of:

  • the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work plus 50 years; or
  • the remainder of the calendar year of the making of the work plus 75 years.

Posthumous works

These are literary, dramatic or musical works, or engravings, protected by copyright that have not been published, performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication during the lifetime of the author.

Please see section 7 of the Copyright Act for details regarding the term of copyright for such works.

Subject-matter other than works

Performer's performances

Copyright lasts until the end of 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the performance occurs. If it is fixed in a sound recording before the copyright expires, the copyright continues for 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which it is first fixed. If the sound recording is published before the copyright expires, the copyright continues until 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the first publication occurs or 99 years after the end of the calendar year in which the performance occurs, whichever is earlier.

Sound recordings

Copyright lasts until 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the first fixation of the sound recording occurs. If the sound recording is published before the copyright expires, the copyright continues for 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the first publication occurs.

Communication signals

Copyright lasts until 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the signal was broadcast.

What to consider before filing an application

The Copyright Office can provide you with the basic information that you need to file your own application for registration of copyright. However, the Office cannot prepare your application, interpret the Copyright Act or the Copyright Regulations for you or assist you in any matters other than registration or the use of Office records. For legal advice, you should consult a legal professional knowledgeable in the area of intellectual property.

Searching online

The records of the Copyright Office may be searched for information such as copyright owners' names and changes to ownership. The Copyrights Database will allow you to search all of the Canadian copyrights registered as of October 1991, free of charge.

Searches can be conducted using author name, category, country of publication, owner/assignee name, registration number, title, and year of publication.

Searching at the Copyright Office

If necessary, after searching online you may wish to visit the Client Service Centre where copyright registrations dating back to 1841 are stored, including copyrights registered prior to 1991 that are not accessible online.

Getting Started

Preparing an application for registration

Application form

Application forms are available on our forms page, at the Client Service Centre or from a regional Industry Canada office. Applications can be filed electronically, by mail or by facsimile.

To obtain a registration of copyright, you must file an application which must be accompanied by the appropriate fee.

Please do not send a copy of your work along with the application. The Copyright Office does not review or assess works in any way.

Works

The following information is required in an application to register the copyright in a work:

Title of the work

The title of the work must identify a single work. If the work is published in a series of books or parts, such as in the case of an encyclopedia, a single application for the whole work is sufficient. Descriptive matter that does not constitute a part of the title should not be included.

Category of the work

Literary: works consisting of text including books, pamphlets, lectures (including an address, speech or sermon), tables and translations. Computer programs are also included in this category.

Note: Textual works in which a scenic arrangement or acting form is fixed in writing (e.g. a screenplay) fall within the dramatic category.

Musical: any work of music or musical composition with or without words, including compilations of musical works.

Artistic: includes paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs (includes photo-lithograph and any work expressed by any process akin to photography), engravings (includes etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, prints and other similar works), illustrations, sketches, sculptures (includes a cast or model), works of artistic craftsmanship, architectural works (meaning buildings or structures or any model of a building or structure) and compilations of artistic works.

Dramatic: includes any piece for recitation, choreographic work or mime, where the scenic arrangement or acting form is fixed in writing or otherwise. It also includes cinematographic works (having dramatic character or not) and compilations of dramatic works. Examples of dramatic works are screenplays, scripts, plays and motion picture films.

Note: A compilation is a work resulting from the selection or arrangement of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works or parts thereof, or a work resulting from the selection or arrangement of data. Also, a compilation containing two or more of the categories of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works is deemed to be a compilation of the category making up the most substantial part of the compilation.

Publication

If a work is published, the date and place of first publication is required. Publication means making copies of a work available to the public, the construction of an architectural work (building or structure or any model of a building or structure), and the incorporation of an artistic work into an architectural work.

The following do not constitute publication:

  • the distribution of photographs/engravings of sculptures or architectural works;
  • the exhibition in public of an artistic work;
  • the performance of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in public; and
  • the communication of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work to the public by telecommunication.
Owner

The name and complete mailing address of the owner of the copyright is required. If there is more than one owner, additional names and addresses can be included.

The copyright owner is usually the author of the work, the employer of the author, or any other person (individual or other legal entity) that has obtained ownership through a transfer of ownership such as an assignment.

Author

The name of the author of the work is required. The individual who created the work should be named as author, except in the case of a photograph created prior to November 7, 2012, where the author can be an individual or some other legal entity.

The complete mailing address of the author is optional. If there is more than one author, additional names and addresses can be included.

If the author is deceased, the date of death should be provided if known.

Declaration

The application must contain a declaration that the applicant is the author of the work, the owner of the copyright in the work, an assignee of the copyright, or a person to whom an interest in the copyright has been granted by licence.

Subject-matter other than works

The following information is required in an application to register the copyright in a performer's performance, sound recording or communication signal.

Title of the subject-matter

The application must relate to the registration of only one performer's performance, sound recording or communication signal.

Type of subject-matter

The application must relate to a performer's performance, sound recording or communication signal.

Performer's performance means any of the following when done by a performer:

  • a performance of an artistic, dramatic or musical work, whether or not the work was previously fixed, and whether or not the work's term of copyright protection has expired;
  • a recitation or reading of a literary work, whether or not the work's term of copyright protection has expired; and
  • an improvisation of a dramatic, musical or literary work, whether or not the improvised work is based on a pre-existing work.

Sound recording means a recording consisting of sounds, whether or not a performance of a work, but excludes any soundtrack of a cinematographic work where it accompanies the cinematographic work.

Communication signal means radio waves transmitted through space without any artificial guide, for reception by the public.

For a performer's performance, the date of its first fixation in a sound recording or the date of its first performance if not fixed is required. For a sound recording, the date of its first fixation is required, and for a communication signal, the date of broadcast is required.

Owner

The name and complete mailing address of the owner of the copyright is required. If there is more than one owner, additional names and addresses can be included.

The copyright owner is usually the performer in the case of a performer's performance, the maker in the case of a sound recording (person by whom the arrangements necessary for the first fixation of the sounds are undertaken), the broadcaster who broadcasts the communication signal in the case of a communication signal, or any other person who has obtained ownership through a transfer of ownership such as an assignment.

Declaration

An application for registration of a copyright in a performer's performance, sound recording or communication signal must contain a declaration that the applicant is the owner of the copyright in the subject-matter, an assignee of the copyright, or a person to whom an interest in the copyright has been granted by licence.

Fees

Depending on whether the application is filed electronically, by mail or by facsimile, payment may be made by credit card (VISA, MasterCard or American Express), deposit account, postal money order or cheque payable in Canadian dollars to the Receiver General for Canada. Do not add federal and provincial taxes.

Visit our fees page for details or you may communicate with the Client Service Centre.

Note: Fees will not be refunded once the application is received in the Copyright Office. In addition, once a copyright is registered, no further fees are required to maintain the registration.

Submit your application

You are encouraged to submit your application for registration online (at a reduced fee). You may also send your completed application by mail or by facsimile to the Copyright Office.

Corresponding with the Copyright Office

Business with the Copyright Office is normally done in writing. Address all correspondence to:

Copyright Office
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Industry Canada
Place du Portage I
50 Victoria Street,
Gatineau QC K1A 0C9

Fax: 819-953-CIPO (2476)

Visit our correspondence procedures page for more information.

If you are enquiring about the status of your pending application, provide the name of the owner(s) and the title of the work. If you have the application number, you should always make reference to it when communicating with the Copyright Office. If you hire an agent you should conduct all correspondence through that agent.

The Copyright Office will respond to all general enquiries, but cannot:

  • advise you whether to file an application;
  • tell you whether your copyright meets registration criteria prior to the filing of your application;
  • advise you about possible infringement of copyright; or
  • provide any other legal advice.

Electronic services

Our electronic service delivery allows you to:

  • file an application for registration of copyright at a reduced fee;
  • file a request for registration of an assignment or licence;
  • request a certificate of correction; and
  • order copies.

Visit our forms page to request these services online or to access forms that can be completed and sent by regular mail or by facsimile.

Beyond the Basics

Indicating copyright

Marking a work with the copyright symbol is not mandatory under Canadian copyright law but some other countries do require it. The marking consists of the symbol ©, the name of the copyright owner and the year of first publication.

Even though not always required, marking is useful since it serves as a general reminder to everyone that the work is protected by copyright. This symbol may be used even if the work is not registered.

Changes to the Register of Copyrights

Rectification of the Register of Copyrights

The Federal Court of Canada may on request by the Registrar of Copyrights or any interested person order a rectification (correction) of the Register.

Changes of address

Addresses cannot be changed in the Register of Copyrights. However, if brought to the attention of the Copyright Office, the change will be noted on the file. This information will be available to those searching the Copyrights Database.

Clerical errors

The Registrar of Copyrights does not have the authority to correct errors on a certificate of registration with the exception of clerical errors pursuant to section 61 of the Copyright Act.

In the case of clerical errors made by the applicant that fall within the scope of section 61 of the Copyright Act, a certificate of correction will be issued upon request and payment of the applicable fee. There is a reduced fee for requests made online. If the Copyright Office is responsible for the clerical error, a corrected certificate will be issued at no cost. It should be noted that corrections to errors that are not clerical must be done by order of the Federal Court pursuant to subsection 57(4) of the Copyright Act.

Visit our fees page for details.

Assignments and licences

Assignments and licences may be registered with the Copyright Office.

An assignment occurs when a copyright owner transfers part or all of their rights to another party. The assignment may be for the whole term of the copyright or for a certain part of it.

A licence allows someone else to use a work for certain purposes and under certain conditions. The copyright owner still retains ownership.

To register an assignment or licence, the original agreement or a photocopy of it along with the prescribed fee per work affected by the assignment or licence must be filed with the Copyright Office. Requests may be submitted by mail, facsimile or online. The Office will retain a copy of the documentation and return the original documentation along with a certificate of registration.

Additional contacts and information

Copyright Board of Canada

56 Sparks Street, Suite 800
Ottawa ON K1A 0C9
Tel.: 613-952-8621
Fax: 613-952-8630
Website: cb-cda.gc.ca

The Copyright Board of Canada is a regulatory body for the establishment of royalties for the use of works protected by copyright when the administration of such copyright has been entrusted to a collective-administration society. The Board may also supervise agreements or licences between users and licensing bodies and issue licences where a copyright owner cannot be located.

Court orders

The procedure for obtaining court orders is outlined in the Federal Courts Rules, available through any local public library or bookstore selling government publications, and also on Justice Canada's website.

Justice Canada

Laws enacted by the Government of Canada, decisions and reasons for decisions of federally constituted courts and administrative tribunals are subject to special copyright rules. Anyone may, without charge and without asking permission, reproduce federal laws, decisions and reasons for decisions of federal courts and administrative tribunals. The only condition is that due diligence be exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the material reproduced and that the reproduction not be represented as an official version. Electronic copies of federal government acts and regulations (including the Copyright Act and Copyright Regulations) are available on Justice Canada's website.

Library and Archives Canada

Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act and the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations, Canadian publishers are obliged to send copies of their publications to Library and Archives Canada within one week of the date they are published.

For more information, please contact:

Legal Deposit
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N4
Tel: 819-997 9565
Toll-free number for Canada: 1-866-578-7777
Fax: 819-997-7019
Website: collectionscanada.gc.ca


Appendix I — Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is copyright?

In general, copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of it in any form. It includes the right to perform the work or any substantial part of it or, in the case of a lecture, to deliver it. If the work is unpublished, copyright includes the right to publish the work or any substantial part of it.

2. Do I need to register the copyright in my work in order to be protected?

Registration is not required for protection in Canada. However, a certificate of registration of copyright is evidence that copyright exists and that the person registered is the owner of the copyright. Copyright exists automatically when an original work or other subject-matter is created, provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act have been met.

3. What are the benefits of copyright registration?

The certificate of registration provides evidence that the copyright exists and that the person registered is the owner of the copyright. Being on the Register of Copyrights may also assist those wishing to seek permission to use the work.

4. What is protected by copyright?

Copyright commonly protects the following:

  • 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 also applies to performer's performances, sound recordings and communication signals (radio waves).

5. How long does copyright last?

Generally, copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, plus 50 years following the end of that calendar year.

Copyright in publications with multiple authors lasts until December 31 of the 50th year after the last author dies. Copyright in government publications lasts for the remainder of the calendar year in which the work is first published and for 50 years after that. Different rules apply to performer's performances, sound recordings and communication signals. Please note that other exceptions also exist. See A Guide to Copyright for more information.

6. Do I need to mark my work with the copyright symbol?

Marking a work with the copyright symbol is not mandatory under Canadian copyright law. However, some countries do require it. The marking consists of the symbol ©, the name of the copyright owner and the year of first publication. Even though not always required, marking is useful since it serves as a general reminder to everyone that the work is protected by copyright. This symbol may be used even if the work is not registered.

7. How can I register the copyright in my work?

Please apply by submitting a completed application form with the prescribed fee.

You can file online at a reduced fee. The application form is on the Application for Registration of a Copyright in a Work page.

Forms for applications submitted by mail or fax may be printed from the Forms page.

8. How do I request the registration of an assignment or licence?

To register an assignment or licence, the original agreement or a photocopy of it along with the prescribed fee per work affected by the assignment or licence must be filed with the Copyright Office. Requests may be submitted by mail, fax or online. The Office will retain a copy of the documentation and return the original documentation along with a certificate of registration.

Glossary

A

Artistic work
A visual representation such as a painting, drawing, map, photograph, sculpture, plan, etc.
Assignment
Transfer of copyright from a copyright owner to another party.
Author
The creator of an artistic, literary, musical, or dramatic work.

B

Berne Convention
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works concluded at Berne, Switzerland on September 9, 1886.
Consult the list of contracting parties.

C

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
A special operating agency of Industry Canada that is responsible for administering Canada's system of intellectual property rights: copyright, patents, trade- marks, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies.
Certificate of registration
Official confirmation that a copyright has been registered, which constitutes evidence that copyright subsists and that the person registered is the owner of the copyright.
Collective society
An organization that carries on the business of collective administration of copyright on behalf of its members.
Copyright
In general, copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of it in any form. It includes the right to perform the work or any substantial part of it or, in the case of a lecture, to deliver it. If the work is unpublished, copyright includes the right to publish the work or any substantial part of it.
Copyright Act
Federal legislation governing copyright in Canada.
Copyright Board of Canada
A regulatory body for the establishment of royalties for the use of works protected by copyright when the administration of such copyright has been entrusted to a collective-administration society. It may also supervise agreements or licences between users and licensing bodies and issue licenses where a copyright owner cannot be located.
Copyright Office
The federal government office responsible for registering copyrights, and assignments and licences affecting a copyright.
Crown copyright
Copyright in works prepared for or published by the government, i.e., government publications.

D

Dramatic work
Includes plays, screenplays, scripts and motion picture films.

I

Industrial designs
Industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament, or any combination of these features, applied to a finished article. For example, the shape of a table or the shape and decoration of a spoon may be industrial designs. An industrial design must have features that appeal to the eye. To be eligible for registration, your design must be original.
Infringement
Violation of copyright through the unauthorized use of a work.
Integrated circuit topographies
Integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional configurations of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.
Intellectual property
A form of creative endeavour that can be protected through a copyright, patent, trademark, industrial design or integrated circuit topography.

L

Licence
Legal agreement granting someone permission to use a work for certain purposes or under certain conditions. A licence does not constitute a change in ownership of the copyright.
Literary work
Works consisting of text, e.g. books, pamphlets, computer programs, etc.

M

Marking
Indicating copyright with the symbol ©, the name of the copyright owner and the year of first publication.
Musical work
Work consisting of music plus lyrics or music only.

P

Patents
A patent is a government grant giving the right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention. A Canadian patent applies within Canada for 20 years from the date of filing of a patent application. The patent application is available to the public 18 months after filing. Patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
Posthumous work
A work that has not been published, performed in public or communicated to the public by telecommunication during the author's lifetime.
Publication
Generally, making copies of a work available to the public.

R

Registration
The registration of a copyright, assignment or licence.
Rome Convention
Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations adopted on October 26, 1961, in Rome, Italy.
Consult the list of contracting parties.
Royalty
A sum paid to copyright owners for the sale or use of their works or other subject-matter.

S

Sound recording
A recording consisting of sounds, whether or not a performance of a work, but excludes any soundtrack of a cinematographic work where it accompanies the cinematographic work.

T

Tariff
A standard charge for the use of works protected by copyright.
Trademarks

Trademarks may be one or a combination of words, sounds or designs used to distinguish the goods or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace.

Trademarks come to represent not only the actual goods or services but also the reputation of the producer. As such, a trademark is a valuable intellectual property.

There are three types of trademarks:

  • An ordinary mark consists of words, sounds, designs, or a combination of these, used to distinguish the goods or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace. For example, suppose you started a courier business that you chose to call Giddy-up. You could register these words as a trademark (assuming all legal requirements were met) in regard to the service that you offer.
  • A certification mark is used by an individual or organization and licensed to others for the purpose of identifying goods or services that meet a defined standard—for example, the Woolmark design, owned by Woolmark Americas Ltd., for use on clothing and other goods.
  • A distinguishing guise comprises the shaping of goods or their containers, or a mode of wrapping or packaging goods, which distinguishes them as being produced by a specific individual or firm. For example, if you manufactured butterfly-shaped candy you could register the butterfly shape as a distinguishing guise.

U

Universal Copyright Convention
An international convention protecting copyright, adopted on September 6, 1952, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Consult the list of contracting parties.

W

World Trade Organization (WTO)
Deals with the global rules of trade between nations.
Consult the list of members.