Types of intellectual property: Copyrights
- Industrial Designs
- Integrated Circuit Topographies
- Plant Breeders' Rights
A copyright - the right to copy - means that an owner is the only person who may copy the work or permit someone else to do so.
Generally, copyright in Canada lasts for the life of the author and 50 years following the author's death. The kinds of works covered include: books, maps, lyrics, musical scores, sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, tapes, computer programs and databases.
The owner of a copyright has a number of rights, among which is the sole right to control first publication, production, reproduction and performance of a work or its translation. A SME may assign its copyright, license it or use it for funding. A copyright licence may be restricted by territory, time, media, purpose, or by almost any other factor agreed to by both parties. Copyright owners may also collect royalties through performing rights' societies, collectives, publishing houses, or directly through contracts.
You obtain copyright automatically in Canada when you create an original work. Canadian copyright is recognized in many other countries under various treaties. You don't have to register your copyright, but it can be useful evidence of ownership.
Modern technology has made it easy to reproduce many kinds of works subject to copyright. A SME should be very careful not to infringe on the rights of others by copying their computer programs, books, music, videos or other products. Penalties for such copyright infringement can be quite heavy and also damage the good reputation of your company.