Obtain Intellectual Property Protection: Copyright
- Steps involved in preparing and filing an application
- Flowcharts showing the overall procedures
- Benefits of using professional expertise
- Other aspects
Steps involved in preparing and filing an application
CIPO's publication, A Guide to Copyright, gives additional information on copyright, indicates how to prepare and file an application for registration of a copyright.
Do I have to do anything to be protected?
No. Since you obtain copyright automatically, you are automatically protected by law. However, it is still a good idea to register your copyright and to mark your works with a notice of copyright.
What are the benefits of copyright registration?
Registration gives you a certificate stating that you are the copyright owner. You can use this certificate in court to establish ownership. (The onus is on your opponent to prove that you do not own the copyright.)
How do I register a copyright?
An application is filed together with the appropriate documentation and fee to:
The Copyright Office, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office,
Place du PortageI, 50 Victoria Street,
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9
An application form and instructions can be downloaded from the main page of the Copyright Office. You may also file electronically on CIPO's Web site. The registration process normally takes three and a half weeks. The fee covers review of your application, registration and your official certificate.
Does the Copyright Office check to ensure that my claim of copyright is legitimate?
No, the Office does not verify ownership. Only the courts can do that.
Should copies of my work be sent with the application?
No, the Copyright Office does not accept copies of work.
Flowcharts showing the overall procedures
The copyright application process is outlined in a summary entitled How your application for registration of a copyright is processed available on CIPO's Web site.
Benefits of using professional expertise
Why hire a professional?
Copyright applications are relatively simple to prepare. If you are unsure of what rights you can obtain or precisely what information you must include in your application, a qualified agent can help.
Once registered, are further fees required to maintain the copyright?
No. The registration fee is a one-time expense.
Is the copyright of a Canadian author valid in foreign countries?
Yes, as long as the country in question belongs to the Berne Copyright Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention, the Rome Convention, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). These international conventions, treaties and organizations include most countries in the world.
Should the work be marked with a notice of copyright?
This isn't necessary to be protected in Canada; however, you must mark your work with a small ©, the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication to be protected in some other countries. Even though it is not always required, marking is useful because it serves as a general reminder to everyone that the work is protected by copyright.