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Info Tech 8: Copyright

1. What is Copyright? - Canada

2. Copyright and Fair Use Animation

3. Creativity, Copyright, and Fair Use for Ethical Digital Citizens

Intellectual Property

Anything that comes into being through invention or artistic creation. When an intellectual property is also real property, it is possible to own one but not the other – so that owning a painting (real property right) does not give you the right to make copies of it (intellectual property right).


Copyright lets an owner of intellectual property control how that property is copied, altered, sold, etc. In most countries you don’t have to register copyright, but your work must be (mostly) finished - you can’t copyright ideas. Copyright works by granting certain rights - the right to reproduce, distribute, broadcast, or make something based on someone else’s work (as well as the right to give other people permission to do any of these) — to the holder of the copyright. Basically, copyright protects the rights of people who have either created a work, paid for it to be created or purchased the copyright from a previous copyright owner.

Copyright Law in Canada

In Canada, it’s against the law to make copies of, upload or download copyright-protected works like movies, TV shows or music without permission from the copyright owner.

Fair Use is known as Fair Dealing in Canada

Public Domain

A work that’s in the public domain belongs to everyone. Nobody can claim to own it and it can be used free of charge:you don’t have to get permission. In Canada, you can even change works that are in the public domain without asking permission. Works can enter the public domain if the copyright owner has said that people can use it without permission or payment.  Works can also enter the public domain if the copyright has expired. How long does copyright last? In Canada it’s: the life of the creator + the remainder of the year they died + 5o years. Other things in the public domain include:  Ideas (until they are put into physical form); titles, names, slogans, short word combinations (Keep Calm and Carry On) and Facts (Anyone can use facts, but you have to describe these facts in your own words: for instance, you can use facts from a magazine article, but you can’t just copy how the author of the article says them)