Friday, October 30, 2009

How to register a copyright in Canada

Registering a copyright in Canada is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is create your content, give it a name, determine whether it is considered copyrighted material, and then register it with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). As a helpful guide to determining whether your material can be registered, Section 5 of Canada's Copyright Act lists the kind of content in which copyright subsists.

As of the writing of this blog entry, registering a copyright online with the CIPO costs $50, and registering it with them by mail costs $65. These prices are, of course, in Canadian dollars.

The following are the detailed steps involved in the registration process:

1) Create protected content. The Copyright Act states that original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work is copyrighted if created by a citizen, subject of, or person ordinarily resident in a Berne convention country, a country party to the Universal Copyright Convention, or a country which is a member of the World Trade Organization. This covers most countries around the world.

2) Give your content a title. This is important so that you can properly name it when you register the copyright.

3) Visit the CIPO's copyright site and register your copyright. If you want to register it online, which is faster and $15 cheaper than doing it by mail, visit the online copyright application page and follow the instructions. You will have to register for a free account before you can submit the registration application. If you want to submit the application by mail, visit the offline copyright application page and follow those instructions, instead.

4) If your application appears to be valid, the CIPO will often mail you a registration certificate in a matter of days. If it does not, you may be asked to modify your application and send it in again. Good luck!

RELEVANT LINKS (Open in new window)

Canadian Intellectual Property Office: Copyrights
List of World Treaty Organization member countries

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