The Copyright Act provides statutory protection for the creators of dramatic, musical, artistic or literary works such as books, newspapers and periodicals. However, to be protected, the work must be original and must be “fixed in any material form”. In other words, the copyright does not protect ideas but rather the expression of those ideas.
Under the Copyright Act, a distinction is made between the author and the copyright owner (or rightsholder). In general, the creator of a work is the author and the first owner of the copyright. In this case, the rightsholder is an individual.
The copyright owner may also be a body corporate or legal person, i.e. an employer (if the work was created by an employee) or the assignee of the copyright (e.g. a publisher). This distinction between the author and the copyright owner is especially important when it comes to protecting moral rights.
The copyright owner has the sole right to the following:
- Produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatever.
- Perform the work or any substantial part thereof in public.
- Publish the work or any substantial part thereof (if the work is unpublished).
The following sole rights are also included:
- Produce, reproduce, perform or publish any translation of the work.
- Convert a dramatic work into a novel or other non-dramatic work.
- Convert a novel or other non-dramatic work, or an artistic work, into a dramatic work, by way of performance in public or otherwise.
- Make any sound or cinematographic recording of a literary, dramatic or musical work.
- Reproduce, adapt and publicly present any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work as a cinematographic work.
- Communicate any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work to the public by telecommunication.
- Present at a public exhibition an artistic work created after June 7, 1988.
- Rent out a computer program that can be reproduced in the ordinary course of its use.
- Rent out a sound recording of a musical work.
- Authorize any such acts.
Information about copyright is also available from the following sites:
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