#880 New Copyright Law in Canada – Good News!

It’s been a long time coming – with so many elections in the last ten years this new legislation took some time becoming law but it has now made it through.

copyright reform

copyright reform

What was wrong with the OLD legislation?
There are many new aspects to the new copyright legislation but the one that stands out for photographers is they retain copyright of the work they produce BY DEFAULT. Other artists have had this right for a long time. Photographers in other developed nations have enjoyed this basic principle for a long time, too! Canada has been behind.

CAPIC says:
Until the adoption of Bill C-11, photographers were not on the same footing as other creators. They were considered, according to the law, technicians and not artists: when a customer ordered a photo, the copyright belonged to the client. 

It was necessary to sign an agreement with the client to ensure the photographer “owned” the rights to the work. This is why CAPIC was created!

Bill C-11 was necessary for the aberration of this old law. Now, photographers are the first owners of copyright works they produce, be it an artistic, personal, or the result of a commission, commercial photographers now automatically own the copyright and moral rights of their work.

Who cares?
Copyright ownership offers the ability to earn money from the work in question. WIthout copyright (and the ability to earn a living) there is little incentive for a working photographer to produce photos!

When you buy a music CD or download a music file you are effectively licensing the song(s) for personal use. The artist retains copyright.

Now the same idea applies to photos.


Copyright does not necessarily mean the owner has the right to freely use the photo. There my be permissions needed from recognizable people if the creator wants to use photos of the recognizable people.

For example, your wedding photographer may own the copyright to your photos. It does not automatically mean they have the right to license the wedding photo of you to Coca Cola for use in a Coke ad!

Are you a regular producer of published photographs?
If you are, have a look at Access Copyright Рthey collect fees related to copyright and enforce copyright while distributing collected funds to members every year. I received my annual cheque today. Yippee!

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