Copyright is a legal right which confers on the owner the exclusive right to prevent others from exploiting, without authority, a protected work (the expression of idea), against copying. When others copy a copyright work, you may wish to seek legal remedies, such as injunction in preventing them from further copying, or a delivery up and destruction order to destroy previous works, and damages based on either your actual loss, or statutory minimal damages, which can be up to 20,000 dollar per work copied per Section 38.1 of the Copyright Act.
We can assist in determining whether a work is capable of getting copyrighted, registration of copyright and device strategies for enforcing your copyrights against those who are copying from you. Equally, we can assist in determining if a work is under copyright protection and advise on how to avoid infringing others copyrights by way of licensing arrangements.
Copyright can be used to protect any original dramatic, musical, artistic or literary work (whether a book, a list, or a computer code). It also applies to performances, communication signals and sound recordings.
However, copyright only protects your expression of the idea, it does not extend to the ideas in the work. If someone were to independently arrive at the same or a similar work, your copyright would not be able to prevent them from using their own work. We would be happy to provide you with complimentary preliminary advice as to whether a work is capable of copyright.
A copyright is automatically obtained by the first author(s) of a work, when a work capable of obtaining copyright is first put into a fixed form (written down, videotaped, etc.) For example, the author of each draft of a story, or any version of software would automatically have copyright in each version, but they would not have copyright in their planed improvements that have not yet been written down. Note that the Author must be a Canadian or a citizen of a country with a copyright treaty with Canada.
An employer in Canada will be the first owner of a copyright in Canada. However, you do not automatically obtain the rights to a work created by a contractor. Even when you hire someone to create something for you, such as a website design or a new logo, you may not have the copyright in the underlying work. This can limit your ability to use the work fully, to stop others from copying the work, and from selling the work at a later date. However, this may be resolved by way of an assignment of copyright ownership.