How to Obtain a Copyright in Canada

By Jamie Lisse

If you have a dramatic, artistic, musical or literary work (such as a sculpture or book) that you want to protect in Canada, you can obtain a copyright there. Obtaining a copyright in Canada will mean that you have to sole right to perform, produce, display or communicate in any other manner that particular item. Getting a copyright in Canada for your dramatic, artistic, musical or literary work is a pretty simple process. Once you get your copyright, the work will be protected in Canada for your life plus 50 years.

Get your copyright form. To copyright something in Canada you need to get a copyright form from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. You can get the form from its website (see Resources) or by visiting the office at Place du Portage I, 50 Victoria St., Room C-229, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9.

Complete the copyright form online. You will need to complete the entire form to obtain a copyright in Canada. To complete it online you will need create a user name and password, select a secret question and enter your personal details on the Industry Canada Registration website (see Resources). Then you can log onto the form to complete it. Review your entries and then proceed to the payment page to make your payment. In 2009, the price was $45 CDN. You will not need to send a copy of the work to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Complete a printable copyright form. You can also mail in your copyright form. Just complete your application for a copyright in Canada on the Canadian Intellectual Property website (see Resources). You will fill in all of the information on your computer and then print it out for mailing. Mail the completed form with your payment to: Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Place du Portage I, 50 Victoria St., Room C-229, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9. In 2009 the by-mail fee was $65 CDN. You will not need to send a copy of the work to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Wait for filing acceptance. Once you submit your application for copyright in Canada, you have to wait for acceptance of the file. If you submit your application online you can expect to get filing acceptance in 3 business days. If you submit your application by mail, expect to get filing acceptance in 10 business days. If you do not hear from the office, you can send an email inquiry to cipo.contact@ic.gc.ca. You may get a phone call from a reviewer if something is missing from your application or if they have questions for you.

Get your registration certificate. Once your application has been accepted and reviewed you will be assigned a registration number if your application is considered to be complete. When you are assigned a registration number, you are awarded a registration certificate. This will be mailed to you within 3 to 10 business days. The certificate is proof of obtaining copyright protection in Canada.

About the Author

Jamie Lisse has been writing professionally since 1997. She has published works with a number of online and print publishers. Her areas of expertise include finance and accounting, travel, entertainment, digital media and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.