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Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and includes books, articles, songs, films, sculptures, photographs, paintings, computer programs, databases and digital and/or electronic works. Copyright protection is automatic, exists upon the creation of a work and lasts for 50 years following the death of the creator. After this period, the work is usually considered part of the public domain and, therefore, not subject to copyright restrictions.

The Canadian Copyright Act gives copyright owners – usually authors or publishers – the sole right to copy or to authorize someone else to copy their works. The “fair dealing” provision set out in the Canadian Copyright Act permits making a single copy of an unsubstantial portion of a work for the purpose of research or private study, including criticism, review or news reporting.

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