The Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) abides by the current Copyright Act of Canada. Copyright is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish and sell a work. The Act is established by the Parliament of Canada and provides a means for creators of works to manage the use of their works and collect appropriate compensation for their creative efforts. The Act also provides access to those works through users’ rights for the general public, libraries, educational institutions, and others.
TBPL can provide individual copies of some material as permitted within the Act. Any patron wishing to publish or further make use of this material must ascertain copyright status and obtain copyright permission as per the Act. Not all material can be fairly copied within the Act and due diligence should be demonstrated before making copies or distributing copied content of a work.
In the case of commercial use or publication, it is the obligation of the patron to assume responsibility for obtaining copyright clearance for any material copied from TBPL collections. Any research to confirm copyright and any request to obtain copyright clearance must be undertaken by the patron who wishes to use the material.
Inquiries into copyright issues should be directed to the known copyright holder of a work.
General Rule of Copyright
Copyright for a work lasts for the life of the author until the end of the calendar year in which the author dies, plus another 50 years (e.g. John Smith dies in August 1996, his works will be protected under copyright until December 31, 2046). Specific terms and/or restrictions may apply to certain works and other subject matter.
Works in the Public Domain
Public domain refers to works that belong to the public and are not protected by copyright. Works in the public domain can be used free of charge and do not require written permission from the author/creator. Works can be in the public domain for a variety of reasons (copyright has expired, the work is not eligible for copyright protection, or the author has waived copyright).
Unknown Copyright Ownership
Many of the works in the Library’s collection are considered “orphan” works, meaning that the copyright holder is unknown. The Thunder Bay Public Library strives to determine the copyright holder of such works and welcomes contact from anyone able to provide additional information.