TBPL Copyright Statement
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
As of December 30, 2022, 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 70 years (e.g. John Smith dies in August 1996, his works will be protected under copyright until December 31, 2066). 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.
What is copyright?
As one aspect of the broader Intellectual Property Law, copyright is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, or copy, a work. As a general rule (with the exceptions provided under ‘fair dealing’ – see question #6) only the copyright owner is allowed to make copies or permit others to make copies of that work. Canadian copyright is governed by the Copyright Board of Canada and the Copyright Act.
What is protected by copyright?
Everything written, photographed, digitized, recorded or broadcast, created is protected by copyright in Canada. For example, copyright protects your personal journal, family photos, newspaper articles, and the latest bestseller.
How long does copyright last?
Coming into effect in December 30, 2022, the general rule is that copyright lasts for the life of the author of the work to the end of the year in which they die, plus another 70 years, (e.g. John Smith dies in August 1996, his works will be protected under copyright until December 31, 2066). Specific terms and/or restrictions may apply to certain works and other subject matter. Please note that the length of copyright is different in other countries.
Can I still use work that is protected by copyright?
Yes – The Copyright Act allows for “fair dealing” (see question #6), which allows you to copy an insignificant portion of a work for the purposes of research, personal study, education, parody, satire, criticism or review*, or news reporting* (*requires the source to be acknowledged).
What is public domain?
Public domain refers to works that belong to the public and are not protected by copyright. When copyright expires, the work is then in the public domain and can be used with no restrictions. 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). The majority of material found on the Internet is not in the public domain, even though it is publicly accessible.
What is fair dealing?
Fair dealing is an element of the Copyright Act to allow users to access copyright protected works without infringing on copyright. Fair dealing allows you to copy an insignificant portion of a work for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism or review*, or news reporting* (*requires the source to be acknowledged). The Supreme Court of Canada has established six factors in determining what is “fair”:
- Purpose of the dealing – does it fall within the stated purposes?
- Character of the dealing – how many copies are being made and for how many people?
- Amount of the dealing – how much is copied in relation to the work as a whole?
- Alternatives to the dealing – could your work be completed without copying the item?
- Nature of the work – is the work published and/or confidential?
- Effect of the dealing on the [market for the] work – will copies result in an economic loss to the copyright owner?
How do I get copyright permission to publish something that someone else created?
It is your responsibility to seek out the copyright owner in order to request permission to use a work protected by copyright. Start by looking at the work itself for a © symbol followed by the name of the owner. If the work has no identification, you may wish to contact a copyright collective society to see if one of them represent the copyright owner and are able to provide you with the owner's name and address or tell you whether the owner is dead or living abroad. Other options include using the Internet, contacting publishing houses, libraries, universities, museums and provincial departments of Education. If the author is no longer alive, try to find out who inherited the copyright or who administered the estate.
What if I can’t find the copyright owner?
The Copyright Board of Canada is responsible for the issuance of licences when owners cannot be located. If you wish to use a published work that is protected by copyright and if you satisfy the Board that you have made reasonable efforts to locate the copyright owner and the owner cannot be located, the Board can issue a non-exclusive licence authorizing you to do what you wish to do.
How does copyright apply to information I find on the Internet?
Internet content is not currently covered by the Copyright Act. Each website or image must be checked to determine if the content can be used under fair dealing purposes. If you obtain permission to use an image or website content, make sure you acknowledge the source in your work.
Where can I get more information about copyright in Canada?
TBPL Copyright Statement | Copyright FAQs