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Canada's New 2014 Copyright Law - "Notice And Notice"

Updated on February 6, 2020

Canada's Copyright Laws | Source

Copyrights, In General

Copyrights come under the heading Intellectual Property Law (IP Law) in all countries.

I received a question the other day asking "how did Intellectual Property got its title? Does that mean every work in intellectual?" So, here is the simplest way to show how the title breaks down:

  • any work (a work is defined in the copyright description) that you create from your own brain is considered "Intellectual" (the work, not you!)
  • the actual tangible work is considered a "Property"
  • because YOU created it, it becomes "your Property"
  • the laws to protect each are called Intellectual Property.

Given the question was possibly facetious, equally so was my answer.

Those employed in Intellectual Property Law excel in handling copyright issues of not only books, art, and music, but also patents, confidential information, trademarks, trade secrets, and designs for industry. Each section has its own set of rules under the IP banner.

For the purposes of this article, I will be focusing only on one section of Canada's Intellectual Property laws - literary copyrights. You may not agree with everything you read here. Just remember that I'm giving you the highlights (and links) of laws which have already been passed in Canada, so please don't shoot the messenger.

This article will only talk about the changes, not the existing law.

Performances and Phonograms

Canada has also updated the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, and the Performances and Phonograms Treaty, both of which further define the international standards for protecting their copyright. These will become effective in Canada on August 13, 2014.

I included this because audio books are considered phonograms.

Canada's Modernization Act

Along with 168 member countries in The Berne Convention, copyrights no longer have to be registered in a government copyright office to have copyright protection. It begins when a work is created (on paper or other medium).

That doesn't mean you can't register your work. You will always have that option. It just means you don't have to hop to it as soon as you create your work, as many authors did in years past.

Although the copyright symbol as such - © - is used as a matter of course by most authors, and offers peace of mind that the work is protected, new laws in member countries say that using the symbol on all works is no longer necessary.

  • Commentary: Use it anyway. Some people will assume a work is not copyrighted if they don't see the © symbol and will steal your work. They may steal it anyway, but who knows?The © symbol might be a deterrent. God knows, we need all the deterrents we can get, just to protect our work from thieves.

Canada's Modernization Act was last revised in 2012. Although Canada enjoys a multiple party system, one party - the Conservatives - unanimously endorsed the new bill and it passed. 2012 was the 4th revision of their copyright laws. A new revision was in the offing because of issues Canada felt were needlessly tying up a lot of courtroom time.

Canada's Online Copyright Laws


Fast Facts

  • As part of Canada's 2012 Copyright Modernization Act, the newest addition of Notice and Notice is meant to discourage online copyright infringement but it is on a voluntary basis. In other words, Canada can't make people follow this notification system.
  • Notice and Notice gives copyright owners information on how to protect their rights
  • The Act now requires a new review every five years by Parliament, so that it is constantly updated to keep up with the times.The last revision was in 1997.

Canada's New "Notice and Notice" Law

This newest addition to their copyright law is Canada's answer to handling DMCA notices. Widely touted as "made in Canada," if Canada was going for unique when they titled their newest copyright amendment "Notice and Notice," then they definitely accomplished it.

"Notice and Notice" puts law into writing what many copyright holders and ISP (internet service providers) already are doing voluntarily.

Effective January 1, 2015, whenever a host (or ISP) receives proper notice of copyright infringement from a copyright holder, they must forward the notice ASAP to the infringers.

Once it has been forwarded, the copyright holder must be notified of the deed. Canada advises all copyright holders to keep in his/her records for at least six months or even longer if the matter ends up in a court of law.

Any host or ISP who doesn't comply can be fined C$5,000 not to exceed C$10,000.

A copyright owner can also send a notice to a search engine for the infringing material on a website they index and they are expected to remove all copies in their cache and live within 30 days. If they are not removed in that time period, copyright holders can pursue damages with the search engine after the 30 days time limit.

As per Canadian law, the Canada Modernization Act will be reviewed again every five years.


There is just one thing I don't like about this part of the "Notice and Notice" law and I quote:

"ISPs and hosts are required to forward notices, sent by copyright owners, to users whose Internet address has been identified as being the source of possible infringement. The intermediary must also inform the copyright owner once the notice has been sent.

The Copyright Modernization Act sets clear rules on the content of these notices. Specifically, they must be in writing and state the claimant's name and address, identify the material allegedly being infringed and the claimant's right to it, as well as specify the infringing activity, the date and time of the alleged activity, and the electronic address associated with the incident. The Government is bringing the regime into force after determining that the Act provides sufficient flexibility for the regime to function without regulations."

Do you see where I would have a problem?

The copyright holder's personal information is being FORWARDED to the copyright infringer!

Illegal In Canada

Downloading copyrighted material from the Internet is widespread in Canada. And it is also illegal.

Smart & Biggar website reports:

"In March 2014, the Federal Court of Canada ordered an internet service provider (ISP) to release the names and addresses of 2,000 subscribers alleged to have illegally downloaded a copyrighted movie using peer-to-peer networks and the BitTorrent protocol.

"This marks the first Canadian decision in which the Federal Court has ordered the large scale production of customer information from a third party ISP in order to identify potential defendants in an action for illegal downloading of copyrighted material from the Internet."

Notable Changes To Canada's Copyright Law

On June 12, 2014, Canada's Minister of Justice published a 55 page report citing the changes in their Copyright Law. I'll spare you the chapter and verse of each page because it pertains to all copyrights - sound recordings, performances, artwork, and literary.

Page 36 begins the changes and clarifications of infringement of performances (audiobooks, sound recordings and video). What it says at the bottom of the page and onward is: for a copy of any work, sound recording, or a performance made in Canada, it is considered a copyright infringement for anyone:

  • to sell it
  • to rent it out
  • to trade it
  • to email it
  • to display on a website
  • to communicate by any other type of signal or technology
  • to expose or display it without benefit to the owner
  • to distribute it without benefit to the owner
  • to own it for the intention of any of the above
  • to import any works into Canada with intention of any of the above

Additionally, it is an infringement for any person or company to provide a service or provide access to the Internet or other digital service network to enable an infringer any of the above intentions.

For anything made outside of Canada, it is not a copyright infringement.

Owning a book

Levy For Blank Audio Recording Media

For the purpose of trade, any person who manufactures or imports a blank audio recording medium in Canada is liable to pay a levy for the selling or disposing of said blanks. A statement of account must be maintained and furnished upon request to the collecting office.

No levy is due when the blank is sold or otherwise disposed of, when it is to be exported from Canada and when it is finally exported from Canada.

Importing Books

Per page 38 of the new document, it is a copyright infringement for anyone to import books into Canada without the consent of the owner. Likewise, it is infringement:

  • if one reprints a book in Canada where the copyright is held outside of Canada
  • if one sells or rents out the book
  • if one exhibits the book in public for the purposes of trade, sale, rental or distribution
  • if one keeps books in their possession for any of the above purposes

The only person (s) to have an exemption is an exclusive distributor of the book to whom the author has given permission.

Reproduction For Private Use

It is not an infringement of copyright for any person to reproduce a work, or any substantial part of a work, as long as:

  • the subject matter from which the reproduction is made was not an infringing copy in the first place
  • the person legally obtained their copy of the original work
  • the person does not give away the reproduction
  • the reproduction is only used for the person's private use.

Interesting Links

Canada's 2014 Copyright Law - for those who are interested in reading every word of the new law, here are 176 pages for your reading pleasure.

Free Speech In Canada - outcome of the 2011 court decision about being sued for posting hyperlinks within a story on a personal website in 2006 which argued that the articles were defamatory because they "represented a ‘smear campaign’ against the defendant and other members of the Green Party of Canada.”

Bloggers Rights in Canada - In 2012, Canada's Modernization Act created rules for bloggers. At the link is one blogger's explanation of the rules for blog ownership.

Copyright Fees in Canada vs United States - this may or may not surprise you. :)

© 2014 Rachael O'Halloran


Submit a Comment
  • RachaelOhalloran profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael O'Halloran 

    5 years ago from United States

    Hi seraphic,

    As I read copyright law, I noticed that many countries are way behind the USA in enacting copyright laws for their country and are playing catch-up to keep up with the times.

    The Berne Convention established a guideline and to be a member nation, all must follow that guideline, but it doesn't say they must make a law in each of their countries. They leave that up to them if they want to do it.

    Canada's Notice and Notice - first off, it's a terrible name for the law. No creative minds were involved in the naming of that law.

    Their law is only reiterating what many other countries have already done. I guess they didn't want to blatantly copy other countries with naming the law and this is the most creative they could be with the name.

    Any country can make a copyright law that suits their needs. Enacting and enforcing it is a different matter. Regarding the working poor, I agree. But I believe this law was supposed to go after bigger fish, and the smaller fish get caught in the net by default.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • seraphic profile image


    5 years ago from Canada

    I love your copy-right tag! The funny part is.. people who download films/ movies/ etc. only do so because they are the working poor. If they want to enforce copy-right issues against people, in most cases that may crop up in the future is that they will be suing Canada directly-as many are the working poor... nothing to take.

    Canada can agree to anything, but when it boils down to it, those who will be sued will end up in the welfare lines. Kinda funny that Canadian Politicians can not peer into the future with this stuff.

  • RachaelOhalloran profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael O'Halloran 

    6 years ago from United States

    #vkwok - Copyright law will always be changing and hopefully always be interesting. :)

    #bravewarrior - no, there isn't. Like many of our laws, they are created out of necesssity but don't always make sense. lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    So there's really no rhyme or reason to when the copyright laws are re-addresses. It seems to be on an as needed basis.

  • vkwok profile image

    Victor W. Kwok 

    6 years ago from Hawaii

    Interesting facts you have here, Rachael.

  • RachaelOhalloran profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael O'Halloran 

    6 years ago from United States


    It's actually more than we know because they don't exactly tell everyone when changes are made. Here's what I got from the Copyright site and Wikipedia.

    Copyright Act of 1790 – established U.S. copyright with term of 14 years with 14-year renewal - only if the author was alive at the end of the first time. Writers didn't make much money to take care of health and family, so not many lived long in those days.

    April 29, 1802 -Prints and graphics (ex newspaper and tintypes), added to protected works.

    February 3, 1831 -First general revision. Music added to be protected against unauthorized printing and vending. First term of copyright extended to 28 years with privilege of renewal for term of 14 years. In 1863 the copyright of the Confederate States was nearly the same as US existing Copyright Act of 1831 ---except they had mandatory registration. Any copyright registered in the US before secession, and held by a current Confederate citizen or resident, was legally valid in the Confederacy so their copyrights were honored after the end of the war.

    August 18, 1856 -Dramatic compositions added to protected works.

    March 3, 1865 -Photographs and photographic negatives added to protected works.

    July 8, 1870 Second general revision. Works of art added to protected works. Authors had the right to create certain derivative works including translations and dramatizations.

    March 3, 1891 -First U.S. copyright law authorizing establishment of copyright relations with foreign countries. Records of works registered, now called the Catalog of Copyright Entries, published in book form for the first time in July 1891.

    January 6, 1897 -Music protected against unauthorized public performance.

    July 1, 1909 -Effective date of third general revision of the copyright law. Admission of certain classes of unpublished works to copyright registration. Term of statutory protection for a work copyrighted in published form measured from the date of publication of the work. Renewal term extended from 14 to 28 years.

    August 24, 1912 -Motion pictures, previously registered as photographs, added to classes of protected works.

    Minor housekeeping of office records to new buildings and offices until:

    January 1, 1953 -Recording and performing rights extended to nondramatic literary works.

    September 16, 1955 -Effective date of the coming into force in the United States of the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) signed at Geneva, Switzerland, on September 6, 1952 (3 years later!)

    September 19, 1962 -First of 9 special acts extending terms of subsisting renewal copyrights pending congressional action on general copyright law revision.

    Then nothing for 10 years.

    February 15, 1972 -Effective date of act extending limited copyright protection to sound recordings fixed and first published on or after this date.

    March 10, 1974 -United States became a member of the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms, which came into force on April 18, 1973.

    July 10, 1974 -United States became party to the 1971 revision of the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) revised at Paris, France.

    October 19, 1976 -Fourth general revision of the copyright law signed by President Gerald Ford.

    January 1, 1978 -Effective date of the 1976 copyright law. The term of protection for works created on or after January 1, 1978 are for the life of the author and 50 years after the author's death.

    December 12, 1980 -Copyright law amended regarding computer programs.

    May 24, 1982 --amended to say that persons who infringe copyright willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain shall be punished as provided in Section 2319 of title 18 of the U.S. Code, “Crimes and Criminal Procedure.”

    October 4, 1984 -Effective date of Record Rental Amendments of 1984. Grants the owner of copyright in a sound recording the right to authorize or prohibit the rental, lease, or lending of phonorecords for direct or indirect commercial purposes.

    November 8, 1984 -Federal statutory protection became available under the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, with the Copyright Office assuming administrative responsibility. Copyright Office began registration of claims to protection on January 7, 1985.

    June 30, 1986 -Manufacturing clause of the Copyright Act expired. Was not renewed.

    March 1, 1988-United States joined and adhered to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

    November 15, 1990 -Section 511 added to copyright law that states and state employees are not immune under the 11th Amendment from suit for copyright infringement.

    December 1, 1990 -Effective date of the Computer Software Rental Amendments Act. Grants the owner of copyright in computer programs the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the rental, lease, or lending of the program for direct or indirect commercial purposes.

    December 1, 1990 -Protection extended to architectural works

    June 26, 1992 -Renewal registration became optional. Works copyrighted between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977, automatically renewed even if registration not made.

    October 28, 1992 -Digital Audio Home Recording Act required serial copy management systems in digital audio recorders and imposed royalties on sale of digital audio recording devices and media. Clarified legality of home taping of analog and digital sound recordings for private noncommercial use.

    December 8, 1993 -NAFTA extended retroactive copyright protection to certain motion pictures first fixed in Canada or Mexico between January 1, 1978, and March 1, 1989, and published anywhere without a copyright notice; and/or to any work embodied in them; and made permanent the prohibition of sound recordings rental.

    December 8, 1994 -Uruguay Round Agreements Act (restored copyright to certain foreign works under protection in the source country but in the public domain in the United States; repealed sunset of the Software Rental Amendments Act; and created legal measures to prohibit the unauthorized fixation and trafficking in sound recordings of live musical performances and music videos.

    November 16, 1997 -The No Electronic Theft Act defined “financial gain” in relation to copyright infringement and set penalties for willfully infringing a copyright either for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain or by reproducing or distributing, including by electronic means phonorecords of a certain value.

    October 27, 1998 -The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act extended the term of copyright protection for most works to the life of the author plus 70 years after the author’s death.

    October 28, 1998 -The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provided for the implementation of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty; limited certain online infringement liability for Internet service providers; created an exemption permitting a temporary reproduction of a computer program made by activating a computer in the course of maintenance or repair

    November 2, 2002-The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act provided for the use of copyrighted works by accredited nonprofit educational institutions in distance education.

    November 30, 2004--The Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act phased out the Copyright Arbitration Rlyalty Panel system and replaced it with the Copyright Royalty Board

    April 27, 2005--The Artists’ Rights and Theft Preservation Act allowed for preregistration of certain works being prepared for commercial distribution.

    July 1, 2008 -Electronic registration on the Copyright Office website made available to the public.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    It's nice Canada reviews the copyright laws every five years. How often does America review the law?

  • RachaelOhalloran profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael O'Halloran 

    6 years ago from United States


    When I read that, it was my first thought. Of course, I have a real hangup about exposing personal information, but that's besides the point. Anyone with common sense should have picked up on that right away. Yet I read nothing in all 165 plus pages of copyright law and amendments. I mean, I really looked too! lol

    Nearly all of Canada's IP law is common sense. Maybe that is lacking there, I don't know. lol I think mostly they put it in writing to cover their butts and to come into compliance with the rest of the European Union's rules.

    Thanks for reading, agreeing and commenting :)

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    6 years ago from USA

    Some of this is hard to wrap my head around when it comes to logic, such as forwarding the copyright holder's personal info to the infringer. I mean, really? Where is the common sense?

  • RachaelOhalloran profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael O'Halloran 

    6 years ago from United States


    That is nice to hear. I appreciate that you take time out of your busy schedule to read my hubs. Thanks for coming by. :)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I'm always impressed by the amount of research you do. You are providing a good service for writers here, Rachael. Keep up the good work. You are appreciated.


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