On June 23, 2022, Bill C-19, The Budget Implementation Act, 2022 received royal assent. The Bill includes proposed amendments to the Copyright Act. The amendments extend the term of copyright protection in literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works and certain works of joint authorship and posthumous works from the life of the author plus 50 years to the life of the author plus 70 years. The amendments will come into force on a date to be determined by the federal cabinet.
The extended protection will satisfy Canada’s obligations under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). One of the key aspects of this trade deal required Canada to extend the term of copyright protection to not less than the life of the author plus 70 years. The move to a life plus 70-year term puts Canada in line with the majority of its trading partners.
The extended term will not be retroactive. Even though the coming into force date has not yet been set, under CUSMA, Canada has a transition period that lasts until December 31, 2022, to extend its copyright term. As a result, any works whose copyright expired on or before December 31, 2021, will remain in the public domain, whereas works whose copyright expired in 2022 will be subject to copyright protection for another 20 years.
Summary By: Victoria Di Felice
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