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Copyright at Seneca

Copyright Symbol

What is Copyright?

Copyright is the right to copy. The Canadian Copyright Act grants rights to the creators of works giving them the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, distribute, or sell their works.


Who Owns The Copyright in a Work?

The copyright owner is most often the author or creator of the work. A creator could be an author, artist, musician, photographer, etc. If the work is created in the course of employment, the employer holds the copyright.

For Seneca's Copyright Policy click here:





Icon: copyright by Stefan Parnarov from the Noun Project

What are Moral Rights?

Only the copyright owner has the right to decide when and how their work is copied. In addition, these rights include moral rights. Moral rights include:

The right of association including:

  • The right to remain anonymous
  • The right to use a pseudonym
  • The right to have one's name associated with the work

The right of integrity including:

  • The right to prevent the work from being used in such a way as to prejudice the creator’s reputation
  • The right to ensure the work will not be distorted, modified or mutilated, or used in association with a product or company to the detriment of the creator’s honour or reputation
In Canada all original creative works in tangible / fixed formats are protected. This includes:
  • Artistic Works: drawings, engravings, paintings, photographs, sculptures
  • Computer/Digital Material: clip art, computer programs, databases, emails, blogs, wikis, websites
  • Dramatic Works: Scripts for radio, television & film, plays, operas, musicals
  • Literary Works: books, magazines, pamphlets, letters, translations
  • Musical Works: musical arrangements, adaptations, sheet music, sound recordings
Note: Protection is automatic upon the creation of a work, and applies whether or not a copyright symbol or statement appears on the material.


How Long is a Work Protected?

The general rule is that the rights and protection for a copyrighted work lasts the life of the creator plus 50 years.

What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement is the use of a copyright protected work without the permission of the creator or use of a copyright protected work in excess of the exceptions set out in the Copyright Act of Canada.