[PGCanada] Canadian copyright for corporations

Andrew Sly sly at victoria.tc.ca
Tue Jan 18 12:18:04 PST 2005

Looking through old emails, I came across this message from Russell
which I can now respond to...

On Tue, 9 Nov 2004, Russell McOrmond wrote:

>   Other than for photographs I still don't know the term for corporations.
> Are they considered joint authorship of the directors of the corporation?
> If so, how to we determine this to appropriately return these works to the
> public domain?

In the book "Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd edition" by Lesley Ellen
Harris, (which is, by the way, very pro-copyright in its tone),
it says that a distinction must be made between the author and the
owner of copyright when they are not the same "person". The duration
of copyright is still determined by the date of the author's death.

Here's an excerpt:

  Note that even where employers own copyright in their employees'
  creations, the employees are still the authors of these creations.
  This is important with respect to the duration of copyright
  protection, and also with respect to moral rights.

So I take it that, even though a corporation may own copyright in
a work, as it was made in the course of employment, or was aquired
by other means, the expiration of copyright is still tied to the
author's life.

That makes me wonder then, that in a work published by and
copyrighted by a corporation, if an author is not credited,
and cannot be determined, could I look to acertain a copyright
term on the basis of annonymous authorship?


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