[PGCanada] Canadian copyright for corporations

Andrew Sly sly at victoria.tc.ca
Tue Jan 18 14:58:25 PST 2005

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, Russell McOrmond wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, Wallace J.McLean wrote:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Andrew Sly <sly at victoria.tc.ca>
> > Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 3:18 pm
> > Subject: [PGCanada] Canadian copyright for corporations
> >
> > > 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?
> >
> > Yes: http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/unlocatable/other/2-b.pdf
>   Are you suggesting that anonymous works (which works with corporate
> ownership tend to be) have only a 50 year term?

Yes. Here's the relevant portion of the Copyright Act:

   6.1 Except as provided in section 6.2, where the identity of the
   author of a work is unknown, copyright in the work shall subsist for
   whichever of the following terms ends earlier:

     (a) a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the
     first publication of the work and a period of fifty years following
     the end of that calendar year, and

     (b) a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the
     making of the work and a period of seventy-five years following the
     end of that calendar year,

   but where, during that term, the author's identity becomes commonly
   known, the term provided in section 6 applies.

>   I am surprised that corporations are not then "disclosing" authorship
> when term is near to expire, disclosing the author who died last given
> that in joint authorship the "public domain public good countdown" starts
> when the last author dies (or is offed... I think the morbidity of public
> benefit from authors death should be eradicated).

That's what I see as a potential challenge for PG Canada. If we do
clear anything under a rule based on this provision, how do we
prepare for the small chance of someone coming forward with an
author's name for a previously considered anonnymous work?

This is the type of situation where copyright advice from people more
with more authority will more very helpful.


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