Copyright is something bloggers struggle with constantly. People take our words, our photos, our recipes without so much as a “how’d ya do?”, never a mind a “may I?”. What parts of our work are protected and what parts aren’t? What’s our recourse if something gets used without permission?
And what about us bloggers? Many of us are, unwittingly, equally guilty. How many of us know the difference between a creative commons license and a copyright notice? And let’s be honest – have you paid for every copyright protected movie, song or book you’ve got sitting on your hard drive?
The truth is, sometimes it feels like trying to navigate a minefield and it’s easy to take a wrong turn. To make it even more confusing, Canadian copyright law is not the same as the copyright law our neighbours south of the border have to work with.
As somebody who designs, photographs and writes for a living, copyright is hugely important to me. And confusing. Enter Canadian Copyright Law by Lesley Ellen Harris. This is the fourth edition of the book, updated most recently after major changes to Canada’s copyright legislation in 2012. It has, simply, become an invaluable resource guide to me as somebody who produces copyright protected material and who consumes copyright protected material in their line of work.
The book isn’t one you need to read cover to cover but I do recommend you read the first three chapters to get a feel for just how fluid the law can be and how it works (it’s open to interpretation and it’s not cut and dried – very important to understand!).
Lesley covers a lot of ground, including Canadian and International protection (by having a work copyright protected in Canada, it’s automatically covered in 166 other countries!), who owns copyright, what rights are protected and what the limitations on those rights are (did you know that mashups are allowed under Canadian copyright? I didn’t!) and how they can be exploited. And of course, what your recourse is if your rights are infringed. There’s even a chapter on the basics of American copyright law.
The book is written in a clear, easy to understand voice with lots of examples to help clarify different scenarios. Although, sometimes all the examples illustrate just how grey some areas of copyright law can be. Which makes it even more important to understand what copyright is and how it’s applied!
Canadian Copyright Law is an invaluable resource for the Canadian blogger, regardless of blogging genre. Virtually everything we do as bloggers is related to creating content, whether it’s photographs, stories, videos or recipes. Understanding what your rights are is crucial to protecting your work, yourself and, in many cases your income. It’s equally important to understand when you are potentially infringing on copyright, whether it’s re-posting a portion of somebody else’s works, or altering it in some form. This book will help!
More Copyright Information
If you want more information on Canadian copyright for your blog, be sure to check out Lesley’s latest post for us on Understanding Copyright For Your Photographs and her previous post for us on Who Owns Your Blog and Blog Posts.
Enter to Win a Copy of Canadian Copyright Law
Thanks to Wiley Canada, we have three copies of Lesley’s book to give away. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below letting us know why you’d like to win a copy before 9pm pacific time February 21st. We’ll draw three names at random from the entries. Good luck!