The Arts Professions Act
Copyright and Legal
Knowledge is the best way to protect yourself and your business. The best way to do that in the creative industries is to be familiar with your rights as an artist or an engager regarding copyright and other intellectual property issues. This section provides a snap shot on copyright information in Canada.
Canada's Copyright Act: A great place to begin research is to look at the letter of the law. As the current Act is outdated a new Bill has been proposed. It is to go through the committee process over the summer.
Federal Copyright Consultations (2009): Over the past few years there have been a number of attempts to change Canada's Copyright Act, with the newest Bill having been announced on June 3, 2010. In the summer of 2009, the federal government hosted a notion-wide consultation on the Act. Although the consultation is over, this website hosts a breadth of information on copyright in Canada along with feedback from the consultations.
Canadian Intellectual property Office (CIPO): The CIPO is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada, including copyrights. Anything you wanted to know about intellectual property rights can be found on their website.
Copyright Board: The Board is an economic regulatory body empowered to establish royalties to be paid for the use of copyrighted works. If you are looking for an organization that deals with copyright in your sector, the Copyright Board also hosts links to all the various Copyright Collectives, from Access Copyright to SOCAN.
Creators’ Rights Alliance (CRA) and the Creators Copyright Coalition (CCC): These are coalitions of national artists’ associations and collectives responsible for managing authors’ rights, which is devoted to the defense, the promotion and the protection of the interests of Canadian creators in relation to intellectual property. The sites have information about domestic and international copyright issues.
This section has a few resources that can help you find more information on taking legal action, keeping in mind that the best advice is from a professional lawyer.
Saskatchewan Small Claims Court: For claims not exceeding $20,000, Small Claims Court is a less expensive way to resolve a dispute. This Court is meant to be an easier and less expensive way to resolve disputes. People can approach the Court knowing that the staff can help prepare the necessary forms and that the judge is skilled in settling disputes. While lawyers can handle Small Claims cases, most people choose to represent themselves. The emphasis when issuing claims is on facts rather than procedural or legal technicalities.
Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal (CAPPRT): CAPPRT is a quasi-judicial, independent federal agency, whose ultimate aim is to encourage constructive professional relations between parties.
Industry Associations: If you are in need of legal advice but are not sure where to start, many industry associations offer advice or can suggest legal council.
The Public Legal Educators Association (PLEA): PLEA provides general legal information, suggesting resources and telling people about different options for obtaining legal advice. PLEA provides law-related information using language that is easy to understand. The information provided is specific to Saskatchewan and Canada and is intended to provide general information only.
Legal Line: A not-for-profit organization which offers legal information free of charge. Written information is available about a number of topics of interest to artists, including copyright, internet law, business law, bankruptcy and entertainment law.
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A list of resources for artists and engagers looking for information on contracting