Lesson 2: Who Owns Copyright in a Work?

artGenerally speaking, the person who first creates the literary, musical, artistic or dramatic work is the first owner of the copyright. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. The scenarios below provide some examples of differences in ownership rules as well as how copyright can be transferred from one copyright owner to another.

Select each of the six scenarios to uncover some relevant considerations in copyright ownership.

Scenario 1: Employee vs. Independent Contractor

You are hiring someone in Canada to write some marketing brochures for you. You are deciding whether to hire them as an employee or whether to hire them as an independent contractor (a freelancer)?

Scenario 2: Collaborating on a Book Project

You and your friend are writing a book together. You have a great relationship but you both have different objectives for what will happen with the book once it is finished.

Scenario 3: Owning a Painting

You have just bought a painting by a local artist. You love the painting and want to share it with your friends. You would like to take a photograph and post it on your Facebook page. You wonder whether you can do this.

Scenario 4: Reselling a Painting

You have decided you want to sell the work of art for a sizeable profit but are concerned that the artist will want some form of payment for their work having been resold.

Scenario 5: Publishing a manuscript posthumously

Your uncle is a famous author. When he dies he leaves you with all of his original private papers but he leaves your sister with the right to publish all of his written works. Among his papers you find a manuscript of a book that he has not yet published.

Scenario 6: Buying a Computer Program

You have just acquired a piece of software and want to know whether you can make copies of it for everyone in your office?

Last modified: Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 4:41 PM