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What is Copyright?

Copyright is one aspect of the broader area of Intellectual Property (IP) law. IP law protects intangible items, as opposed to physical or tangible items. One thing to keep in mind is that a part does not equal the whole: copyright and IP are not the same things! There are other elements to IP beyond copyright, like patents, trademarks, industrial designs, trade secrets, and confidential information. 

The purpose of copyright is to provide incentives for creative (to allow artists to make money for their work) and also to provide public access to works.

Copyright law is under federal jurisdiction, meaning copyright rules apply to an entire country in uniform. Canada's current copyright laws will change over the course of the next few years as a result of the USMCA Agreement that is replacing NAFTA. 

The rules and laws surrounding copyright can be confusing, but McMaster has a team of experts you can rely on for help. Check out McMaster Copyright for more information. 

Government of Canada's Guide to Copyright

The Government of Canada has constructed an in-depth guide to copyright which can be accessed on their website. Here you will find definitions for key terms, and more information related to the benefits and process of registering an item for copyright. 

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