New Canadian Law Gives Photographers All Copyrights to Images, Commissioned or Not

New Canadian Law Gives Photographers All Copyrights to Images, Commissioned or Not

Victory for Canadian photographers! Photogs now own the rights to all images they take, regardless of if they were commissioned or not. In Canada, all other artists have already owned the copyrights to their work and thanks to this new law, Canadian photographers, albeit the last in the industrialized world, now have all legal rights to their images.

"The Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) has been working towards this monumental achievement in Canada for more than 20 years through lobbying efforts and could not have achieved this truly important mission without the support of its members, who have contributed financially, morally and offered countless volunteer hours towards this major effort led by CAPIC National Copyright Chair, Andre Cornellier.

The principle of protecting photographers' ownership rights started 65 years ago by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who founded Magnum with Robert Capa and David Seymour. Magnum assured that a photographer's image belonged to the photographer and not to the commissioner of the work.

In Canada, all other artists have already owned the copyrights to their work and thanks to this new law, Canadian photographers, albeit the last in the industrialized world, now have all legal rights to their images.

CAPIC has been working towards this monumental achievement in Canada for more than 20 years through lobbying efforts and could not have achieved this truly important mission without the support of its members, who have contributed financially, morally and offered countless volunteer hours towards this major effort led by CAPIC National Copyright Chair, Andre Cornellier.

The Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) were a valuable partner in this achievement as well as the lobbying firm Temple Scott Associates for their work in Ottawa.

CAPIC will be providing more information on the direct effects of the law for Canadian photographers in the week to come as we celebrate this important Canadian achievement.

For more information:
André Cornellier
Copyright Chair
CAPIC, The Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators
andre@cornellierphoto.com
tel.: 514.933.4000"

[Via Photo News Canada Facebook]

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6 Comments

This is awesome . Now we need that to happen here.

christopher steven b's picture

It's sort of a moot point for me as a wedding photographer given that I have possession of copyright in my contract. I am, however, interested in finding out what are the other implications of this change.

Spy Black's picture

If this could happen in the U.S., it would be interesting in the case of shooting something like the New York skyline. As I understand it, buildings such as the Empire State building have a copyright on their image. Things would appear to get thorny.

These aren't exactly the same thing. The Empire State or the Hollywood sign require licensing fees, which are independent of the issue of copyright of a particular photo. As in, the licensing fees are NOT going away with the implementation of this law, nor are they being challenged in any way. You're still going to have to pay licensing fees, period. All that's changing is that if I hire a photographer to take a photo of the skyline, (s)he's going to own the copyright to the photo (but not necessarily the objects depicted IN the photo).

Tam Nguyen's picture

That actually clears it up. So, ultimately, the photographer community isn't gaining much; just what really should have been theirs in the first place.

RUSS's picture

CONGRATS TO ALL YOU CANADIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS! :)