Updates to the Canadian Copyright Term Flowchart

I made two updates to the Canadian copyright term flowcharttoday and thought I would push them out there to others working onsimilar projects.

We were at version 4 of the flowchart before. Two similar problems wereseparately identified and fixed, so we’re at version 6 now.Here’s the latest version of the chart:


Basically,the spine of the flowchart goes down the left side identifying specialcases. In the first two special cases (photographs and “CrownCopyright”), the chart dealt with the special cases but then neglectedto identify the subset of special cases that should be handled like thegeneral case. These were formerly piped to the end of the chart,but should be piped back into the spine to run through the remainingspecial cases.

Hard to follow? So, for example, photographs are a special casefor copyright term calculation in Canada, but only if they havecorporate authors. If their authors are “natural people” (notcorporations), then they should be handled the same way as any otherwork. The flowchart now sends those back to the spine so we cancapture the special case of, say, photographs that are anonymouslypublished.

So photographs were one special case. The other special case isCrown Copyright, a quirk of Canadian law that gives a specialcopyright term to works created or published by the Crown (i.e. thegovernment). But it was pointed out that if a work is co-authored bythe Crown and by one or more other non-Crown authors, then the termof copyright for the work may depend on the non-Crown author. Thesecases are now piped back to the spine. Having made that change, we cannow accommodate works published jointly by the Crown and pseudonymousauthors!

So that puts us at version 6 of the flowchart. To open thesource file, install the open source program Dia. And feel free to use theseand modify them: They are licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution 2.5 Canada licence. You can attribute them to me, AndyKaplan-Myrth. Thanks!

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4 thoughts on “Updates to the Canadian Copyright Term Flowchart

  1. Thanks for linking to the Canadian copyright term flowchart. Unfortunately, the flowchart has not been updated to reflect the latest round of amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act, so it may not be accurate right now for plays, or for other types of protected works. We’ll find out soon enough though, because the flowchart is due to be updated this summer. More to follow!

  2. allanaaa says:

    Hi Andy,

    I’d love to know if you’ve been working on an updated version of this flowchart. Thanks!

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