Medicine Hat Trademarking Expert – Bill Stemp

What is a copyright?

A copyright protects artistic creation, photographs, sculptures, computer software, architectural drawings, and similar items.

How does a copyright protect my ideas?

A copyright allows you to control who is able to use your creation. This is done by means of licensing your creation to someone else, subject to the terms of a licensing agreement.

How long does the process of completing a copyright take?

Usually about 1-2 months.

What can I do if someone infringes on my copyright?

According to the Federal Government in Canada, there are several ways a copyright holder can seek compensation for infringement of his or her copyright. One way is to sue the individual, asking the courts to award monetary compensation for each work where an infringement occurred. The pre-established damages used in civil litigation are called statutory damages. Currently, the courts may award penalties of $20,000 per image for commercial infringement. So for example if someone used five photographs for commercial purposes, the penalty is $100,000! It is much less for non-commercial infringement. For example, someone who downloads five songs illegally could face penalties ranging from $2,500 or more, depending on the number of copyright holders per song.