Public Domain

As of December 30, 2022, the Canadian government has extended copyright protection for an additional 20 years. That means works that would have entered the public domain will remain outside for another 20 years – stalling the ability of Canadians to interact freely with works from authors including Gabrielle Roy, Margaret Laurence, Glenn Gould and others.

This is the result of Canadian concessions to American demands during NAFTA renegotiations – likely fueled by Hollywood lobbyists and big industrial content producers such as commercial textbook publishers.

CAUT participated in the government’s 2021 consultations about this change to copyright law. Though CAUT opposed in principle the extension of copyright term, given that it was required as part of the give-and-take of trade agreement negotiations, we supported government implementation that would cause the least harm to the public domain. We supported an opt-in option for works and oeuvres, making the 20-year extension optional with all other works falling immediately out of copyright.

Read CAUT’s recommendations in our 2021 submission to the government consultations on how to implement term extension.

CAUT “Missing” posters

  • Post on social media using the CAUT “Missing Canadian authors” shareables
  • Download, print and post on campus the CAUT “Missing Canadian stories” poster

Gabrielle Roy   Glenn Gould   Gwendolyn MacEwen   Marshall McLuhan

Margaret Laurence   Lester B. Pearson   Anna Minerva Henderson   Ken Adachi

Take action

  • Join the post-secondary education sector to ensure copyright law is protected in the public interest. Send a letter to the federal ministers that manage the Copyright Act.

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