In this module we have explored author rights, focusing on how authors are protected, or in the case of traditional knowledge, are not protected under copyright; the ways in which authors sign over their rights; and strategies to negotiate with authors when dealing with publisher agreements.

Key Takeaways

  • Canadian copyright for literary, artistic, and musical works must meet the criteria of originality, fixation, and the creator is a Canadian citizen, resident of Canada, or another treaty country.
  • As the copyright owner of your work, you are allowed to reproduce your work, create new works based on the original, share however you would like, perform or display your work in public, and transfer your rights to a third party.
  • Publisher agreements, a legal contract that transfers the rights of your work to the publisher, can have consequences for your copyrights and will impact how you use your work in the future.
  • Negotiation with publishers using such tools as author addendums provides you with an opportunity to maintain the rights over your work that are of importance to you.
  • While sharing your work in the open allows you to set the rules around how your work can be used by others, priorities of promotion and tenure processes, academic conventions in your field and considerations related to the potential financial benefits to your findings (e.g. patents), are considerations that need to be evaluated before engaging in open.
  • Indigenous cultural heritage and identity is expressed through creative works like storytelling, song, dance, rituals, and practices and is connected to land and community across time. The Canadian Copyright Act, as it is currently structured, cannot protect traditional knowledge due to the focus of copyright on economic benefits, individual creators, and the time-based nature of protections.


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