Lesley Ellen Harris’s Canadian Copyright Law is a readable, complete introduction to Canadian copyright law, covering text, photographs, art, video, music, and more. Harris explains what types of intellectual property fall under copyright as opposed to patents, trademarks, industrial design protection, and trade secrets. She summarizes what rights are included in copyright, how they can be exploited, and how copyright is infringed, and discusses how violations are handled. She also explains how to license content and gives some guidelines on fair dealing. There’s discussion of international copyright treaties, and a full chapter on US copyright law.
The book contained just about everything I wanted to know, and it was well organized and easy to understand. It’s quite a reasonable length, so you can realistically read it cover to cover. The author seems to take a neutral point of view, which is helpful given that there is some controversy over how to interpret recent Supreme Court decisions. I think the book takes into account the results of the “copyright pentalogy,” five decisions by the Canadian Supreme Court on copyright that were delivered on July 12, 2012, but there’s no direct discussion or analysis of the cases. This book seems like an excellent starting point for the lay reader who needs to get a grip on how to protect, license, and use creative works.
Lesley Ellen Harris is a lawyer, writer, and teacher who specializes in copyright law.
Accompanying material online
- My blog post summarizing some of the information in the book.
- Book webpage, including some updates to the book.
- Copyrightlaws.com: see copyright quizzes.
- The Copyright Act.
Reviewed from a copy borrowed from the library.