Rights Protected by Copyright

AuthorLesley Ellen Harris
ProfessionLawyer, author, and educator
Rights Protected by
It s why you create characters: so you can argue with yourself.
—Michael Ondaatje
The Nature of Rights Granted by the
Copyright Act
Rights are acts that only a copyright owner may do, or authorize oth-
ers to do, with protected material. Anyone who exercises a right with-
out the copyright owner ’s permission is violating copyright and may
be subject to a number of remedies set out in the Copyright Act. The
remedies are discussed in Chapter 13. Legally using content is discussed
in Chapter 14.
This chapter examines three kinds of rights set out in the Copyright
Act: economic rights, moral r ights, and rights in other subject-matter
(called neighbouring rights). Copyright protects the economic inter-
ests of the creators and owners of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic
works. Moral rights protect the integrity of a work and the identi ca-
tion of its creator. Neighbour ing rights protect the rights of perform-
ers (including their moral rights), broadcasters, and makers of sound
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136 Rights Protected by Copyright
Copyright versus Moral Rights
Moral rights must be distinguished from copyright. In order to do this,
think of copyright as economic rights; that is, those rights that can be
exchanged for money. An example of economic rights is where an
author grants to a publisher the right to publish his or her book in
exchange for a royalty payment. These economic rights, or copyright,
include a myriad of rights, or a bundle of rights such as the right to pub-
lish, reproduce, perfor m in public, broadcast, translate a work, and so on,
as well as the right to authorize or permit any of these acts. An author
has the right to “exploit” these r ights in any manner he or she chooses,
and the right to be monetarily compensated for such exploitation.
Moral rights are di erent from the economic rights of copyright.
The purpose of moral rights is to protect the honour and reputation
of a creator. Moral r ights are closely related to the personality of an
author. Moral rights cannot be exercised by any person other than
the author (or an heir), and cannot be exchanged for money.
Often when the term copyright is used in this book and elsewhere, it
means both economic rights, and moral rights (and may also include
rights in other subject-matter). Sometimes, however, copyright means just
economic rights. In this chapter (and book), the intended meaning will
generally be revealed by the context in which the word copyright is used.
The Rights Set Out in the Copyright Act
The way rights are set out in the Copyright Act is complex. Although
the bulk of rights are set out in one section of the Act, the wording is
complicated. As a result, this chapter does not follow the exact order of
the rights or use the exact terminology as it appears in the Act. This is
an important chapter, and care should be taken in understanding the
concepts in it.
The rights set out in this chapter are set out as “full” rights and do
not always take into account speci c provisions in the Act that may be
limitations on, or exceptions from, these rights. Chapter 10 deals with
these limitations or exceptions.
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