Canada agrees to copyright term extension


On February 2nd, negotiators of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact said that they are a step closer to reaching a deal with the 12 participating countries (including Canada) for a copyright protection term of life-plus-70 years.  It is the United States that has pushed for this arrangement.

You may recall a recent Crossroads news article celebrating the works of Rachel Carson, Ian Fleming and others coming into the public domain as of January 1st, 2015, thanks to the fact that in Canada, copyright expires 50 years after the death of an author.  As also previously mentioned, while Canada maintains copyright for a ‘life-plus-50’ year term, many other countries, including the United States have increased copyright protection to a ‘life-plus-70’ year term. 

Having a strong public domain fosters creative development in our society, allows for the greater preservation of works for future generations, and makes access to resources more affordable for education. 

The fact that Canada has resisted calls from the US in the past to extend copyright protection makes the TPP concession all the more disappointing.  Michael Geist points out that while the TPP talks are far from final, and though Canada may still find itself outside the TPP due to stalled negotiations over aspects including agricultural concessions, extending the term of copyright protection will not be one of them.

For more information, contact Melanie Wrobel in the Copyright Office at, or call 250-391-2652.


Geist, Michael. (2015, February 4). Reports indicate Canada has caved on copyright term extension in TPP talks.

NHK World. (2015, February 2). TPP negotiators agree on copyrights protection.

Center for the Study of the Public Domain. (2015). Why the public domain matters.

Center for the Study of the Public Domain. (2015). Public Domain Day – frequently asked questions.