How to Copyright a Website in Canada

By David Carnes

If your website is online, it already enjoys copyright protection under Canadian copyright law as long as its content is original. You can also register your website with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Registration constitutes public proof that your website is copyrighted and that you are the copyright owner. Registration also makes it more difficult for an infringing party to claim unintentional infringement, and allows potential licensees to contact you for permission to use material on your website.

Step 1

Reduce your website to a tangible form -- in other words, type out the text, insert the graphics and perform any other acts necessary to make it viewable on a computer screen. Although Canadian copyright law does not protect mere ideas, your website is subject to common-law copyright protection as soon as you create it -- you don't even have to put it online.

Step 2

Place a copyright notice at the bottom of each page of your website. A copyright notice includes the copyright symbol -- the letter C in a circle -- as well as the name of the copyright holder and the year of first publication. The year of first publication means the year you intend to put it online. Although Canadian copyright law no longer requires the use of the copyright symbol, a copyright symbol deters infringement and helps defeat a defense of unintentional infringement in the event of a lawsuit.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now

Step 3

Create a user account on the Industry Canada website, click on the "Copyrights" tab on the left-hand side, and follow the on-screen prompts to navigate to the online copyright registration application issued by CIPO.

Step 4

Complete the copyright registration application. You must provide the name of your website, and you must categorize it. If your website is mostly text, for example, you might categorize it as "literary." You must also provide publication details such as the date your website first went online, information about the copyright owner, and information about yourself if you are not the copyright owner. You must also include contact details that would allow a potential licensee to request permission to use portions of your website. You don't need to upload a copy of your work.

Step 5

Pay the filing fee of $50 online using a credit or debit card and submit your application. CIPO will review it and, if it finds no problems, send you a copyright certificate. Your copyright certificate constitutes legal proof of registration. CIPO may contact you later if questions arise concerning the content of your website.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How to Copyright a Webpage



Related articles

How to Copyright Sewing Patterns

If you want to protecting sewing patterns, it's complicated. Because copyright is all about protecting expression, it can protect the original text and images appearing in the pattern, as well as the envelope used to contain the pattern. However, the protection doesn’t extend to the ideas expressed in the pattern itself. Anyone can use these ideas to create an identical design.

How to Copyright Your Entire Blog

Although your blog is protected by copyright the moment you publish it to the Web, you should consider registering your blog with the United States Copyright Office. Doing so will give you additional protection, including the right to sue and collect damages if someone infringes your content. You can copyright your entire blog as it exists on the date of registration, but subsequent updates will require additional filings. In addition to registering your copyright, placing a copyright notice on your blog will let visitors know that you are serious about protecting your rights.

How to Preserve Copyright on a CD

A music CD has automatic copyright protection when it is created, whether or not it is registered with the U.S. Copyright office or contains a copyright notice. But both registration and notice help protect your rights in important ways. Copyright registration is required before you can sue for infringement. It will also help prove your case and, if filed on time, allows you to win attorney fees and statutory damages. A visible copyright notice prevents an infringer from claiming that the infringement was an innocent mistake. Both are important to preserve your rights.


Related articles

How Can a Company Check for Infringement of Its Copyrights?

Copyright infringement is a big concern for companies that want to protect their photos and text. The law protects ...

How to Write a Copyright Statement for a Website

Drafting a copyright statement for your website is important, because it gives visitors notice that your website should ...

How to Request Use of a Copyrighted Song

A copyright represents a legal monopoly on the right to reproduce, sell, publicly display, publicly perform, adapt or ...

How to Copyright a Documentary

Copyright is a form of protection that is available for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED