At last, Canadian photographers own their copyright.
A big win for photographers in Canada: as of November 7th, you now officially own the copyright to all your photographs regardless of whether they were commissioned. The development comes as a result of Canada major copyright reform bill (Bill C-11) taking effect this morning. One of the stated goals of the new copyright law is to, “give photographers the same rights as other creators.”
The Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) and The Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) announced as of November 7th, Canadian photographers officially own the copyright to all of their work whether the photograph is commissioned or not, thanks to the new Copyright law.
The principle of protecting photographers' ownership rights started 65 years ago by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who founded Magnum with Robert Capa and David Seymour. Magnum assured that a photographer's image belonged to the photographer and not to the commissioner of the work.
In Canada, all other artists have already owned the copyrights to their work and thanks to this new law, Canadian photographers, albeit the last in the industrialized world, now have all legal rights to their images.
CAPIC has been working towards this monumental achievement in Canada for more than 20 years through lobbying efforts and could not have achieved this truly important mission without the support of its members, who have contributed financially, morally and offered countless volunteer hours towards this major effort led by CAPIC National Copyright Chair, Andre Cornellier.
The PPOC were a valuable partner in this achievement as well as the lobbying firm Temple Scott Associates for their work in Ottawa.
''I would like to thank the team that worked so patiently and for so long,'' commented Cornellier. ''Finally we have won a right due to us as artists. Thank you to Canadian photographers across the country for your support and patience and to André Amyot and Brian Boyle of PPOC for your work. It has been worth it.''
CAPIC will be providing more information on the direct effects of the law for Canadian photographers in the weeks to come. In the meantime, everyone in the Canadian photographic industry should celebrate and be grateful!