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Copyright guide

Adaptation, translation and performance

Adaptations, performances and translations of works are subject to copyright (section 3 of the Copyright Act).

Adaptation

Adapting copyrighted material requires permission from the owner of the original work. Reproduction or performance of an adaptation may require the permission of both the owner of the rights for the original work, and of the rights' holder for the adapted work.

Translation

Permission to translate substantial portions of a work must be obtained from the owner of the original work. Translations also are considered original works and are protected by copyright. This is true even if the original work has become part of the public domain. Reproduction or performance of a translation may require the permission of both the owner of the rights for the original work, and owner of the rights for the adapted work.

This being said, the Canadian Copyright Act recognizes the right to translate a work for the purposes of education or training on the premises of an educational institution in order to display the translated work. This is only possible if no commercial alternative is available.

Performance

A special exception (at section 29.5), permits educational institutions to use copyrighted materials in order to:

  • Stage a live performance in public (a play, a public reading, a concert, etc.), primarily by students of the educational institution
  • Play a sound recording of a work or of a performer's performance that is embodied in a sound recording
  • Play a live broadcast in public (television, radio, internet).

This exception applies:

  • on the premises of an educational institution
  • for educational or training purposes and not for profit and
  • before an audience consisting primarily of students of the educational institution
page last updated on: Thursday 14 September 2017
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