Artistic Work: Any visual representation such as a painting, drawing, map, photograph, sculpture, engraving or architectural plan.
Assigning Copyright: Transfer of copyright ownership from one party to another party, often the case when publishing an article in a journal.
AUCC: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
Author: The creator of an artistic, literary, musical or dramatic work.
Berne Copyright Convention: An international treaty extending copyright protection in member countries to nationals of other member countries. Canada is a signatory to this treaty.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO): Federal agency responsible for the administration of intellectual property laws (includes Copyright Office).
Copyrights: Provide protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works, computer programs, sound recordings.
Copyright Act: Federal legislation governing copyright in Canada.
Copyright Infringement: Violation of copyright through unauthorized copying or use of a work protected by copyright.
Copyright Term: The length of time the law allows copyright owners to hold the exclusive rights on their original works.
Creative Commons: is an organization that provides licensing information aimed at achieving a mutual sharing and flexible approach to copyright.
Crown Copyright: Copyright in works prepared for or published by federal or provincial/territorial governments.
Derivative Work: Is a new work that translates or transforms one or more original copyrighted works (example, a song written about a photograph or a song created from a poem).
Exclusive Distributor: A person who has been appointed as the only distributor of a book in Canada.
Fair Dealing (Canada): A provision in the Copyright Act which permits use of a copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner or payment of copyright royalties. The Supreme Court of Canada has identified six points that must be considered in deciding whether a particular instance of copying may be considered "fair".
File Sharing: The practice of uploading and downloading digital files, whether text, audio, video or image, to and from a computer network where more than one user has access to those files.
Format Shifting: Copying content into other formats and onto other devices (for example, transferring content from a CD to an MP3 player).
License: Legal agreement granting someone permission to use a work for certain purposes or under certain conditions. A license does not constitute a change in ownership of the copyright.
Moral Rights: Rights that authors and performers retain over the integrity of a work or sound recording, and the right to be named as its creator even after the sale or transfer of the copyright.
Neighbouring Rights: While akin to copyright, these are distinct and protect the rights of performers (for example, actors and musicians), record producers and broadcasters.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) Technology: A network of online computers that allows users to share (upload and download) digital files from computer to computer.
Plagiarism: Copying the work (or part of it) of another person and claiming it as your own. Under the Copyright Act, this might be considered a moral rights infringement.
Public Domain: Works that are no longer restricted by copyright and do not require a license or fee to use. Works can enter the public domain automatically because they are not copyrightable, be designated in the public domain by the creator, or become part of the public domain because their copyright term has expired.
Rights Holders: Individuals, businesses or organizations that own the copyright on a work or other subject matter (for example, authors, performers, producers, video game publishers, photographers, visual artists).
Royalty: A sum paid to copyright owners for the sale or use of their works.
Technological Neutrality: A principle that the law should not be limited to current, existing technologies. Under this principle, laws should be designed to reflect the reality of rapidly evolving media and technologies associated with copyrighted works and stand the test of time.
TPM (Technological Protection Measures): Also called a "digital lock" used to restrict access to or copying of a work.
Trademark: A word, symbol or design, or a combination of them, used to distinguish the goods and services of one party from those of another.
Transactional Licences: Licences issued on a pay-per-use basis.
User Groups: Groups of persons, businesses or organizations with common interests (for example, consumers, educators, libraries, archives, museums, researchers, software developers) that use copyrighted work or other subject matter in the course of their usual activities.
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Internet Treaties: The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty are commonly known as the WIPO Internet Treaties. These 1996 treaties update international copyright standards for the Internet era.
*These definitions are taken from a number of sources, including:
Copyright Guide for Canadian Libraries by Wanda Noel, Canadian Library Association, 1999.