Lesson 3: How Does Copyright Protection Arise?

Copyright usually arises automatically in that no formal registration is required. In most common law jurisdictions, the work has to be fixed in some form. It also has to be original in that it is the result of some creativity and has not been copied from somewhere else.


In all Berne Convention member countries, your legal entitlement to copyright arises automatically without any formalities such as registration. However, some countries still maintain voluntary registration systems for other purposes. Therefore, although your copyright arises from the moment the work is created, voluntary registration systems in specific jurisdictions might provide some advantages worth considering.

Select each tab to find out more about copyright law in the following places.

You can voluntarily register your copyright as proof that you are the copyright owner. The advantage of doing this is that if you are suing in Canada, you can introduce your registration document in court instead of having to provide evidence that you are the owner of the copyright. But this registration evidence can still be challenged, in which case you will have to prove your ownership in court.
In the United States, registration might be more advisable, depending on your circumstances, because the advantages of registration extend beyond evidentiary streamlining. For example, copyright holders may be able to claim certain kinds of damages as well as legal fees if they have registered their copyright with the US Copyright Office .
No similar registration requirements exist, whether for evidentiary or remedial purposes.
As in Canada, registration is voluntary and confers similar benefits in terms of evidentiary streamlining. See the Copyright Protection Center of China.
Last modified: Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 10:08 AM