Copyright has a long tradition. The first U.S. copyright law came into effect on May 31, 1790.

          If it's worth publishing, it's worth paying for, every time.
(Larry Jackson, past President of Professional Writers Association of Canada)


Here is a template for the "take down" form under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Download this page, fill in the relevant information, and print it. Make sure you also print out copies of all the web pages where the infringement appears.  The DMCA template is HERE.

Copyright Infringement Attorney, Philip Leon Marcus, has written a helpful article called Is it really fair use?  which explains this difficult legal concept. Read it HERE.

Fair Dealing in Canada has been redefined by the 2012 revised copyright law. It now includes: education, satire, and parody, research, private study, news reporting, criticism, and review.

Who Owns an Interview?

Find out who is copying your work without permission: has many useful links about plagiarism.





An excerpt from U.S. Copyright Law:  TRANSFER OF COPYRIGHT 

            Plagiarism occurs when someone copies the exact wording from another source, without attribution. Even with attribution, you cannot copy substantial portions of anyone else's writing, and the law varies on how much amounts to "substantial." Always obtain permission!
            Sometimes an author of a non-fiction books is upset when someone else writes about the same subject. But using the same sources does not constitute plagiarism. No one can "own" sources or access to original historical documents.

TRADEMARKS  protect a specific product and must always be associated with that product.  If a trademark is not consistently protected, it can become the generic term for the item. This is why companies urge everyone to capitalize the term and follow it with the TM symbol. Among words in common usage which started out as trademarks are: amps, bloomers, booze, boycott, calico, cellophane, celluloid, chauvinist, corn flakes, derrick         epicure, escalator, guillotine, guppy, jerry-built, kerosene, lanolin, linoleum, mesmerize, mimeograph,      nicotine, nylon, panties, raisin bran, ritzy, shredded wheat, silhouette, trampoline, zeppelin. Very close to losing trademark status are names like Kleenex, Caterpillar, and Xerox.

            Copyright on songs is complex. Original publishers who owned the rights have sold to others (the Beatles' work to Michael Jackson, for example) and one has to do a Google search to find out who to contact to obtain permission. 
            Notice that when you see a song lyric quoted in a novel, there's a long permission at the front of the book, indicated who owns the rights. The same thing appears in the credits of movies, if you happen to notice, where every song sang or played is credited with the author, rights' owner, and performer.



FREE:    The Article You Can't Read on This Site

Samples of letters re copyright infringement: letter 1, letter 2

An exchange of e-mails between CanWest and the Travel Media Association concerning the 2008 CanWest contract.

Letters  from Canadian authors about Canada's new copyright legislation:

1.           Have you ever had the kind of job where the more experience you gain the less money you earn? That’s the reality of being a writer in Canada. I’ve been freelancing for national and regional magazines and newspapers, and writing books for 17 years. I’ve earned awards and have a bestseller under my belt. I’ve worked hard to hone my craft and tell Canadians stories that reflect who we are, but the rates I get paid have either stayed the same for nearly two decades or dropped over the years. Meanwhile, my bills keep going up.
             As publishers and their stockholders pick my pocket, my frustration level mounts. One of the ways that I can supplement my income is by licensing the right to reprint or photocopy my work. Now librarians and educators want a piece of my meagre livelihood, too, by demanding the right not to pay for photocopying my work under Canada’s Copyright Act.
            Do plumbers and other tradespeople work for schools and libraries for free? Do teachers and librarians offer their employers a discount on their salaries? Do these institutions get free rent because they’re helping their communities? If the answer to all of those questions is “no,” then why should writers have to give up part of their livelihood when nobody else does?
            One of the ways (and I’m no exception) that experienced writers make ends meet is by freelancing for the corporate sector. For some reason, they're willing to pay us at rates that reflect our skill and level of experience. I love sharing stories about communities and the people who make them special, but it’s getting harder to do that as my livelihood continues to get eroded by people wanting me to work for free when they clearly don't.
            I hope that I can count on your support and those of your colleagues in the NDP caucus to speak out in Parliament against an exemption that allows teachers and librarians to use my work for free. Please feel free to share my e-mail with your colleagues. I would also be happy to chat with you about the difficult realities of being a writer in Canada.
            Thank you.      Helena Katz, Author/Journalist, Fort Smith, NWT.

2. From: Barbara Florio Graham <>
            I want to add my voice to that of other authors who worry about our future if the Copyright bill passes as written.
            Writers cannot afford to work for nothing. Bill C-32 risks all author income, not just textbook royalties. As a former teacher, I know how common it is to copy a single story from an anthology, or a few key pages from a work of fiction or non-fiction.
            Thanks to Access Copyright, we have been paid for copies made by schools, universities, libraries and copy shops. But even that is a pittance compared to proper compensation. In one case, a school copied an entire chapter from one of my books to pass out to students, when they could have purchased a class set of the book, directly from me, for less than $100.
            Even when I've done readings at a school, they often buy only one copy of each of my books, and a few schools haven't even done that! They expect us to entertain the class and offer some insight into being a writer, without being paid even an honorarium.
            I know school budgets are tight, but the answer is better funding for schools, not the theft of copyrighted material from authors.
            If this bill passes, few books will be published, and fewer authors will be able to continue to write Canadian fiction and non-fiction. Instead, they will write for websites in the U.S. and abroad, for U.S. magazines (who pay much better than Canadian ones!), and for corporate clients.
           The loss, in terms of Canadian culture is serious. Here's a quote from the past-president of the Professional Writers' Association of Canada:
                       Writers make the world seem coherent.
                                  They decipher babble,
                                  they banish ambiguity and fluff, 
                                  they amuse,
                                  they persuade,
                                  they convince,
                                  they entice,
                                  they inform.
                       Writers make the world seem coherent.  
                                  (Lawrence Jackson, 1942-1998) Past President of PWAC
            I hope you will reconsider and champion Canadian writers before we become an extinct species.
Barbara Florio Graham, SIMON TEAKETTLE INK

  A judge in New York rejected a deal between Internet search leader Google and the book industry that would have put millions of volumes online, citing anti-trust concerns and the need for involvement from Congress while acknowledging the potential benefit of putting literature in front of the masses. U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan said the creation of a universal library would "simply go too far," and he was troubled by the differences between Google's views and those of everyone affected by the settlement. Still, he left the door open for an eventual deal, noting that many objectors would drop their complaints if Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. set it up so book owners would choose to join the library rather than being required to quit it.
          The $125 million settlement had drawn hundreds of objections from Google rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, literary agents and even foreign governments. Google already has scanned more than 15 million books for the project.