Canada extends copyright from the life of the author plus 50 years to the life of the author plus 70 years.
Prompted by the Canada-United State-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the extension brings Canada in line with the term of protection granted by major trading partners such as the US and the EU. Royal Assent was granted on June 23 to legislation extending the term of protection for copyright works in Canada to the life of the author plus 70 years. Previously, the term of protection for copyright in Canada was the life of the author plus 50 years.
Implementation of the change will take place on a date set by the governor in council, but no such date is yet set. However, the Canadian government indicated during its 2021 consultation on extending the term of protection that implementation would be by the end of 2022.
From the Consultation paper on how to implement an extended general term of copyright protection in Canada:
“Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which entered into force on July 1, 2020, Canada will extend its general term of copyright protection from 50 years after the life of the author to 70 years after the life of the author. Canada has a 2.5-year transition period from the date of entry into force of the agreement to fully implement this change (i.e. until the end of 2022).”
Under CUSMA, the implementation must be “no later than the expiration” of two and a half years from the date CUSMA comes into force. CUSMA came into force in Canada on July 1, 2020, making it reasonable to assume the latest possible implementation date is January 1, 2023.
Works that have entered the public domain before the extension will remain unchanged. Those still under copyright protection will gain the benefit of an additional 20 years. Thus, whether the government implements the extension on December 31 rather than the beginning of the year would grant protection to an extra set of works that would otherwise enter the public domain.