Licensing Glossary

Assignment -- Transfer of copyright from the original owner to another party.

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 of this treaty.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) -- Federal agency responsible for the administration of intellectual property laws (includes Copyright Office).

Certificate of Registration -- Official confirmation that a copyright has been registered with the Copyright Office.

Collective -- Organization that administers copyright rights on behalf of copyright owners who have joined that collective.

Copyright -- Exclusive rights to a work, including the sole right to publish, produce, reproduce, translate, communicate to the public by telecommunication and, in some cases, rent a work. It also includes the right to perform a work in public, and under certain conditions, to exhibit in public an artistic work.

Copyright Act -- Federal legislation governing copyright in Canada.

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Copyright Board of Canada -- A tribunal that reviews and approves all tariffs and fees proposed by copyright collectives, such as the Canadian performing rights organization SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), the NRCC (Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada), the CPCC (Canadian Private Copying Collective), SOGEDAM (Société de gestion des droits des artistes musiciens), etc. The  Board can also set royalties when asked to do so by either a collective or a user of a collective’s repertoire.

Copyright infringement -- Violation of the exclusive rights of a copyright owner (e.g., publicly performing a copyright-protected musical work without the copyright owner’s consent).

Copyright office -- The federal government office responsible for registering copyrights and copyright assignments in Canada.

Exemption and/or Exceptions -- A provision in the Copyright Act which permits the use of a copyright-protected work, without the payment of licence fees, by religious, educational or charitable organizations, when the use of such work is in furtherance of a religious, educational or charitable object. More..

Intellectual property -- A form of creative endeavour that can be protected through a copyright, trademark, patent, industrial design or integrated circuit topography.

Licence -- Legal agreement granting someone permission to use a work for certain purposes or under certain conditions. A licence does not change the ownership of the copyright.

Licence fee -- A fee charged for the licensed use of a copyright-protected work.

Licensee -- The person who obtains a licence for the use of a copyright-protected work.

Literary work -- Work consisting of text, which includes novels, poems, catalogues, reports tables and translations of such works. It also includes computer programs.

Moral rights -- Rights an author retains over the integrity of a work and the right to be named as its author even after sale or transfer of the copyright.

Music User -- If you use music as part of your business or functions, you are a music user and require a SOCAN performing rights license.

Musical work -- Work which consists of music plus lyrics, or music only.

Pseudonym -- A name used by a writer instead of his or her real name.

Performing Rights Organization (PRO) -- An organization that administers the performing rights associated with a musical work, on behalf of composers, lyricists, songwriters and music publishers (see SOCAN).

Plagiarism -- Using the work (or part of it) of another person and claiming it as your own.

Posthumous work -- A work which is published for the first time (or, for certain types of works, performed or delivered in public for the first time) after the author’s death.

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Private Copying -- Copying for personal use a pre-recorded musical work or performers’ performances of a musical work onto a blank medium, such as an audio tape, cassette, or CD-R.

Private copying levy -- A fee established by the Copyright Board charged on blank recording media, made or imported, and sold in Canada, payable by manufacturers and importers. The money collected is then redistributed to eligible composers, lyricists, performers and sound recording makers through their professional associations and collectives.

Registration -- The granting of formal recognition of a trademark, copyright, industrial design, or integrated circuit topography by the trademarks, copyright, industrial design office respectively.

Registrar of copyrights -- The official responsible for the Canadian Copyright Office.

Rome Convention Country -- A country that is party to the International convention for the protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, signed in Rome on October 26, 1961.

Royalty -- A sum paid to copyright owners for the sale or use of their musical works, or other subject matter.

SOCAN -- The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. SOCAN is the Canadian copyright collective for the public performance of musical works.

SOCAN Licensee -- A music user who has applied for and received a required performing rights licence from SOCAN, and who then pays regularly scheduled fees for that licence through SOCAN.

Sound recording -- A device which records sounds; for example, an audio cassette or a CD.

Tariff -- A statutory instrument published in the Canada Gazette which gives notice of the rates approved by the Copyright Board that SOCAN collects for licences for the public performance of the musical works in its repertoire.

Universal Copyright Convention Country -- A country that is party to the Universal Copyright Convention, adopted on September 6, 1952 in Geneva, Switzerland, or to that convention as revised in Paris, France, on July 24, 1971.

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