How long does copyright last?
In Canada, copyright lasts for 50 years after the death of the creator, whether or not the creator still holds copyright. The only exception to this is with photography.
Copyright law is different in every country. In the United States, copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author.
|Author is known||Life of author + 50 years||Copyright Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-42)
|Author is unknown||Earliest of (a) a term consisting of the reminder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work and the period of 50 years following the end of the calendar year and (b) a term consisting of a remainder of the calendar year of the making of the work and a period of 75 years following the end of the calendar year (but where during that term, the author’s identity becomes commonly known the general rule of life + 50 years then applies)||Copyright Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-42)
|Photograph (where first owner is a corporation)||Remainder of year of making + 50 years.
NOTE: Section 10 of the new Copyright Act has been repealed.
|Copyright Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-42)
|Performer’s performance||End of calendar year of first fixation + 50 years, or date of performance + 50 years if is not fixed in a recording||Copyright Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-42)
For those interested in the U.S rules on copyright law, the entire act can be found here.
For those interested solely on information regarding the duration of US copyright, click here.