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Ontario Library Association


Open Shelf


Photographs perform a unique function because they capture moments in time and that capture is contemporaneous with the subject of the photo: “[a] writer doesn’t necessarily have to be there to produce a story. A photographer, on the other hand, must be at the event when the event happens.”

In 2012, the Copyright Modernization Act changed the Copyright Act in terms of application to photographs. This column will first discuss how copyright now applies to photographs in Canada (who owns copyright and how long it lasts) and then describe the new users’ right now available in respect of commissioned photographs.


This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Open Shelf magazine.

Open Shelf is the official magazine of the Ontario Library Association, published for members and the larger community as a continuing education service to provide information about trends and issues affecting the association as well as libraries all across Ontario and beyond.

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