Joseph Ducreux, Self-portrait of the Artist in the Guise of a Mocker
Joseph Ducreux, "Self-portrait of the Artist in the Guise of a Mocker"

Length of copyright protection extended in Canada

Amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act for 2023.

On December 30, 2022, the Canadian Government changed the general term (that is, the length) of copyright protection in Canada from 50 years after the death of the author/creator to 70 years after the death of the author/creator. This change is not retroactive, so any works for which the copyright had expired before December 30, 2022 will still be copyright-free in Canada (that is, will be in the Public Domain in Canada). However, this change does mean that no new literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works will enter the Canadian Public Domain from January 1 of this year until January 1, 2043.

The Public Domain webpage on the USask copyright website has been updated to reflect this change, with the exception of the Photographs section which will be updated very soon. Here are a few related resources/releases about this change:

  • The Canadian Public Domain Flowchart, created and maintained by the U of Alberta Copyright Office. It has been updated to reflect this change to the law, and can be used to help determine whether a work is protected by copyright in Canada.
  • U of Alberta’s brief announcement about the change to the term of copyright in Canada
  • A podcast episode (28 minutes) about the change, by Canadian copyright scholar Dr. Michael Geist featuring guest Mark Swartz (Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Queen’s University).

If you have any questions about this change or copyright, please feel free to contact us at 306-966-8817 or


Image source: SailkoJoseph ducreux, autoritratto dell'artista che prende il giro, 1793, 01, CC BY 3.0

For more information on Joseph Ducreux’s Self-Portraits (ca. 1790), The Public Domain Review

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