Dec. 19, 2022

End-of-year copyright change will have significant effects on public domain

The term of copyright protection will be extended to 70 years past the year of the creator’s death

Please note that the general term of copyright protection in Canada will be extended by 20 years, effective December 30, 2022. This change impacts the term of copyright for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works in Canada and extends protection from 50 to 70 years past the year of death of the creator.

The change is not retroactive, therefore any work that entered the public domain before December 30, 2022 will remain available for use without permissions or payment. Works created by people who died in 1971 entered the public domain in Canada on January 1, 2022 and will remain so despite the new term. However, works created by people who died in 1972 will now be protected by copyright until the end of 2042, entering the public domain in Canada on January 1, 2043.

For creators that died after 1972, add 70 years to the year of their death and the work will enter the public domain on January 1 of the next calendar year. For example, Stuart McLean died February 15, 2017. His Vinyl Café books will not enter the public domain until January 1, 2088.

The Copyright Office is available to answer any questions related to this change. Please send an email to or attend one of these online workshops:

Jan 4 | 1:00pm

Jan 10 | 11:00am