Legal and copyright


Artists' Legal Advice Service

This organization provides free legal advice to Ontario artists working in all disciplines. Artists can schedule an appointment to see a lawyer for a half-hour by calling 416-367-2527.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

This agency is associated with Industry Canada. It is responsible for the administration of intellectual property in Canada. Its website provides basic information about Canada's copyright law and systems, including a section of frequently asked questions for choreographers.

Lawyer Referral Service

The Law Society of Upper Canada established this service in 1969. It provides people who call 416-947-3330 with the name of a lawyer who will provide an inexpensive consultation lasting up to 30 minutes.

Legal Line

A not-for-profit organization which offers legal information free of charge, Legal Line makes written information available about copyright, internet law, business law, bankruptcy and entertainment law (primarily music and the recorded media), among other topics.

Legal Aid Ontario

This organization funds community legal clinics and specialty clinics that provide services to defined communities.

Media and performance arts

Collective Societies

Artists working in film and television can assign their copyright or associated right to one or more collective societies. The most important in Ontario are:

Neighbouring Right

Performers whose recorded performances are broadcast or used for commercial purposes could be entitled to receive a royalty. Such performers can choose to assign this "neighbouring right" to a collective society — either the ACTRA Performers' Rights Society or Artisti.

Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada

This organization licenses the use of its members' music in Canada. As the copyright collective for the public performance of musical works, it administers the performing rights of members (composers, lyricists, songwriters and their publishers) and those of affiliated international societies.

Visual arts

Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC Ontario)

CARFAC Ontario coordinates the Visual Artists' Legal Clinic. This service pairs each participant with a lawyer for a free 30-60 minute session. Artists can consult on questions such as copyright, commercial, contract and tax law. Artists outside Toronto can call 1-(877) 890-8850 to inquire by telephone. Members can also get advice on exhibition contracts, taxation, international regulations and other business of art matters.

Canadian Artists Representation Copyright Collective

This copyright collective licenses, administers and collects copyright for visual and media artists in Canada who have assigned their copyright to it.

Writing and publishing

Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency

Formerly called Can Copy, this collective society administers the rights of authors, illustrators, photographers, publishers and others to control the reproduction of their works in books, magazines and newspapers. This website also contains comprehensive information about Canada's copyright law and systems.

Canadian Private Copying Collective

This non-profit umbrella organization is responsible for collecting and distributing royalties on the media used by individual Canadians to copy music. It represents songwriters, recording artists, music publishers and record companies, on whose behalf the royalties are collected. Individual artists are members of collective societies which in turn formed this collective.

Creators' Rights Alliance and the Creators' Copyright Coalition

These websites provide information about domestic and international copyright issues. These organizations are coalitions of national artists' associations and collectives responsible for managing authors' rights. They are devoted to the defence, promotion and protection of the interests of Canadian creators in relation to intellectual property.

Public Lending Right Commission

This public program provides payments for Canadian authors when their books are in libraries.