Copyright subsists in Canada immediately upon creation, and without registration, in every original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work, including computer programs, databases, and other compilations, books, brochures, advertisements, logos, charts, maps, plans, audiovisual works, including websites and digital products and services and films. Sound recordings, performers’ rights in their performances, and broadcast signals also receive a level of copyright protection under the Copyright Act.

A copyright owner has the exclusive right to control the work's (a) reproduction, in whole or substantial part, in any material form (including electronic or digital forms), (b) public performance, (c) public telecommunication, (d) publication, (e) translation, and (f) adaptation.

The owner may also prohibit the distribution of unlawful copies.

The Copyright Act also provides an author with moral rights, which enable the author to demand credit as creator of the work and to prohibit changes to the work, or its use with any product or service, that would detrimentally affect the author's reputation.