Infringement occurs whenever a person exercises any of the copyright owner's exclusive rights without consent. Distributors, who did not copy the work, but who knowingly sold or imported infringing copies, can also be liable.
Infringement actions are generally brought in the Federal Court of Canada, although there is concurrent jurisdiction with provincial courts in appropriate circumstances. Remedies include damages, profits, delivery up of infringing copies, and injunctions.
Defences to infringement include challenging the plaintiff's ownership, alleging that only an insubstantial amount of the work was taken, or pleading that the use constituted a "fair dealing" under the Copyright Act. The "fair dealing" exemptions permit reasonable copying of a work for limited non-commercial purposes, such as private study and criticism.
It is also a criminal offence, in some circumstances, to knowingly infringe a copyright, punishable by prison terms ranging up to five years and/or fines of up to $1 million.