In Canada, copyright protection for most types of works currently lasts for 50 years after the end of the year in which the creator dies.* When copyright expires, those works enter the public domain, meaning there are no longer any restrictions on their use. Works in the public domain can be used by anyone, in any way, without permission or payment.
Please note that in other countries (e.g., the United States), copyright may last for a different term. Works in the public domain in Canada will not necessarily be free from copyright elsewhere.
Works created by authors, artists, musicians, and other creators who died in 1970 entered the public domain in Canada on January 1, 2021. These include:
- Albert Ayler (saxophonist, singer, composer)
- Max Born (physicist, mathematician)
- Heino Eller (composer)
- Fàn Changjiang (journalist)
- Babbis Friis-Baastad (children's author)
- Slim Harpo (musician)
- Lawren Harris (painter)
- Jimi Hendrix (guitarist, singer, composer)
- Eva Hesse (sculptor)
- Janis Joplin (singer-songwriter)
- Augustín Lara (composer)
- François Mauriac (novelist, poet)
- Yukio Mishima (novelist)
- Barnett Newman (artist)
- Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (physicist)
- Mark Rothko (painter)
- Bertrand Russell (philosopher, logician)
- Nelly Sachs (poet, playwright)
- Giuseppe Ungaretti (poet)
More information about authors and other creators whose works entered the public domain in Canada this year can be found in Wikipedia's 1970 Deaths entry.
For more information about the public domain and copyright in general, visit Copyright at SFU or contact the SFU Copyright Office.
*Note that the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) will require Canada to increase the term of copyright protection to life plus 70 years (see CUSMA: Intellectual property chapter summary for a summary of the terms).