Copyright is created and governed by the Canadian Copyright Act and Canadian court decisions. Canada is a party to various international copyright treaties, which have been implemented by the Copyright Act, and which influence court decisions.
When any person creates an original "work", the law of copyright automatically governs who has the right to produce, copy, perform, publish, adapt, translate or telecommunicate that work.
The term "work" means:
Generally (but not always), the author of the work is the copyright owner – and that person is said to hold or own the copyright in the work. In other words, they have the right to control if and how the work will be produced, copied, performed, etc.
The rights of the copyright owner, however, are subject to certain user rights, which permit members of the general public to copy, perform etc. works in certain limited circumstances, without the copyright owner's knowledge or permission.
Copyright applies once the work is put into a fixed form (e.g. written down on paper, saved on a computer, recorded, videotaped, or painted on canvas) except for a sound recording, performer's performance or communication signal (which may be transmitted instead of fixed). The work does not have to be in its final form – copyright applies to drafts too.
From UBC's Basics FAQ. used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 licence
Fair dealing is a user’s right in copyright law permitting use, or "dealing" with, a copyright-protected work without permission or payment of copyright royalties. The fair dealing exception in the Copyright Act allows you to use other people’s copyright material for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody provided that what you do with the work is "fair". Whether something is "fair" will depend on the circumstances. Courts will normally consider factors such as:
It is not necessary that your use meet every one of these factors in order to be fair and no one factor is determinative by itself. In assessing whether your use is fair, a court would look at the factors as a whole to determine if, on balance, your use is fair. If, having taken into account these considerations, the use can be characterized as ‘fair’ and it was for the purpose of research, private study, education, satire, parody, criticism, review or news reporting, then it will fall within the fair dealing exception and will not require permission from the copyright owner. In addition, if your purpose is criticism, review or news reporting you must also mention the source and author of the work.
From SFU's Copyright website used under a CC BY-NC 4.0 licence