Canadian Copyright Law: Does Digitally Restoring Public Domain Films Revive Copyright? Copyright can be a muddy area of law, despite the Copyright Act (Canada). One reason is the difficulty the law has in keeping up with emerging technologies. The digital restoration of old films is one example.
This is an era of digital restorations and re-releases of old films but the copyright status of those restorations is unclear. Does the digital restorer have copyright in the restored version of a public domain film or can it be freely used by a third party on the basis that the film is in the public domain?
This blog explores how, if at all, digitizing and/or restoring a film is treated under copyright law in Canada? More specifically, if the film in the public domain and copyright has expired, is the digital restoration of the film result in a copyright in the digitally restored version?