Copyright laws try to balance the rights of creators to be paid for, and to control the use of, their works, with the needs of users who want access to material protected by copyright. This balance is created by providing "legal rights" for creators and "exceptions" to benefit certain users (e.g., educational institutions, libraries, museums, and archives).
In Canada, we follow Canadian legislation, the Copyright Act, even though we may be using materials produced outside of Canada. And, copyright owners enforce their rights in the countries where the alleged violation of copyright takes place.
The Copyright Act, originally enacted in 1924, was based on the United Kingdom Copyright Act, 1911. The Canadian Act is administered by Industry Canada; both Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage are responsible for developing policy, and revision of the Act.
There have been major amendments to the Copyright Act over the years. On November 7, 2012, sweeping and significant changes were enacted by Parliament when the majority of Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, was brought into force.