Privacy & Copyright Credits

One of the key roles of the IDA is to raise member awareness of current industry standards and guidelines for professional practice. Making members aware of their ownership rights for their "intellectual property" is one such area. Intellectual property (IP) - as defined by the Government of Canada's Canadian Intellectual Property Office - are "ideas, designs, and creative works and represents the legal rights of their rightful owner".

The Copyright Act makes specific mention within its text that "architectural drawings" and other forms of artistic work are forms of IP that are protected under its legislation. Copyright in a work exists automatically when an original work is created, and - as a general rule - the creator is the first owner of copyright in a work (where a creator is employed, and the work is made as part of that employment, the employer instead of the creator is the first owner of the copyright). Where permission to use copyrighted material is needed, it is only the creator who can permit usage of his works - plus the creator is the only party that can sell, license of give away copyright.

What this means for you as an Interior Design Professional, is that others may not copy your designs and use your IP for their own benefit without your permission. You do not specifically have to register for a copyright to claim this right, but proof of ownership can be supported in courts with this official registration. A copyright can be applied for on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) website, link below:

Infringement is a legal word for breach or violation of the rules in copyright law. When a person makes a copy of a Designer's work product for their own gain, this is a direct infringement and the Designer is entitled under the Copyright Act to seek civil remedies. Designers should seek to clarify (within their contracts) what they retain the ownership of, and caution their clients accordingly. Additional information on this topic is provided on the Government of Canada Publications website at 

Plus a link to a PDF of the Copyright Act: