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Unlocatable rightsholders

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  • Unlocatables FAQs
  • How to file a request
  • List of unlocatable rightsholders
  • Checklist for applicants

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  • Contact the Copyright Board
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  • Locating rightsholders can be a tall order, and occasionally even the most expert come up empty handed. That's why Canada's Copyright Act gives the Copyright Board a special power: in cases where a rightsholder simply cannot be located, the Board is authorized to stand in its place and issue a licence. For many years, Access Copyright has supported the Board in its duties to unlocatable rightsholders ­- supplementing search efforts, recommending licence terms and holding royalties for missing rightsholders. Under the Act, the rightsholder is entitled to come forward and claim royalties collected up to 5 years after the expiry of a Board licence. In 1999 Access Copyright's role was formalized in a memorandum of understanding with the Board. This work represents a logical extension of our mandate to safeguard the rights of creators and publishers in Canada.

    There are many ways to locate a copyright owner. Even if you do not know the copyright owner's name and address, your search may be easier than you think.
    • Start by trying to contact the publisher and author of the work. There are many sources of information available through libraries and the Internet that can give you phone numbers of addresses of publishers and authors.

    • If the author is no longer alive, you must find out who inherited the copyright. Try to find out who administered the estate by contacting the publisher of the work.
    After you have made reasonable efforts to locate a copyright owner of a published work, without success, you may ask for assistance through the Copyright Board.