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Published Legal Articles


*The content of these published legal articles does not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer to obtain sound legal advice regarding your specific situation.


In Canadian copyright law, copyright protection is automatically and legally attached to any original work. This includes writing, music, lyrics, choreography, sculpture, engravings, photographs, drawings, maps, charts, sound recordings, art, films, computer programs, architectural works, books, compilations of works, encyclopedias, dictionaries, paintings, illustrations, plays, and television and radio programs.

In order to be legally protected by copyright law, the creative works must be original and they must not have been copied from something else.

What can't be the subject of a copyright?

In Canada, no copyright exists in simple ideas, facts, or pure information. The law in Canada states that copyright can only protect the way in which an idea or information is expressed (for example, its format) but not the idea or the information itself. As an example, information in a copyrighted news story can still be republished, reworded, or written differently as film screenplays or books written by others as long as the subsequent works do not copy the exact wording or manner of the original work.

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Whether you decide to form a professional or semi-professional band, there will always be many legal issues to consider.

First, you should start with considering the legal business structure of your band. Your band will be able to enter into contracts, pay bills, and buy equipment. As such, your band or group can be a sole proprietorshippartnership or corporation. You may need a lawyer to draft the terms of your legal structure.

Your band agreement, which may be different than your structure documents, should also determine how the expenses will be shared, how the profits will be divided, and how your writing and/or song ownership credits will be organized.

Your band will also have to take into consideration obtaining insurance. For example, suppose a bar patron trips on one of your equipment cords and shatters his arm? Who will be liable for paying the costs award if your band is sued?

Next, your band will have to determine who has legal ownership of the band name. Should it be the band’s founders, the band’s members, or even the band’s corporation? These decisions are important, especially if the band breaks up or if a new member joins the group. Making these decisions now will help you ensure that departing band members are not able to use the name of your band for a new group later down the road.

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Canadian copyright law affords automatic protection to any original writing, music, lyrics, choreography, sculpture, engravings, photographs, drawings, maps, charts, sound recordings, art or other original works like films. This automatic copyright protection even applies to unpublished works.

It is a little known fact that the creation of an original work immediately establishes a copyright for the creator. Moreover, Canadian copyright law does not require the creator to register his or her work with an official body nor does it require the creator to establish a copyright. Nonetheless, a copyright can still be formally registered for a small fee at Ottawa’s Copyright Office.

The copyright in the published work will last for the entire life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and another 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the author died.

With the permission of the copyright owner and potentially a fee, the copyrighted work may be reproduced but only in its original form. If you find yourself in the undesirable position of infringing upon someone else’s copyright protection, you can be sued in civil court for damages. Under the Copyright Act, you may even be subjected to a hefty fine and/or imprisonment. In most instances, the copyright holder will ask a civil court for an injunction to stop further publication of the copies. The copyright holder may also sue for damages suffered such as, but not limited to, lost profits.

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Prior to filing a trademark application, you should do two things. First, you need to ensure that you are using or will be using the trademark in Canada. Second, you should consider conducting a preliminary search to see which other trademarks exist.

Use the trademark

Canadian law stipulates that you must actually be using your trademark before it can be registered. In other words, you must use your special name, symbol, or design in association with the products or services that you are offering. The Office of the Registrar of Trademarks at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will require you to provide the date you first used your proposed trademark on your trademark application. If you have not started using your trademark, you can apply for a “proposed use” trademark instead. This is an important distinction between “first use” and “proposed use” of your trademark.

Preliminary search

After you have established use of your proposed trademark, a preliminary search will assist you in determining whether your trademark is confusing with another registered mark. If your trademark is confusing or too similar with someone else’s, you can modify it prior to your application. If you choose not to modify your trademark despite the fact that it is too similar to someone else’s trademark, your application for trademark registration will most likely be rejected. The preliminary search can also help you avoid infringing someone else’s trademark as well as the potential lawsuits they may launch against you.

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If you have decided to start a business, or you are already a business owner, it is very important that you decide which legal structure of business will best suit your needs. There are three main legal forms of business. These are sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. If you are starting your business on your own, then you can choose to have either a sole proprietorship or a corporation as your business structure. If you are starting your business with at least one other person, then you can choose to have either a partnership or a corporation as your business structure.

There are important legal differences among the three forms of business. As an example, both sole proprietors and the partners of a partnership are not considered legally separate from the business. This means that the business owners are personally responsible for every asset and liability of the business, and any profit or loss must be included on the business owner’s personal income tax return. In contrast, a corporation is considered legally separate and distinct from its owners. The law considers a corporation to be an independent legal entity that is similar to an actual human being. Typically speaking, the owners of a corporation do not have personal liability for the debts or liabilities of the business or for any lawsuits that may arise during the course of business. Additionally, the corporation is always taxed separately from its owners.

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If you want to stop conducting business and voluntarily dissolve your Ontario corporation, there are several steps that you need to complete. First, you must close your business and tax accounts, as well as your business bank accounts. You must also ensure that all tax filings, such as payroll and GST/HST, are updated and that all outstanding taxes have been paid.

You will also have to consider how outstanding contractual obligations, such as leases, purchase orders, or even any court actions, will be handled. Under the Business Corporations Actliabilities and actions existing before the dissolution of a business may be legally continued as if the corporation had not undergone dissolution.

Steps to dissolve a corporation

Even though a corporation incorporated in Ontario might be inactive, the Articles of Incorporation will remain in legal force until the corporation is legally dissolved. In order for the business to become legally dissolved, the corporation must be in compliance with all of the Ontario tax statutes. If there are any outstanding tax monies owed, the Ministry of Government Services will deny the business dissolution application.

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A universal life policy covers both the insurance and investment needs of individuals who may benefit from it most. The universal life policy includes a term insurance policy that is attached to a tax sheltered investment account. The Income Tax Act legislates thatthe investment account that accompanies the insurance is tax sheltered. As such, the policy’s beneficiary is not required to pay taxes on the growth of the funds within the investment account. Accordingly, a universal life policy can serve as an excellent estate-planning tool because it can provide a large lump-sum payment. This lump-sum payment can then assist beneficiaries in paying for the capital gains taxes that arise upon the death of a taxpayer.

Universal life policyholders are required to pay an annual amount that will partially cover the costs of the annual insurance premium. The balance, which is determined by the policyholder’s cash flow, will serve as the investment portion. Expenses and administration fees are then deducted from the investment portion. In Canada, tax legislation determines the maximum amount that policyholders can add to their plans. The maximum amount depends on an actuarial calculation that is related to the amount of insurance coverage as well as the policyholder’s age.

The most suitable investor for a universal life policy is someone who has contributed the maximum to his or her RRSP and also has investments outside of their retirement account. Generally speaking, income on investments outside an RRSP is subject tax and this income is eligible to become sheltered within a Universal life policy.

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The Canadian Bankers Association is a professional industry association whose members are the chartered banks of Canada. The CBA was established in 1891 and currently acts as the main representative body for over 45 domestic and foreign-chartered banks in Canada. The CBA provides its members with many benefits and services including information, research, advocacy and operations support services. In addition, the CBA actively contributes to the development of public policy on issues that affect financial services in Canada. Moreover, the CBA provides the general public with information about industry and financial issues.

The CBA’s mission is to become the leading contributor in the development of public policy in the financial services sector. The CBA promotes an understanding of the banking industry to the Canadian public, governments, international bodies, interest groups and the media through a varied range of activities including consultations, reports, submissions, speeches, publications and fact sheets. In addition, the CBA provides an open forum for dialogue between various interest groups and the banks.

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The legal form of business you choose is crucially important because it affects the entire nature and structure of your business. A lawyer is a great resource because he or she can help you decide whether you should incorporate, and if you are incorporating, which corporate structure will best suit your needs. Prior to registering your corporation, you will need to choose a corporate name, draft your Articles of Incorporation, and submit a processing fee. The following is a cursory overview of the process.

Corporate name

First, you need to choose a corporate name. If you do not want to choose a name, you can simply use the corporate number that has been assigned to you by the Ministry of Government Services. If you ultimately decide to use a corporate name, you have to ensure that another company is not using your potential corporate name. You can do this by completing a New Upgraded Automated Name Search name search. The NUANS name search has a nominal fee; however, you will receive a report that outlines all the businesses and trademarks that have names similar to the one you are proposing to use. You must submit the NUANS report to the Ministry along with the rest of the application requirements.

Articles of incorporation

Second, you must draft the Articles of Incorporation. The Articles of Incorporation is a legal document that outlines important information about the structure of your corporation including the minimum and maximum number of directors your corporation is allowed to have, the different classes of shares, and the names of the incorporating directors.

Should the business be incorporated federally or provincially?

Third, you will need to decide whether your business should be incorporated federally or provincially. It might be best to incorporate your business under federal law if it will be located or operate regularly in more than one province or in foreign countries. A federal incorporation will allow you to carry on business in all Canadian provinces without a special licence. Nonetheless, a simple registration might still be legally required in some Canadian provinces.

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When can a business go bankrupt?

A business can choose to become bankrupt when it is insolvent and when it owes over $1,000. A business is insolvent when it is no longer able to pay its debts on time, or when the business cannot pay off its debts in full even if it were to sell all of its assets.

How can a business go bankrupt?

There are three ways that a business can go bankrupt. First, the most popular method is when a business voluntarily chooses to declare bankruptcy. Second, a business can become bankrupt if it makes a proposal to its creditors that is not accepted. Third, a business can be forced into bankruptcy if its creditors file a petition with the court. This third method is very rare.

A licensed trustee executes a business bankruptcy. The licensed trustee will sell the business assets and distribute the proceeds of the sales to the business’ creditors. In most scenarios, a bankruptcy lawyer is required because a lawyer must review the matter before the trustee is involved.

Effect of bankruptcy

The effect of a business bankruptcy largely depends on whether the business is structured as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. If the business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership, the business bankruptcy will result in an automatic personal bankruptcy as well. This means that the business owner’s personal assets like their car and home can be sold to satisfy any outstanding business debts. Additionally, the bankruptcy will appear on the bankrupt business owner’s personal credit report.

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The legal definition of parental alienation is when one parent denigrates the other, either consciously or unconsciously, to the extent that the same negative behaviour is adopted by the child toward their parent.

This most often happens in bitter custody battles.

Globally, courts now recognize the destructive impact parental alienation can have on children and the parents who are targeted. In extreme cases, it can be viewed as child abuse and dealt with as a criminal offence.

Some of the ways a parent can try to manipulate the child’s affections, include:

  • making endless promises to the child;
  • showering the child with gifts;
  • making negative comments about or criticizing the other parent.

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Incorporating a business in Canada can be a quick, routine process for anyone who is familiar with federal or provincial government forms. 

You can even incorporate your business yourself if you have a clear understanding of the best structure for your business, and you are able to carefully review the government forms to be filed and the name search results. Nonetheless, if you’ve never incorporated a business before, it is strongly advised that you hire a professional. Most people tend to hire a lawyer to complete the paperwork and to ensure that a corporation is the best business structure for their particular circumstances; however this is not a requirement. Lawyers will typically charge a flat fee of approximately $1,500, plus the government filing fees, to complete a simple Ontario incorporation. For an additional fee, a lawyer can also conduct your corporate name search and prepare your minute books.

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