James Tanner in his blog Genealogy’s Star has an interesting discussion of the rules of copyright as they exist in the U.S. Copyright laws are of particular interest to genealogists and historians. Especially as they would relate to the Internet.
In Canada copyright law follows the American example to an extent. For example, an author has immediate copyright protection for his work as soon as it is published, during his lifetime, and 50 years after his death. Copyright also extends to the Internet. For a fuller explanation see Canadian Copyright Act- An Overview.