Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


Cultural Property Export and Import Act, digital works, NFTs, cultural property, Canadian cultural policy


One of Canada’s principal pieces of legislation enacted to protect its cultural patrimony is not well equipped to deal with the rise of digital content creation. Digital works, particularly NFTs, pose a unique challenge to the established regime. This paper seeks to understand how these artistic developments fit within the current legislative framework and whether legislative action is needed to bring these revolutionary mediums within the scope of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Ultimately, the author concludes that while digital works may be captured by the Act under specific circumstances, the protectionist policies of the past are ill fitted to reflect the growth in digital content creation. With that in mind, the author suggests that instead of pursuing antedated cultural policy, the government should instead shift its digital cultural policy to encourage growth and not preservation.