Maria Dugas

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Jon Penney


Criminalized copyright infringement has existed in Canada for close to a century. It has continued to expand in scope and severity since its first appeared in the Copyright Act, 1921. As Canada approaches 2017’s scheduled review of the Copyright Act, the time has come to ask whether the criminalization of copyright and its enforcement is theoretically justifiable. Yet, Canadian scholarship on criminalized copyright infringement is particularly scarce; there is a noteworthy gap in the existing literature wherein no one has systematically argued against criminalized copyright infringement from a theoretical perspective. This thesis aims to fill that gap, setting out a systematic legal and theoretical argument that criminalized copyright infringement, whether for personal use or financial gain, cannot be theoretically justified. In the absence of theoretical justification, the Government should move to decriminalize copyright enforcement.