Canada passed a major reform bill today liberating every single Canadian photographer from never-ending arduous bureaucratic runarounds, granting each one the right to maintain copyright of all work they produce, even if the work is commissioned.

The goal of the bill is to provide photographers with the same rights as other creators. Copyright head of Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators, André Cornellier released the following e-mail to the organization members:

The principle of protecting photographers’ ownership rights started 65 years ago by Henri Cartier-Bresson who founded Magnum with Robert Capa and David Seymour. Magnum assured that a photographer’s image belonged to the photographer and not to the commissioner of the work.

In Canada, all other artists have already owned the copyrights to their work and thanks to this new law, Canadian photographers, albeit the last in the industrialized world, now have all legal rights to their images.

This is a major departure from the past Canadian law which granted the ownership to commissioners.

Passing the law eliminates grey area of the popular creative industry, giving photographers much needed defense against unfair use of their work. And it took Canada only 20 years, which means America can aim for the same evolution near the end of next century.