ALAI internationale was founded in Paris in 1878 by La Société des Gens de Lettres de France under the sponsorship of Victor Hugo. It gave rise to the Berne Convention signed on September 9, 1886, established in view of protecting literary and artistic works.

ALAI Canada, the canadian national group of ALAI, was founded in 1978 and was incoporated in 1987. Its head office is in Montreal, but it holds activities in Québec and Toronto as well. Expansion to other Canadian cities is anticipated. Many other national groups exist, for example in Switzerland, the United States, Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden etc.

ALAI Canada is a member of the ALAI internationale Bureau and Executive committee which is formed by delegates of these various national groups

ALAI Canada has as its purpose to promote and protect copyright as well as to study questions regarding the protection and the applicability of these rights.

To reach its goals, ALAI Canada holds conferences, seminars and congresses. Furthermore, ALAI Canada publishes and distributes documents dealing with copyright; and, on its own or in collaboration with other associations, it holds educational and training sessions on the topic. These activities combine a strict scientific analysis with a pratical approach to the various topics considered. They are available to specialists as well as to the public at large.

- the defense and dissemination of the legal principles ensuring the protection of copyright;

- the dissemination of information to the public and to government institutions with the goal of promoting the recognition of copyright in its broadest sense, and improving the protections granted to it;

- the study, research, and dissemination of information relating to the improvement and extension of copyright protection mechanisms, in particular the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Universal Copyright Convention , as well as other international conventions and instruments relating to the same object;

- participation in the activities, research, and work of all national or international organizations pursuing the same goals;

- the organization of symposia, congresses, and other events related to the pursuit of the objectives of the organization;

- the publication and dissemination of documents of all kinds, fascicles, texts, or periodicals relating to copyright; and

- the solicitation of funds and resources for attaining the objectives of the organization.

ALAI is made up of a multiplicity of personalities interested in copyright from over twenty countries. Due to its close contacts with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), UNESCO and the European Union, ALAI is invited to share its views on projects elaborated by these organizations and among others, on the evolution of the Berne and Rome Conventions.

Every second year, ALAI holds a world-wide congress, such as those of Québec in 1989, Montebello in 1997 and Montreal in 2018 organized by ALAI Canada, and in the interval years, study sessions are held, such as those of Amsterdam and Cambridge.