Section 12 of the Copyright Act gives the Crown copyright in any work “prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department…” This broad sweep is considered, by the federal and provincial governments at least, to include court and tribunal judgments and legislation. The issue of whether this is appropriate or not has been somewhat finessed (albeit in a question-begging way) so far as federal legal material goes by the 1998 Reproduction of Federal Law Order SI/97-5 providing that:
Anyone may, without charge or request for permission, reproduce enactments and consolidations of enactments of the Government of Canada, and decisions and reasons for decisions of federally-constituted courts and administrative tribunals…
(For a good discussion of this area, see “The Impact of Crown Copyright on Access to Law-Related Information” [PDF] by Ted Tjaden, which is Chapter 4 of his thesis, available on Slaw.)
Other government publications might be copied or published, if permission was granted from the Crown Copyright and Licensing service. Recently, however, that agency has announced that now permission is no longer required:
…to reproduce Government of Canada works, in part or in whole, and by any means, for personal or public non-commercial purposes, or for cost-recovery purposes… unless otherwise specified in the material you wish to reproduce.
This general license is for personal and non-commercial use of unaltered material, with attribution.