Petition to House of Commons to “Fix” Crown Copyright

University of Alberta Copyright Librarian Amanda Wakaruk is asking people to sign the petition she started to get the Canadian government to fix Crown copyright.

Her text has been shared widely in the past few days on social media and on various librarian discussion lists:

“Canada is one of many countries stating a commitment to Open Government. It is also, conversely, one of a decreasing number of countries to retain a legal provision that gives the government the sole right to reproduce and distribute works produced for public consumption. For example, the vast majority of federal US government works are in the public domain (i.e., not protected by copyright and thus available for the public to re-use without permission).”

“Decades of stakeholder requests to abolish or at least update the Crown copyright provision in the Copyright Act have been largely ignored. This has resulted in a barrier to the re-use of government publications prepared for and paid for by Canadian taxpayers. For example, the refusal of government departments to allow for the copying of content made freely available on their web sites, and then deleted from those same sites, resulted in the loss of countless digital government works in recent years. (Note that very few government publications continue to be produced in paper.)”

“Removing copyright protection from government works made available to the public will allow individuals, corporations, and other organizations to make better use of these important resources. It will also allow librarians to continue their role as stewards of government information in a digital world.”

Near the end of the document, she provides a list of further readings, including:

Start the discussion!

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