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Petition to the House of Commons

  • Canadians’ right to use works produced by the government is unduly restricted by our outdated system of Crown copyright;
  • Access to government information and the ability to distribute and encourage its re-use is of fundamental importance to a democratic society (see SI/97-5);
  • The government is committed to open government principles;
  • The government states that exploitation of IP contributes to economic growth and is best achieved outside government (TBS Policy on Title to IP Arising Under Crown Procurement);
  • Library projects to preserve and provide access to government works have been delayed or prevented due to confusion over Crown copyright;
  • Interpretations of existing government terms of use and licences by government employees are inconsistent and confusing, especially since closure of Crown Copyright Licensing program in 2013;
  • Objectives of copyright law do not apply to publicly disseminated government works given that they are created by the government for public benefit (SCC in Théberge v. Galerie... and CCH v. LSUC state law's objective is to balance rewarding of creators with disseminating of works in order to benefit society);
  • The government rarely pursues infringement claims (e.g., Sess. paper 8555-412-57, Dec 4, 2013, HC);
  • Not all government works are intended for broad dissemination;
  • Some works published by the government are authored or prepared by third parties; and
  • SI/97-5 is limited to federally-constituted courts and administrative tribunals.
We, the undersigned, citizens (or residents) of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to to add Section 12.1 to the Copyright Act:
12.1 Works noted in section 12 are no longer protected by copyright upon being made available to the public.

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