by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 5th 2009 12:36pm
We've discussed in the past how silly it is for countries to have "crown copyright" (basically granting the government copyright over government documents). Luckily, the US has no such thing, but it makes no sense elsewhere. The government doesn't need copyright incentives to create works. The only purpose crown copyright can serve is for the sake of censorship. Canada has a perfect example of that, as the Auditor General issued a takedown to both The Globe and Mail and Scribd, for posting one section of the Auditor General's report on immigration. The Auditor General claims that to post parts of her report, newspapers (and others) need to ask permission on a case-by-case basis, due to the copyright. Of course, The Globe and Mail is a newspaper, and posted it as part of its reporting -- which should be clear fair use/fair dealing (even if there was copyright over this material -- which there shouldn't be). And yet, we keep being told that Canada's copyright laws are too lenient?
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