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Crown Copyright

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Crown Copyright: Great Britain

All documents produced by the government of the United Kingdom are subject to Crown Copyright. However, some documents have Crown Copyright waived by the government, subject to certain conditions. This was introduced in a white paper[?] in 2000 in order to improve access to government publications. There are 11 classes of copyrights that waivers are granted for. The HMSO[?] document concerned is Future Management of Crown Copyright (http://www.hmso.gov.uk/archives/copyright/future_management_cc.doc).

Websites are reproduceable unless otherwise indicated. For example, documents on the website of the Public Records Office (http://www.pro.gov.uk/default.htm)" are subject to the following conditions:

"The material featured on this site is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The Crown copyright protected material (other than the Royal Arms and departmental or agency logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Where any of the Crown copyright items on this site are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged.

Images on this site may not be reproduced without payment of a fee to the Image Library.

The permission to reproduce Crown protected material does not extend to any material on this site which is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned."

Documents subject to waivers vary from time to time. The current list may be found the on official site here (http://www.hmso.gov.uk/guides.htm).

Crown Copyright: Canada

Crown copyright in Canada is covers all documents created by the Government of Canada or the government of provinces (the Crown in the right of Canada or i.e., Crown in the right of Ontario, Quebec, Nunuvut, etc..). While the governments of Canada claim copyright on everything it is doubtful that all of these claims are realistically enforceable. Exceptions such as the text of laws, orders-in-council or the text of judicial decrees and opinions are sometimes considered in the public domain. There is judicial authority in Canada that a judge's decisions cannot be copyrighted. See: Jockey Club v. Standen[?] (1985) 8 C.P.R.(3d) 283, 288 (B.C.C.A.).

For example the Queen's Printer for Ontario claims copyright in Ontario statutes, regulations and judicial decisions. However, the Queen's Printer permits any person to reproduce the text and images in the statutes, regulations and judicial decisions without seeking permission and without charge, essentially putting the material in the public domain; however it is not identical with it being in the public domain as the Crown is reserving its moral rights which may not be applicable in other countries that do not recognized moral rights such as United States copyright law. The only caveat is that the materials must be reproduced accurately and the reproduction must not be represented as an official version and should be acknowledged in the following form:

© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 200__.† This is an unofficial version of Government of Ontario legal materials.
† — The year of first publication of the legal materials is to be completed.

Section 12 of the Canadian Copyright Act states that the Canadian government owns the copyright of any work that has been prepared or published by or under the direction or control of any government department subject to any agreement. Crown copyright exists for fifty years from the date of publication.

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