is a form of copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...
claim used by the governments of a number of Commonwealth realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...
s. It provides special copyright rules for the Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...
(i.e., state entities).
Under Part VII of the Copyright Act 1968
, the Australian Government
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...
holds copyright in any work, film or sound recording made by or under the direction or control of the Government, and any work first published by or under the direction or control of the Government.
Section 182A of the Act provides that for certain "prescribed works", copyright is not infringed for making one copy of the whole or of a part of that work, as long as it is not sold for a rate that is above the actual costs of copying. Prescribed works generally include legislation and court judgments.
An extensive review was carried out in 2004 and the findings were published in 2005 in the Copyright Law Review Committee's report
. The chief recommendation was to end the distinction between the Crown and other copyright holders. In particular, the Committee was "emphatic" that the Crown lose its unique position of gaining copyright over material whenever it is the first publisher of such material. For example, a previously unpublished short story, upon being published in a government work, would cease to belong to the author and would instead become Crown copyright, denying the author any future royalties or rights to it.
Crown copyright has been used to deny public access to data about the Black Saturday bushfires.
Crown copyright is governed by section 12 of the Copyright Act
Copyright Act of Canada is Canada's federal statute governing copyright law in Canada. The Copyright Act of Canada which was first passed in 1921 and substantially amended in 1988 and 1997. In 2005 an attempt to amend the Canadian Copyright Act was made but Bill C-60 did not pass into law before...
, which covers all works that are “prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department.” It lasts until the end of 50 years after the year of creation.
Permission has been given by most jurisdictions to freely reproduce certain works for personal or non-commercial purposes. Specific terms and conditions are as follows:
|| Type of license
|| Reproduction of Federal Law Orderhttp://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SI-97-5/FullText.html
|| 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, provided due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced and the reproduction is not represented as an official version.
| About Crown Copyright http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/ccl/aboutCrownCopyright.html
|| When permission is not required
Permission 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, is not required, unless otherwise specified in the material you wish to reproduce.
A reproduction means making a copy of information in the manner that it is originally published – the reproduction must remain as is, and must not contain any alterations whatsoever.
The terms personal and public non-commercial purposes mean a distribution of the reproduced information either for your own purposes only, or for a distribution at large whereby no fees whatsoever will be charged.
The term cost-recovery means charging a fee for the purpose of recovering printing costs and other costs associated with the production of the reproduction.
You must comply with the specific non-commercial reproduction requirements set forth hereunder.
- Exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced.
- Indicate both the complete title of the work reproduced, as well as the author organization.
- Indicate that the reproduction is a copy of an official work that is published by the Government of Canada and that the reproduction has not been produced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.
| British Columbia
|| Guidelines Covering the Reproduction of Provincial Legislation http://www2.gov.bc.ca/en/admin/guidelines.page
|| A person may make a copy of specific acts or regulations, in whole or in part, for personal use or for legal use.
Libraries may make single photocopies of specific acts or regulations, in whole or in part, in response to requests from the public, subject to the following rules:
- The person receiving the photocopied legislation may only use such materials for personal use or for legal use, and should be advised of this when the photocopy is provided.
- Personal use refers to private study or private research. It does not include permission to make copies.
- Legal use refers to reproduction of legislation within letters of advice provided by a lawyer, accountant or other professional as well as reproduction of legislation for use in judicial, administrative or parliamentary proceedings.
- Legislation may NOT be reproduced by or for members of the public for purposes other than personal use and legal use without the prior written consent of the Intellectual Property Program. http://www.cio.gov.bc.ca/cio/intellectualproperty/index.page
| Court Services Online - Copyright notice https://eservice.ag.gov.bc.ca/cso/copyright.do
|| The following policy governs the operation and management of the government's main Web site and all Web sites of ministries, and agencies reporting to ministries.
Copyright © 2001, Province of British Columbia
All rights reserved
All material owned by the Government of British Columbia is protected by copyright law. It may not be reproduced or redistributed without the prior written permission of the Province of British Columbia.
Court record information on this web site may not be reproduced or redistributed without the prior written permission of the court.
For requests relating to the reproduction of provincial legislation, permission is subject to the conditions outlined in the Guidelines Covering the Reproduction of Provincial Legislation.
|| Copyright and Permission Statement http://www.qp.alberta.ca/copyright.cfm
|| Alberta Queen's Printer holds copyright on behalf of the Government of Alberta in right of Her Majesty the Queen for all Government of Alberta legislation. Alberta Queen's Printer permits any person to reproduce Alberta’s statutes and regulations without seeking permission and without charge, provided due diligence is exercised to ensure the accuracy of the materials produced, and Crown copyright is acknowledged in the following format:
© Alberta Queen's Printer, 20__.*
The year of first publication of the legal materials is to be completed.
The official Statutes and Regulations should be consulted for all purposes of interpreting and applying the law.
|| Copyright notice http://www.gov.sk.ca/copyright/
|| Materials on this website are owned by the Government of Saskatchewan and protected by Crown copyright.
Unless otherwise noted materials may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes. The materials must be reproduced accurately and the reproduction must not be represented as an official version. As a general rule, information materials may be used for non-profit and personal use. There are important exceptions to this general rule:
- Information containing identifiable information about private citizens may only be used with the individual's permission.
- Certain graphic images including the website Banners, the Coat of Arms and Wheat Sheaf are Government logos and emblematic of the Saskatchewan Government. These images may not be reproduced on non-Government materials, without the written permission of Executive Council Communications Services.
Reproduction of any materials for commercial purposes requires the advance written permission of the Government of Saskatchewan.
Crown copyright should continue to be acknowledged in the following form:
© 2011, Government of Saskatchewan.
|| Copyright Notification http://www.gov.mb.ca/legal/copyright.html
|| The following statement governs the operation and management of the government's main website and all departmental websites, and reporting agencies.
Copyright © 2011, Province of Manitoba
All rights reserved
This material is owned by the Manitoba government and protected by copyright law. It may not be reproduced or redistributed without the prior written permission of the Province of Manitoba.
For requests relating to the reproduction of provincial legislation, permission is subject to the conditions outlined in the Manitoba Laws Notification web page.
To request permission to reproduce all or part of the material on this website, please complete the Copyright Permission Request Form.
| Manitoba Laws Copyright Notification http://www.gov.mb.ca/legal/mb_laws.html
|| Copyright on the electronic version of Manitoba laws belongs to the Province of Manitoba. You may, without charge and without requesting permission, make copies of all or part of any Act or regulation for study or research, or for use in legal proceedings or for providing legal advice. You must not make copies for any other purpose without first obtaining the written consent of Queen's Printer. Any copy you make must not be represented as an official version.
|| Policy on Copyright on Legal Materialshttp://www.ontario.ca/en/general/004222
|| The Queen's Printer for Ontario holds copyright in Ontario statutes, regulations and judicial decisions. The Queen's Printer permits any person to reproduce the text and images contained in the statutes, regulations and judicial decisions without seeking permission and without charge. The legal materials must be reproduced accurately, and Crown copyright in the legal materials must be acknowledged in the following form:
© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 20__.*
The year of first publication of the legal materials is to be completed.
The Legislation Act, 2006 sets out which copies of Ontario statutes and regulations are official copies of the law. Reproductions of statutes and regulations that are not official copies under that Act must state that they are not official versions. Reproductions of judicial decisions must state that they are not official versions.
|| Normes en matière de droit d'auteur
|| Summary: No permission is given for free reproduction. Licenses must be obtained under prescribed procedures.
| New Brunswick
|| Copyright notice http://www.gnb.ca/0062/acts/disclaimer-e.asp
The Province of New Brunswick, through the Queen’s Printer, owns and retains the copyright for New Brunswick’s legislation.
Permission to Reproduce
The legislation on this site has been posted with the intent that it be readily available for personal, educational and public non-commercial use and may be reproduced, in whole or in part and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Queen’s Printer, provided due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced.
Reproduction of materials at this site, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution is prohibited except with written permission from the Queen’s Printer. To obtain permission, mail or e-mail your request to the Queen’s Printer directly.
| Nova Scotia
|| No specific policy on reproduction.
| Prince Edward Island
|| Copyright notice http://www.gov.pe.ca/copyright
|| Unless otherwise specifically stated herein, all materials on this website, including text, photos, underlying HTML, illustrations, maps, designs, icons, audio clips, video clips, documents, products, software and all other content is either owned by the Government of Prince Edward Island, or the Government of Prince Edward Island has obtained a license to use the materials for the website.
The materials on this site are protect by the Copyright Act. Reproduction of any materials requires the advance written permission of the Government of Prince Edward Island, or the original creator, where applicable.
To request permission, contact the web content team of Communications PEI using the website comments and suggestions form and detail your request in the comments section.
Visit the Tourism PEI website for information on use of Tourism PEI stock images by industry and media.
Information on this site has been posted with the intent that it be readily available for personal and public non-commercial use and may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Government of Prince Edward Island.
| Newfoundland and Labrador
|| Disclaimer/Copyright/Privacy Statement http://www.gov.nf.ca/disclaimerEnglish.htm
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is the owner of copyright in all information found on this Web site unless otherwise stated.
Where the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is the owner of copyright in information on this Web site, government hereby grants permission for the information of this web site to be used by the public and non-government organizations. Persons and organizations using this information agree to indemnify and save harmless the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador against any claims or actions of any kind or manner resulting from its use.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador uses multi-media, i.e. graphics, audio and visual materials, on this Web site with permission of third party copyright holders. Reproduction of such materials is not permitted.
|| Copyright notice http://www.gov.yk.ca/copyright.html
|| Material on Government of Yukon web sites may be printed, copied or reproduced for non-commercial purposes only. Reproductions must be accurate and must not be represented as an official version. Reproduction or redistribution for commercial purposes requires advance written permission from the Government of Yukon.
Copyright must be acknowledged in the following form:
© Government of Yukon 2011
| Northwest Territories
|| Copyright and disclaimer notice http://www.justice.gov.nt.ca/legislation/legislation_disclaimer.shtml
The legislative material in the consolidations may be used for a non-commercial purpose without seeking permission, provided that it is accurately reproduced and includes an acknowledgment of the Government of the Northwest Territories as its source. Reproduction of the legislative material is permitted, in whole or in part, and by any means.
|| Department of Justice Legislative Division http://www.justice.gov.nu.ca/apps/authoring/dspPage.aspx?page=STATUTES+AND+REGULATIONS+PAGE
|| The Department of Justice believes it is of fundamental importance to Nunavummiut that their laws be accessible. To ensure access to the laws of Nunavut, the following may be copied freely for personal use:
- the statutes and regulations of Nunavut,
- consolidations of the statutes and regulations of Nunavut, and
- consolidations of the statutes and regulations of the Northwest Territories as amended, adopted or enacted for Nunavut as of April 1, 1999.
There is no requirement to seek permission and there are no fees to be paid for reproductions of the statutes and regulations for personal use. The electronic versions of the statutes and regulations may not be copied for the purpose of resale in this or any other form without the written consent of the Territorial Printer.
Crown copyright in New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
is defined by Sections 2(1), 26 and 27 of the Copyright Act 1994
. The Crown is the first owner of any copyright subsisting in any work created by a person who is employed or engaged by the Crown, under a contract of service, apprenticeship, or a contract for services. It covers works of the Queen in right of New Zealand, Ministers of the Crown, offices of Parliament and government departments. The term is 100 years.
For Crown entities
A Crown entity is an organisation that forms part of New Zealand's state sector established under the Crown Entities Act 2004, a unique umbrella governance and accountability statute...
and State-owned enterprises, regular copyright provisions apply instead of the 100 year term (i.e. 50 year-terms in many cases).
A term of 100 years also applies under Section 26(3)(b), with one exception, namely a 25-year term for typographical arrangements of published material. Such works produced before 1945, however, had only a term of 50 years, and so became public domain in 1995.
At common law, and under the Copyright Acts until recently, the Crown acquired title by a kind of prerogative copyright in certain books or publications such as acts of Parliament, proclamations, and orders-in-council. However, there has been a deliberate divestment by the Crown of its copyright in law – principally in consideration of the view that law should be freely available.
Section 27(1) defines a further exception to Crown copyright and copyright: bills, acts of parliament, regulations, bylaws, Hansard, tabled select committee reports, court judgments, tribunal judgments, royal commission reports, commission of inquiry reports, ministerial inquiry reports and statutory inquiry reports do not carry any copyright, regardless of age. Section 27(1) came into effect on 1 April 2001. There is, in New Zealand, under s. 27 of the Copyright Act, 1994, no copyright in regulations. Section 27(1) exceptions apply in the original work, and do not apply in terms of new typographical editions by others, nor in annotations made by organisations such as legal publishers.
Crown copyright applies "[w]here a work is made by Her Majesty or by an officer or servant of the Crown in the course of his duties". The Crown can also have copyrights assigned to it. There is, in addition, a small class of materials where the Crown claims the right to control reproduction outside normal copyright law due to Letters Patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...
issued under the royal prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...
. This material includes the King James Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...
Prior to the 17th century, the executive
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...
– acting on behalf of the monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...
under royal prerogative – controlled all printing and the granting of licences to printers. During the 17th century, the Crown lost most of its rights, except with regard to the King James Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, Acts of Parliament and similar. Until 1911, there was no special status for the Crown, excepting those texts.
The Copyright Act 1911
The Copyright Act 1911, also known as the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 16 December 1911. The act established copyright law in the UK and the British Empire...
removed the concept of common law copyright protection from British law
The United Kingdom has three legal systems. English law, which applies in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland law, which applies in Northern Ireland, are based on common-law principles. Scots law, which applies in Scotland, is a pluralistic system based on civil-law principles, with common law...
, and it also provided specific protection for government works for the first time. Crown copyright was extended to any work prepared or published by or under the direction or control of His Majesty
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....
or any Government department. The Copyright Act 1956
The Copyright Act 1956 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which received its Royal Assent on 5 November 1956. The Copyright Act 1956 expanded copyright law in the UK and was passed in order to bring UK copyright law in line with international copyright law and technological...
further extended Crown copyright protection to include every original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work made by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...
or a Government department; sound recordings or cinematograph films made by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or a Government department and works first published in the UK, if first published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or a Government department.
When the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 , also known as the CDPA, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 15 November 1988. It reformulates almost completely the statutory basis of copyright law in the United Kingdom, which had, until then, been...
(the 1988 Act) came into force, the scope of the definition of Crown copyright was considerably reduced. Crown copyright was defined as subsisting when a "work is made by Her Majesty or by an officer or servant of the Crown in the course of his duties". Crown copyright was also defined as subsisting "in every Act of Parliament, Act of the Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...
, Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive...
or Measure of the General Synod of the Church of England
The General Synod is the deliberative and legislative body of the Church of England. The synod was instituted in 1970, replacing the Church Assembly, and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for the Church of England that had started in the 1850s.- Church Assembly: 1919...
". All existing works in Crown copyright were continued as such.
However, some documents have Crown Copyright waived by the government, subject to certain conditions. This was introduced in a white paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...
in 2000 in order to improve access to government publications. There are 11 classes of copyrights for which waivers are granted.
Websites are reproducible unless otherwise indicated, but Her Majesty's Stationery Office
The Office of Public Sector Information is the body responsible for the operation of Her Majesty's Stationery Office and of other public information services of the United Kingdom...
(HMSO) has stated in correspondence that they do not consider material under Crown Copyright redistributable under such licenses as the GFDL
The GNU Free Documentation License is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation for the GNU Project. It is similar to the GNU General Public License, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify a work and requires all copies and...
The duration of Crown copyright varies depending whether material is published or unpublished. Unpublished material was originally subject to copyright protection in perpetuity. However, the 1988 Act removed this concept from British law. Transitional provisions that apply for 50 years after the entry into force of the 1988 Act provide that no unpublished material will lose its copyright protection until January 1, 2040. New Crown copyright material that is unpublished has copyright protection for 125 years from date of creation. Published Crown copyright material has protection for 50 years from date of publication. Those works protected under Letters Patent have perpetual control of reproduction claimed over them despite being published. Works where copyright is assigned to the Crown by an author are subject to the normal term of protection for that particular type of work, for example life of the author plus 70 years for a literary work.
- Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, by contrast, most works of the United States government are legally considered to be in the public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...
- Crown land
In Commonwealth realms, Crown land is an area belonging to the monarch , the equivalent of an entailed estate that passed with the monarchy and could not be alienated from it....
- Official text copyright
Official texts, as defined in Article 2 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, are texts of a legislative, administrative and legal nature and the official translations of such texts....
- Parliamentary copyright
Parliamentary copyright was first created in the United Kingdom by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Prior to this legislation being passed, what is now covered by Parliamentary copyright was Crown copyright....
- Use of information previously covered by the UK Crown copyright waiver