The Department of National Defence is using crown copyright to demand
of a leaked government document that has been widely discussed and
posted on the Internet. At issue is the Canadian Land Force
Counter-Insurgency Operations Manual, which the Globe's Doug Saunders described
as "Canada's military manual and operational manifesto for the
Afghanistan war." The document was first leaked by Wikileaks in August
2009 and remains available
from that site. It was subsequently reposted in several places,
including on the PublicIntelligence.net
site and on Scribd
(the Globe appears to have posted it there).
Earlier this month, the Department of National Defence sent a demand
email to the Public Intelligence site seeking removal of the document.
It is not clear whether similar demands have been sent to Wikileaks and
Scribd. The demand states:
We believe that the copyright
protected work of the Department of National Defence (DND) is being
provided to the public through your website in a manner that
constitutes copyright infringement.
The demand email continues by arguing that the document was not
obtained under Access to Information and, even if it was, that ATIA
not permit widespread distribution of documents in violation of the
Copyright Act. The Canadian government has altered
to the restrictions on publishing public documents by granting
permission to reproduce government works for personal or public
non-commercial purposes without the need for prior permission. In this
instance, however, DND presumably believes that the document itself was
made available without authorization and that the permissive licence
does not apply.
TagsShareThursday April 26, 2012