Bloc MP St-Cyr and Crown Copyright

The Public Domain blog takes issue with a recent off-hand comment from Bloc MP Thierry St-Cyr, who suggested that there is no copyright in comments made during Question Period debate. The reality is the opposite – the government asserts crown copyright in the House of Commons official record, Hansard.


  1. Actual crown copyright, yes, but
    looking at the excerpt from Hansard in the article it appears to me that there is little to no impact to the average citizen… It appears that the crown claims effective copyright (in as much as they restrict what can be done with it) only for “for-profit” uses or for reproductions which claim to be official. What does this mean? It means that you can’t print copies, or sell online, copies of Hansard. There may be a couple others, but…

  2. but what?
    Why should there be copyright in such crown works at all?

    Many other countries make do without similar provisions. In fact, liberalizing the use, even commercial use, of government produced works, unleashes private-sector activity; witness the multiple third-party publications of the Warren Commission and 9/11 reports in the US.

    And, on the flipside, over restrictive government copyright impedes cultural activity and industry; just try clearing rights to crown documents in the UK or Canada.