Many Canadians will know that there has been a controversy this week over whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper pocketed a communion wafer during Romeo Leblanc's state funeral. The issue has been fueled by a video posted on YouTube of the incident. A blog reader notes that YouTube has now taken […]
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Yesterday's inauguration of President Barack Obama also brought with it a complete overhaul of the whitehouse.gov site. While there has been some media coverage of the change (including the appointment of a Director of New Media for the White House), it is worth looking at the fine print by contrasting the copyright notices found on the White House site and the Prime Minister of Canada's site. The Whitehouse.gov site adopts the following:
Pursuant to federal law, government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected. The United States Government may receive and hold copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.
Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Whitehouse.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
In other words, no copyright in the government-produced materials and a Creative Commons license that permits both commercial and non-commercial usage (with attribution) for third-party materials. That is as permissive as it gets – no real restrictions or requirements to obtain permission, which means that the public has both access and the right to use the materials on the Whitehouse.gov site as they see fit.
Now consider the Prime Minister of Canada's copyright notice:
The Conservative Party has released its platform and it devotes a half-page to copyright that leaves little doubt that it plans to bring back Bill C-61 and continue to support ACTA. According to the platform: A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes […]
Howard Knopf notes that disagreement over the copyright bill [MP3 version of CBC World At Six] was one of the issues specifically raised Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe's meeting last week with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, increasing the likelihood that copyright could emerge as an issue during the forthcoming election campaign.