In B.C., Freedom of Information May Not Be Free

July 15, 2009

The old doctrine of "crown copyright" may be emerging in British Columbia as a way for a government claiming openness to subvert freedom-of-information law. When granting FOI requests, the BC government has been including warnings that the information is not to be disseminated without permission from the province's Intellectual Property Program.

Warnings of "crown copyright" violations have also been used at the federal level and by other provinces.

Canada's Freedom of Information and Privacy Association told The Tyee that the "crown copyright" claims are both intimidating and legally questionable.