Saturday, July 24, 2010

Crown Copyright Strikes Again: Documents Revealed Under Freedom Of Information Act Can Infringe On Copyright?; TechDirt.com, 7/23/10

Mike Masnick, TechDirt.com; Crown Copyright Strikes Again: Documents Revealed Under Freedom Of Information Act Can Infringe On Copyright?:

"Frankly, the concept of "Crown Copyright" has never made much sense at all. We've discussed it here a few times in the past, but it's the concept that some countries have for government documents being covered by copyright. Thankfully, this is one area where the US actually leads the way: it has no such thing. Documents produced by the federal government in the US are automatically considered public domain (state government documents aren't always public domain, but that's another discussion for another time). But in many other countries that's not true, and those documents are covered by "crown copyright." This makes little sense no matter how you think about it. If the purpose of copyright is to give incentives to create the content, it seems obvious that a government should not need copyright.

Instead, it seems to show how some now view copyright: as a tool to restrict information, rather than as an incentive to create information."