Who owns the law?
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AbstractIn the interests of promulgation, of spreading the law as widely as possible throughout the province and country in which it applies, the Crown freely permits us to copy legislation and judicial decisions. The law is in the public domain. That is to say that there can be no copyright infringement or plagiarism of the text of the law itself. Copying and dissemination of the law cases is even encouraged. "Anyone may, without charge or request for permission, reproduce enactments and consolidations of enactments of the Government of Canada, and decisions and reasons for decisions of federally-constituted courts and administrative tribunals, provided due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced and the reproduction is not represented as an official version." The law belongs to all of society. It can be copied and quoted freely, in books and magazines, for example. The only two requirements are that one must be careful to copy it accurately, and not suggest that it is "official", which may mislead readers. The Order does not even indicate that the law must be properly cited. Law has its own peculiar language, so the source or context of the law is likely implied by the copy.
Article deposited after permissions was granted by the editor of LawNow magazine, 06/28/2010.