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Are government documents protected by copyright?

Yes, all government documents created in Canada are protected by copyright. Federal, territorial and provincial government documents are protected by Crown copyright and the term of Crown copyright is 50 years after the date of publication.

Municipal government documents are not covered by Crown copyright, but instead fall under the normal copyright term of life of the creator plus 50 years. Check the website of the municipal government whose documents you wish to reproduce to see if they allow for reproduction for educational, non-commercial, or research purposes.

For further information on the use of federal government documents that are under Crown copyright see About Crown Copyright.

For further information about the use of BC government documents that are under Crown copyright see BC Government copyright page, Guidelines Covering the Reproduction of Provincial Legislation, and the Crown copyright section of the Ministry of Finance procurement handbook.