Information gatherers vs. holders

A Globe and Mail political blog reports
on the newspaper’s spat with Auditor-General Sheila Fraser, over the
Globe’s excerpting of a chapter on immigration from her report.

Globe referred readers to the full document through a hyperlink, which
took them to A-G’s website, but also embedded the immigration chapter
using Scribd, a social publishing website where readers can download
and share millions of documents,” said the blog.

The Auditor-General’s lawyer Beth Stewart phoned to insist the Globe provide only
the full link to the A-G web site. The blog quoted Beth Stewart: “On
the Scribd website, it appears, or it makes it appear, that anyone
using the document or accessing the document has an ability to adapt
the content and use it in different ways.” The Globe complied with the

What’s most interesting is that the Globe even reported
on the issue. Not so long ago, it would have been insider stuff,
considered irrelevant to a newspaper’s audience.

Law professor Michael Geist, a Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-commerce law,  weighs in:
“This incident highlights yet again why the Canadian government needs a
far more progressive approach to its own copyright policy.”