Congratulations! The B.C. government — the one that promised to be “the most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada” — has just granted your freedom of information request.
You open the package of documents and find a notice that seems to say you can’t make the information public without the government’s permission.
“Permission of the copyright holder” — that would be the B.C. government — “must be obtained prior to any reproduction, dissemination or sale of these records (including the posting of such records on the Internet). If you wish to reproduce a record or portion of a record that is subject to Crown copyright, you must send a copyright request to the Province’s Intellectual Property Program.”
In the eyes of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, this notice is both intimidating and legally questionable. About a year ago, FIPA and researcher Stanley Tromp filed a complaint with B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner.