Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Quotations from newspaper Spartakus entitled 'Sandwiches'"

"Department of Agriculture--Quotations from newspaper Spartakus entitled 'Sandwiches'", RG13, Justice, Series A-2, Volume 2012, File 1933-255, Access Code 32 (Library and Archives Canada)

One of the curious things I discovered while researching R. v. St. Martin (discussed in the previous post) was that the impugned publication in that case, "Spartakus", was the subject of an archived file originating from the Ministry of Agriculture (!) in 1933. It turns out that on the inside cover of "Spartakus" was a statement "Entered according to Act of Parliament in 1932, in the office of the Minister of Agriculture and Statistics, at Ottawa." This led to a confused Minister of Agriculture receiving complaints about the allegedly blasphemous nature of the publication, and therefore contacting the Department of Justice for help. The Department of Justice contacted the Commissioner of Patents and ascertained that no registration of copyright had been filed with that office, and then wrote back to the Ministry of Agriculture to say that, although the notice in Spartakus appeared to be misleading, no registration requirement appeared to exist. Two documents from the file have been scanned in below.

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