Our firm, Geophysical Service Incorporated (GSI), creates seismic data which is our intellectual property.
In Alberta and Saskatchewan, you pay for a permit, follow all the rules and work with surface landowners for access and you can invest in data.
These governments do not require you to give them a copy of your work that they can use for free. They understand this would be like telling Microsoft that, because they do business in Canada, they must allow the government free copies of all their software and that no licence restrictions shall apply. It would obviously be ridiculous and overt nationalization to do this.
If this thinking were applied fairly to all, no one would enter into this deal or be willing to invest and create under this condition.
Unfortunately, we have state control minded bureaucrats in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Ottawa who think this is a good deal and a reasonable proposition.
When seismic companies invest, risk and apply hard work and effort to create valuable seismic data to promote Canada in the Northwest Territories and Arctic and Atlantic offshore areas, the governments demand a free copy with no licence restrictions.
Perversely, and even worse, they feel entitled to be able to give it away to the very current and prospective customers that the seismic data owner lawfully licenses or seeks to license data to. This illogical and illegal activity is sold as the “greater good” and as a necessity to promote the offshore of Canada. They act as if the data is not available at all for license from the lawful owner.
I ask, is it really for the “greater good” to take from small Canadian data owners and give millions of dollars of data to very wealthy, mostly foreign oil companies? Is it really an incentive and necessary to do this when wells cost hundreds of millions of dollars to drill with a five per cent chance of success, and the seismic is a few hundred thousand or a million for large amounts to license? Is it really worth destroying the incentive for seismic data investors
to invest in data? Is it really worth destroying Canada’s reputation as a nation of laws, private property, fair people, fair and honest government? Is it worth trampling on Canadians rights, undermining all intellectual property and showing the world that Canada will attack companies and individuals that try to defend their rights?
My view is that being honest, not stealing, not coveting other people’s property, not using others’ property for one’s gain, not attacking the victim of crime, is the true greater good.
We elected a Conservative government that originated in Alberta, but they have lost touch with where they came from. They allow the state control minded bureaucrats who really run the country to attack Canadians when it suits them, to change the rules, to ignore the laws and rules, to abuse the frameworks of democracy — in short, to wreck our country.
I am from Alberta and proud of it. I will seek justice from those who have lost their way and seek to take Canada in the wrong direction. I rely on good Canadians and pray for the judges who hear my cases to be blessed with the wisdom to see what is going on.
For GSI or any Canadian citizen who this could happen to, it really does have everything to do with the greater good, it’s just that our government has lost its way on how it justifies these actions.
I ask where has the “we stand on guard for thee” gone in Canada?
Paul Einarsson is the chief operating officer
and chairman of GSI. He writes