Nunavut Pays PS Knight Invoices

September 12th, 2021

Amid the frantic attacks we’ve parried this summer from the Civil Service (“Canadian Standards Association” / “CSA”), we’ve also had some happy news.

As you’ll recall, under Manson’s Law whomever holds copyright assignment over the text of legislation now owns that law privately.  You’ll also recall that PS Knight holds copyright assignment covering ~5% of electrical law, and CSA holds equivalent assignment covering ~8% of that law.

And you’ll recall that we’ve been invoicing the governments of Canada ever since the Manson’s Law Ruling for their use of what is now our private property.

Well, in this happy context….

“Attn:  Les Hickey
Assistant Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs”

From the president of his fan club here at PS Knight….

“Dear Sir;

“The payments referenced in your email communication of 15 June 2021, corresponding to our invoices under Manson’s Law covering the months of March – May 2021, and issued by the Government of Nunavut (GN) on April 30, 2021, were received during the week of June 7th and deposited on June 11th.”

That’s right folks, the Government of Nunavut started paying our invoices.  We received three of their cheques this summer.

Shortly afterward, the Assistant Deputy Minister sent us a letter advising that the payments were accidental, a clerical error.  As the Government of Nunavut surely had no intention of paying a valid invoice, and as they’ve become accustomed to getting away with such things, they felt it would be awfully sporting of us to refund their payments.

In response, we guided the Assistant Deputy Minister through a brief recounting of the events leading to his Government’s payments, including the letters we had sent his Government warning of the consequences of Manson’s Law and our subsequent letter advising of the Supreme Court decision on the matter, making Manson’s Law unassailable.  Likewise, we walked him through the PS Knight copyright assignments, pointing out that “the invoicing of [PS Knight] is valid.”

Then…

“I should remind you that other governments are paying copyright assignment holders in compliance with Manson’s Law.  Indeed, in the GN letter of May 14th, 2021, you acknowledged your responsibilities under Manson’s Law, admitting that ‘the Code is incorporated [in Nunavut] with the permission of CSA’.”

Note the second line.  The Government of Nunavut admitted, in writing, that they have responsibilities under Manson’s Law.  It’s a bit like kicking the puck in your own net.  I mean, their argument was that they have no obligation to pay invoicing under Manson’s Law while, amazingly, in the same letter, they admit that they already do.  Nunavut then, just conceded that they are not in control of, nor do they own, their own laws.

We were polite about all of it.  To the request that PS Knight “return” the invoice payments, we responded that “any such payment by [PS Knight] would be, in effect, a donation.  While we hold the Territory in high regard, we cannot justify donating to the operations of a government.”

“The GN has paid PSKA invoices NU060 – NU062, totalling $29,256.  Invoices NU001 – NU059 and NU063 – NU065 (the latter dated June 1st, July 1st, and August 1st) remain outstanding.  The cumulative balance owing as of today’s date (including NU063 – NU065) is $4,264,915.”

That’s a lot of money, folks.  You see why they’re so steamed about all this?

“Our letter of Mary 9th, 2016, invited ‘your representative(s) to contact our offices to arrange discussions on establishing a use license and royalty program covering our portion of electrical law,’ further noting our ‘flexibility in structuring [and] reasonable accommodation,’ given that Manson’s Law was at that time a new and unexpected legal obligation.  […]  This spirit of goodwill and flexibility remains.”

You see, the fundamental problem here is that civil servants want the law to apply only when it profits them.  Manson’s Law makes them a mound of money, so Manson’s Law is valid.  But when Manson’s Law costs them money, then it isn’t valid.  Law is whatever they want it to be.

And whatever they want is what they get.  They’re civil servants, remember.  So it must be grating for them to read of our “goodwill and flexibility” in structuring payments they think shouldn’t be made at all.  They’re civil servants!  Obviously then, they’re not under the laws they apply to us, and any notion of payments from them to us is disrespectful of their elevated persons.

Look folks, the fact is that our invoicing is indeed valid.  The only reason the governments of Canada generally are able to ignore our invoicing is that the Federal Court is happy to arrange Rulings for the Civil Service.  Thus, getting an enforcement order from such a compromised Court is quite hopeless. 

But we have options.  The sum of our invoicing is collectable outside of the Canadian court system and we’re making preparations in this regard.

As for Nunavut, I closed our response thusly;

“Here’s where we land; Manson’s Law exists and has been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court and has been upheld throughout.  Manson’s Law is no longer litigable and, with no disrespect to GN, is not reversable by a Territorial Government.  [PS Knight] holds copyright assignment for Code text and our invoicing of GN under Manson’s Law is therefore valid.

“I am pleased to schedule a call at your convenience to discuss options for clearing the outstanding balance.”

And they never called.  Does that surprise you?

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