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If I e-mail my MP on a subject, and he/she replies, would that parson be able to state copyright at the bottom of their

e-mail/letter. What would happen if I put my question and their reply on say CAG?

I was of the opinion that their reply to me could be published if I wished to do so, however I have noted that any answers given to me on a number of occasions by MP’s I have e-mailed have copyright on the bottom.

Edited by buckthorn
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If anyone writes you a letter then the contents of that letter are copyright. I'm not sure whether a letter from an MP is copyright which belongs to the MP – in which case the copyright would last for 70 years after the death of the author, or copyright of the Crown in which case the copyright would last for 125 years after publication.


I can scarcely imagine any MP objecting to the publication of something that he or she has written – but there may be exceptional circumstances. You probably need to give more information. It is not necessary to include the words "copyright" or any other message or symbol in order for a copyright to exist. It just – exists!

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Thanks for your reply:-

I’ll give you little more detail. I live in Plymouth, one of the ongoing debates at the moment

is in relation to Plymouth Airport which has been closed, by a company who wish to build house

all over it, as they say it is not viable, (that’s after first getting the 100 year lease, and selling off

all the landing slots at Heathrow, it’s basically a money grab).


The majority of the Plymouth residents want their airport back/reopened, so I have e-mail all the

MPs in Plymouth irrespective of what part or party in Plymouth they represent and asked them

what is their position on the reopening of the airport.


A number of their replies have copyright on the bottom and I did not wish to publish those replies if

they are protected. It sounds to me that they don't really want their electorate to know what they

really think. Typical politicians.


Does that also include e-mails?

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It includes everything.


I think you have probably misunderstood the copyright notice at the bottom of the letter. I think it is far more likely that they are warning people who might wish to include those letters in some kind of book which would then be sold, that if there is any economic exploitation of the copyright work then the editor of that book can expect a challenge.


I can't imagine that any MP would raise objections to the publication of their letter on a website or elsewhere which doesn't make any profit and is really simply a public interest website.


If I were you I would go ahead. I would have thought that the worst thing that could happen would be that you would get a notice asking you to remove it. If you're making a profit out of the letter in some way then I can imagine that a different approach should be taken.


The only other issue relating to the publication of correspondence might be if it was considered to be confidential. I can't imagine that the contents of the letter which you have described would be considered confidential. If I were you, I would simply go ahead.


In future – and for the avoidance of doubt – if you canvass opinion from people on these kind of issues in the future, it might be worth pointing out that you would be grateful for their reply which you are intending to share with other interested parties. However, I think even this is not necessary. It might help you sleep more easily, maybe.

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