GSI has successfully promoted offshore Canada for decades, investing hundreds of millions of dollars to collect valuable seismic data which was used to discover many of the famous fields like Sable Island all for free. These new policies are completely adversarial, confiscatory, and amount to government interference with GSI’s business.
GSI maintains, despite the boards argument that they have the right to release the seismic data into the “public domain “ after the confidentiality period they created runs out, the seismic data still belongs to GSI and other federal and common laws would prohibit any disclosure.
GSI provided the data as required with the promise that the ownership of the data remained with GSI and that the company’s propriety rights would be respected by the boards, with their agencies acting as a library only allowing viewing of the data and in paper formats only.
GSI has discovered this is not the case, with evidence of hundreds of instances where the offshore boards were making copies for third parties, scanning data, disclosing image files, sending data to be copied on behalf of third parties and further disclosing data to third parties undermining the commercial value of the data belonging to GSI.
As a result companies have obtained unlicensed GSI data and they have no right to it.
Did GSI ever sign any agreement to give the boards the right to release its data? View Clip
This policy induces oil companies bidding on work commitments to hand in GSI data to the regulators in return for cash credits on their offshore oil and gas leases, which causes these customers to breach their agreements with GSI.
The seismic data does not belong to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, or the crown-owned energy company Nalcor. In the same fashion the data does not belong to the government of Nova Scotia, or to the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board or the National Energy Board.
GSI argues that the release of this confidential seismic data is contrary to laws of copyright, confidentiality, trade secret and Access to Information laws. It also violates common sense and any reasonable understanding that one does not own something unless they pay for it.
The Atlantic Accord legislation does not contain specific provisions mandating or authorizing the release of the data filed with the boards. GSI maintains that the boards do not have authority under enabling legislation to release this seismic data and copyright violations are occurring due to unauthorized reproduction of data by government and the boards themselves together with third parties.
Again the data is the property of GSI, pure and simple.