The Brion Raffoul team was proud to make a donation to Partage Vanier through the proceeds of our holiday bake sale and a matched donation by the firm. It was fitting that we gave back to this amazing community on our move day(!) after being there for 8 years.
Partage Vanier is the most used food bank in Ontario, feeding approximately 450 families a month. The foodbank relies solely on donations from the community to feed its patrons. To donate to Partage Vanier click here.
A fantasy novel set in Toronto is the centre of a trademark controversy. The cover of James Bow’s new book, The Night Girl, features shadowy fantastical figures running along a rooftop with the iconic CN Tower on their left. The image of the CN Tower was obtained from a stock photo site under a Creative Commons license.
But, to the surprise of Bow and the book’s publishers, the CN Tower’s owner is alleging that the cover violates their trademark. According to representatives of Canada Lands Company Ltd. (CLCL), the Crown corporation that manages the CN Tower, every image of the CN Tower is protected as a trademark. They are asking that the cover be redesigned for subsequent print runs, but Bow and his publishers are pushing back.
A lawyer for Bow is asking CLCL to drop the matter. Ren Bucholz points out that ‘confusion’ is the basic yardstick for trademark infringement, and that The Night Girl is a fantasy novel “featuring a strong female protagonist who helps trolls and goblins succeed in the human world through her work at an employment agency”, rather than a guidebook or map. It is unlikely, according to Bucholz, that anyone would see this cover and think that CLCL believes the CN Tower to be overrun with trolls.
The matter is still ongoing, but one thing is clear: stock
photo licenses might not always tell the full story.