Albo v The Winnipeg Free Press et al, 2020 MBCA 50


Read full decision. Summary prepared by Alan Macek:

The backdrop to this appeal is a dispute as to whether the defendant (a newspaper publishing company), in order to obtain the expert assistance of the plaintiff (a history professor) for a series of articles, agreed to not republish them into a future book. .. The plaintiff commenced an action for copyright infringement and breach of contract which the judge dismissed after a trial. [see 2019 MBQB 34] ... Three issues are raised in the appeal. ... Second is the concern raised that the judge did not adjudicate the contract claim independently of the copyright claim. ... A review of the record confirms that the trial was dominated by the copyright claim, with the parties having diametrically opposed views as to exactly how original the “City Beautiful” articles that Mr. Turner wrote were. The facts related to the contract claim were straightforward and that claim took a back seat to the copyright claim in terms of the tenor of the trial. ... The judge did not commit an error in principle in the course of interpreting the contract by requiring the plaintiff to prove copyright as a prerequisite to a successful contract claim.


Canadian Intellectual Property