The flimsy veil of Copyright protection
According to the Government of Canada's Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the Copyright Act
"Canadian law protects all original creative works ...
"...the Act prohibits others from copying your work without your permission
".... no assignment or grant is valid unless it is in writing signed by the owner"
But there’s a problem
Though it may be illegal to copy "copyright protected" work, there is no accessible mechanism to enforce this protection.
When someone steals your intellectual property there is no "911" resource.
Navigating your options is a monumental task.
Exercising your theoretical right to 'retrieve' the value of your intellectual property is outrageously complicated and expensive. The process seldom renders a restored position for the infringed.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
Over the course of the last three years I have become painfully aware of the complexities of pursuing a remedy to copyright infringement. Following a sequence of ever escalating attempts to resolve, my only remaining option was to sue, in Supreme Court, those parties I claim infringed my copyright.
I "self-represented", as I could not afford legal representation.
It felt like it was a blood sport rather than a means to find truth and justice. I was outmaneuvered and humiliated over the course of the 2-day trial; slain by the equipped gladiators.
It was as if I was on trial, rather than those who stole my intellectual property.
On June 21st, 2016, the judge dismissed all claims.
As of August 9, 2016, Acadia and Troy Scott were awarded costs. I have been ordered to pay $41,528.47 to Acadia University($17,189) and Troy Scott ($24,338.60) for their legal costs.
If this decision stands, the threshold for creativity will void protection for a significant percentage of creators.
The flimsy veil of copyright protection will be further diminished.
I am going to continue this fight. This is no longer about my personal experience, but rather the preservation of intellectual property rights. I maintain that copyright infringement is indisputable in this case.
I have been advised that I have solid grounds for appeal.
I cannot undertake this alone.
I am seeking your support so that I may hire a lawyer.
I have had several estimates and it seems that I need to come up with approximately $21,500 to pay for the appeal process.
That is the estimated expense to undertake the appeal.
Here’s my account of the copyright infringement.
I am a professional designer. I earned my Masters in Architecture almost 30 years ago and have worked in building design and Fine Arts in Canada and abroad, establishing a respectable reputation.
I was approached by Acadia and asked if I would be interested in designing a major addition to an existing building.
I enthusiastically agreed.
There was no budget for the project but there was a pending meeting with a donor in Hong Kong to solicit funds.
I was asked how much it would cost to create a presentation drawing for this meeting.
I agreed to create a perspective concept drawing to the university for $4,000 so that they could secure funding for the $1.5 million dollar project.
I generated two distinct concept options. Acadia seemed please with my concept. I completed the perspective drawing of the concept for presentation to the donors and then loaned the University my "instruments of service" (preliminary sketches of concept which I created: floor plans, elevations, etc. ), to assist in describing the project.
I did not hear from the University again. I did learn through media broadcast that the University acquired $1.5 million dollar donation for Wu Welcome Centre.
I then also learned through the media that the University
sucessfully acquired a development permit from the Town of Wolfville using my "instruments of service" (on loan to Acadia University )
published my "instruments of service" in local newspapers
transmitted my "instruments of service" to at least one competitor
I need moral and financial support to restore the efficacy and value of copyright
I am not seeking charity.
Ironically a large portion of those who depend on copyright protection are those who do not have income security or budgets for Supreme Court litigation.
If this appeal succeeds in providing a fair and just result, it will provide a deterrent for future exploitation and infringement of creative work.