MacNutt v. Acadia University et al., 2016 NSSC 160

A claim of copyright infringement in a series of concept drawings for a new building has been dismissed by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

The applicant provided concept drawings for a potential expansion of an existing building at Acadia University. Once funding was secured, the University hired an architect to proceed with the project. At a public information meeting, the applicant's concept drawings were shown to the public, and they were published in a newspaper article concerning the meeting. No attribution was given to the applicant.

The applicant then sought damages for copyright infringement. The Court dismissed the claim, finding that the concept plans are distinctly different from the architect's design. To the extent there are any similarities, they were found to be a consequence of the mimic architecture in the Georgian style required by Acadia and the Town of Wolfville. 

Furthermore, the Court questioned whether these respondents were involved in any unauthorized taking of the work by the named respondents. The Court noted that none of the respondents provided the concept drawings to the newspaper and the respondents did not display the drawings at the public meeting. It was found that, on a balance of probabilities, the named respondents were not involved, even if there was an infringement.

Thus, the application was dismissed.