In the case of Sun Media Corporation v. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, 2007 QCCS 2943, the Québec Superior Court delivered, on June 14, 2007, an interlocutory injunction enjoining unions from using the media company's logo (a red rectangle including in white the words "le journal de québec" followed by a yellow "N°1") on protest signs during a lock-out. (The logo was slightly modified by the unions and surrounded by the unions' own logos.)
The unions admitted that the newpaper's logo was protected by copyright. The unions' defence was that the use of the newspaper's logo was (i) a fair dealing; (ii) substituted by a new original work and (iii) a parody warranted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The unions argued that freedom of expression should not be curtailed by an ordinary statute such as the Copyright Act.
The Court did not address the fair dealing defence (i) at this stage of the proceedings, rejected argument (ii), and regarding argument (iii), held that freedom of expression cannot be relied upon to breach civil or criminal laws. Moreover, the Court indicated that property is a fair limit to freedom of expression; that the Copyright Act does not impinge on freedom of expression, and that rather, it sets out a limit with respect to the use of the property of others.