Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights, and Allied Workers vMaritime EnvironmentalTrainingInstitute Ltd., 2014 NSSC 64

The applicants to this proceeding claimed that use and reproduction of a scaffolding training manual was infringing their copyright in the work. The predecessors of the applicants’ union had retained a now forgotten UK company to prepare the manual in or around 1991. No written assignment was put into evidence, but they claimed an express oral agreement.

Ultimately this application was not successful. Since this was a commissioned work, it was found that it was necessary to put a written assignment from the UK company into evidence.

Furthermore, the Court held that the applicants failed to prove that the manual was a work of joint authorship, as the evidence did not establish the applicants’ contribution to the work. In the absence of proof of ownership or joint authorship, the Court found that the application must fail.