Robinson Sucroë and copyright infringement

For the last 16 years, Claude Robinson has been fighting television giant Cinar in Quebec court, alleging that Robinson Sucroë, an animated television series from Quebec, was plagiarized from Robinson Curiosité, an earlier work by Claude Robinson.

In 2009, the Quebec Superior Court agreed with Claude Robinson and found Cinar guilty of copyright infringement. You can read all about the similarities the court found, in addition to comparative screenshots from Robinson Curiosité and Robinson Sucroë in the link above.

Cinar was ordered to pay more than $5.2 million in damages, including $1 million in punitive damages.

Cinar appealed. In 2011, the Quebec Court of Appeal held that Cinar did indeed infringe Robinson’s copyright, but reduced the damages to $2.7 million, including $150,000 in punitive damages.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear the case. Of particular interest here is the issue of the calculation of damages and punitive damages in relation to copyright infringement. Win or lose, I hope Claude Robinson’s 16 year ordeal will be resolved soon.

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