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Bluenose II copyright infringement lawsuit


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When the Bluenose II was built back in 1963, the family of the original Bluenose saw it was a direct copy of the original ship.

This led to a lawsuit started in 2012.


So it's not only our models that becomes victims of IP theft.



The Bluenose II was built in 1963 by Oland Brewery for roughly C$300,000 as a marketing tool for their Schooner Lager beer brand. In 1979, ownership was transferred to the government of Nova Scotia.  In 1994–95 the ship’s hull was restored.  Around this time the management of the schooner got caught up in what the Canadian Sponsorship Scandal when the federal government allocated $2.3 million for the schooner through a consulting firm but only a small amount of the money reached the vessel.

In July 2010, the Nova Scotia government awarded a $12.5 million contract for the restoration of Bluenose II to a consortium of three Nova Scotia shipyards. The total project budget was $14.4 million.  The word “restoration” is a something of a misnomer.  The original schooner was largely scrapped and the “restored” schooner was built from keel up with new materials. Some equipment and sections of the old schooner were retained, but the schooner is essentially a new vessel.

The new Bluenose II was supposed to be sailing in the summer of 2012.  She was launched in 2013 and then hauled back ashore for additional work. The schooner is currently tied up at a wharf in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Recently, the provincial government settled a copyright infringement lawsuit with the family of the schooner’s original designer.   In 2012, the Roue family launched a lawsuit against the provincial government alleging that it infringed on their copyright by using William J. Roue’s drawings in the Bluenose II restoration.  The government settled the suit for $300,000, including legal fees. The provincial government says about $1 million has been spent on legal costs since the case was launched.


I haven't found any records that the case is close, but considering the timeline I guess it has been closed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice bit of history. I haven’t followed the lawsuit because I didn’t know about it. I do remember when the Nova Scotia government purchased the boat, I’m  sure that they regretted spending those ten - ten cent pierces (dimes to my American friends) however I remember donation cans placed in many stores and so on for funds to maintain her when I was a lad and I sailed on her in 1974 (a story attached to that experience) so I did a bit of research and she was purchased from the Oland’s family in 1971 not 1979. 

I moved from Nova Scotia to Alberta in 1990 I think, so I was out of touch with the local news so that’s what fuelled my ignorance about her and the lawsuit I guess. 

Edited by 4 Strong Winds
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