David Canton points us to the news that lawyers for the Quebec Winter Carnival are threatening to sue the magazine Maclean’s for illustrating a story about Quebec corruption with the carnival’s mascot carrying a suitcase full of cash. The mascot is known as Bonhomme Carnaval, and the lawyers claim that it’s an IP violation to use it in this manner:
“For the past 57 years, the Carnival has invested considerable energy and resources into protecting Bonhomme Carnaval’s outstanding reputation,” said the event’s CEO Jean Pelletier in a statement released Monday afternoon. “We are therefore examining the options available to us to enforce our intellectual property rights.”
I’m not familiar enough with Canadian trademark law to know how this works, but it does seem pretty silly either way. It’s not as if anyone seeing the magazine would think that the carnival endorsed the magazine or anything. The illustration seems like a clever way to graphically illustrate the province of Quebec by using a symbol closely associated with it.