Canada has copyrighted the words "one cent" on its pennies and has alerted the Mounties to saddle up and come down here and confiscate all of our pennies for copyright infringement. Gee, and I have a beer mug half full of pennies. I guess I'd better get some target practice. If I see any red coats accompanied by huskies, they'd better be careful around south Minneapolis! I guess it's about time that we taught those uppity Canucks a thing or two.
And now they're thinking about colonizing the North Pole, too, because of Global Warming. (Thanks, Al Gore! That a fine mess you have gotten us into!)
Demands from the Royal Canadian Mint that the city of Toronto pay for using pictures of a penny in its “One Cent” campaign to lobby for more municipal funding are probably politically motivated, city spokesmen said yesterday.
The Post's Chris Wattie reports:
The mint is demanding the city pay $47,680 for using a picture of the “tails” side of a Canadian penny in its brochures, banners and advertisements for the campaign, aimed at persuading Ottawa to set aside one cent of every six collected under the goods and services tax (GST) for municipalities. The mint is also seeking compensation for the city’s use of the phrase “one cent” in the campaign.
“I find the timing of this very interesting,” said Don Wanagas, a spokesman for Mayor David Miller. “All of a sudden, now that our campaign has really gotten going, they go public with this. “But I can only guess at their [the mint’s] motives.”
Mr. Wanagas said the mint has been in contact with city officials since the campaign began last February but he rejected suggestions that the city is negotiating with the federal agency over use of the penny or the phrase “one cent.” He said the city has every right to use pictures of the most common of Canadian coins.
“The penny is public domain,” Mr. Wanagas said. “This is a coin that many people, if they see one on the ground, they won’t even bend over to pick it up. So let’s be real here.”
Alex Reeves, a spokesman for the mint, said the federal agency has no political motives for the dispute with the city but is intent on protecting its coins. “They are registered trademarks of the Royal Canadian Mint,” he said in an interview from Ottawa.
He said the mint calculates the price of using its coins or other associated images, words or phrases based on the type of use and how widely it is distributed. Mr. Reeves would not confirm the amount of money that the mint is seeking.
But Kevin Sack, a spokesman for the city-led campaign, said the mint wants $10,000 for the use of the words “one cent” in the campaign Web site address (www.onecentnow.ca) and the campaign e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and an additional $10,000 for using the words in the campaign phone number (416-ONE-CENT). The remaining $27,680 has been assessed against the city for the use of the image of the penny in printed materials, he said.