A luxury fishing lodge in south-western Nova Scotia has won a copyright infringement case, another win for Trout Point Lodge in its ongoing battle with an American blogger.
A resort in Yarmouth County may seem like an unlikely battleground for internet bullying, but owners Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret have been in court for five years dealing with a blogger.
Douglas Handshoe, the founder of the Slabbed website based in Mississippi, followed a story published in a newspaper in New Orleans that claimed Louisiana politician Aaron Broussard owned Trout Point Lodge and used it for criminal activity.
The newspaper retracted its comments, but Handshoe refused and continues to target the business with derogatory comments.
Leary and Perret said his online attacks are relentless, nasty and homophobic.
Last year the pair successfully sued Handshoe in Nova Scotia court, winning a defamation judgment of $425,000. But American courts have refused to enforce the decision, meaning Leary and Perret haven't seen a dime.
So Leary said they tried a different approach.
“Mr. Handshoe started to make extensive use of photographs of us and our business. So we decided to sue Mr. Handshoe for copyright infringement.
Again, they've won.
A court decision released this week has awarded them tens of thousands of dollars for copyright plus punitive damages.
“If we just let his blog posts and other internet commentary remain unrebutted, it would be worse. So we think this is something that's worth combating and speaking to,” said Leary.
The owners said they will now ask a Mississippi court to enforce this latest Nova Scotia judgment.