Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Suing for ‘copyright infringement’ on a house exterior? REALLY?

Canadian Contractor

Few contractors think of houses as works of art that can be copyrighted. One wealthy couple in Toronto begs to differ.

A Toronto couple in an extremely wealthy neighbourhood was in the news last week following their out of court settlement with another rich couple whom they had sued for copying details of their house exterior.

Forest Hill residents Jason and Jodi Chapnik sued Barbara Ann Kirschenblatt and her husband Eric in 2014 for, essentially, copyright infringement in the Kirschenblatts’ extensively renovated home just half a mile away from the Chapniks’.

The Chapniks were seeking more than $2.5-million in compensation for the alleged copycat construction of a chimney, some horizontal wood siding on the facade of the house under the eaves, some stone facade patterns, and some blue paint on the windows.

The Chapniks, owners of a quintessential Forest Hill pile, had allegedly been visited by the Kirchensblatts’ builder before he started the renovations, allegedly admitting that he was copying some elements of the Chapnik house.


The amount of the out of court settlement was not disclosed.

Read the full story here (and see photos of the two houses) in the Toronto Star.




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