Judge orders satirical website Journal de Mourreal to change name, pay $23K

MONTREAL — A judge has ruled a satirical publication dubbed the Journal de Mourreal will have to drop its name.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Micheline Perrault rendered her decision Tuesday after determining the publication was created to imitate the 55-year-old daily tabloid Journal de Montreal.

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She ordered the satirical site's creator, Jannick Murray-Hall, to pay the tabloid $23,500 — the sum of the site's profits since 2013.

MediaQMI — the owner of the Journal de Montreal trademark — went to court to argue the satirical publication was eroding the credibility of the newspaper's brand and creating confusion among its readers about what is actual reporting and what is parody.

It had sought a name change, arguing the fake news site was using its brand to generate profits.

The judge ruled the Journal de Montreal and Journal de Mourreal logos were virtually identical, both visually and phonetically.

The resemblance was such that the court concluded that the satire publication's look was likely to cause confusion — something demonstrated by Quebecor lawyers at trial.

Murray-Hall has 30 days to appeal the judgment.

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