‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

The RCMP say they “stand corrected” and Cranbrook business Jimmy’s Cannabis will not have to remove an image of legendary lawman Sam Steele displayed in one of their windows after all, after the RCMP consulted further with their historian, who informed them he is not wearing an RCMP uniform in the image.

BACKGROUND: RCMP asks new cannabis shop to remove image of Sam Steele

It’s been a high-profile week for Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop considering the store just opened its doors last Wednesday, with news that the store had been asked by the RCMP to take the photo of Sam Steele down due to copyright infringement making headlines nation wide.

Cannabis stores are mandated to have opaque window coverings to prevent onlookers from seeing in and owner Jeff Weaver opted to go with historical images for his stores instead of “uninviting” glazed glass or something along those lines.

Weaver originally agreed to take the photo down in the verbal conversation with a local officer, but after consulting a historian, he learned that the image of Steele he chose shows him wearing not a RCMP uniform but a military one.

“We are elated,” Weaver told the Townsman. “This is fantastic news that we are not impinging upon any trademark issues with the RCMP and we hope that Sam Steele the man will be the thing that’s celebrated from here on out.”

Today Cpl. Caroline Duval from RCMP media relations in Ottawa provided a statement confirming that Steele is in fact wearing a military uniform depicted on the window.

“The RCMP stands corrected on the statement that Sam Steele is wearing the uniform of the North West Mounted Police in the image used by the cannabis store. We had further discussions with our historian, who informed and corrected us on:

Superintendent Samuel Benfield Steele, Reg. No. 1 (O.40) was struck off the strength of the North-West Mounted Police on January 3, 1903.

The photograph of Sam Steele, from which the disputed image is derived, is from the portrait published in the frontispiece of Sam Steele’s autobiography “Forty Years in Canada” written in 1914 but due the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, was not published until 1915.”

The RCMP statement explains that in 1914, Colonel Steele was the Officer in Command of Military District 10 in Winnipeg, MB. In the photo Weaver picked for his store Steele is wearing the uniform of a full Colonel in the Canadian Militia.

In the statement Duval said that the RCMP wishes to remind the public that “notwithstanding the correction and honest mistake, the name and image of the RCMP are protected under the intellectual property laws of Canada and requires prior authorization before any business or enterprise can use it.

Meaning that if Steele was depicted in RCMP regalia in the photo, Weaver would have had to officially request permission to use it, and had the request been denied, he would have had to remove it.



paul.rodgers@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Conductor Willi Zwozdesky and pianist Nico Rhodes led 66 local vocalists in song for the Nanaimo Sings video project Keeping Calm and Singing On. (YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo Sings virtual performance features 66 vocalists

Fifth Nanaimo Sings festival was to have taken place this year

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Playwrights Scott Rivers (left) and Ray Appel (right) play contestants on a Gabriola Island-themed quiz show hosted by Lesley Hazeldine (centre) in ‘Gabriola Squares.’ (Video still courtesy Ray Appel)
Gabriola Players theatre group presents virtual one-act play festival

Three local productions will be debuted during online event starting this week

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
UPDATE: Queen presents Nanaimo doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup

Nanaimo Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor gets into position as Alberni Valley Bulldogs player Ethan Bono takes a shot on net during a game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on April 28. (Elena Rardon/Black Press)
Nanaimo Clippers’ passion for the game carries them through pandemic season

Coach looks back on season following third-place finish in the BCHL’s Island pod

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
UPDATE: Queen presents Nanaimo doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

A driver was taken to hospital after crashing a pickup truck into a tree on Rutherford Road near Bradbury Road on Friday, May 14. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Driver taken to hospital after crashing truck into tree on Rutherford hill in Nanaimo

RCMP investigating incident at Rutherford and Bradbury roads on Friday, May 14

Tamara Cameron, Uplands Park Elementary School music teacher and librarian, students Ben Leduc, second from left, Avery Kojima and Kinley Robson, as well as other music students from the school, will benefit from $8,000 from MusiCounts, for instruments and recording equipment. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Money for new instruments music to ears of Uplands Park school staff and students

Grant from music education charity MusiCounts means students will have more ways to be creative

Sarah Boileau in her home studio on Monday, May 10. Boileau’s work will be on display at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville through May 30. (Submitted photo)
RCMP arrested a man in north Nanaimo who wound up empty-handed after allegedly failing at shoplifting, bank robbery and robbery at ATM machine. (File photo)
Man arrested in Nanaimo after failed attempts at bank robbery, ATM mugging, shoplifting

RCMP arrest suspect in office-supply store after ‘short-lived crime spree’

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Most Read