Copy cat

Book>> Copyright • Scotland

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The book The Tobermory Cat was published last monthOnce upon a time a ginger tom cat lived in Tobermory on the Scottish isle of Mull. The tourists loved him; a local artist even set up a Facebook page collecting photos of him lounging on walls. A Scottish publisher decided to commission a children’s book about the Tobermory Cat, and asked an author to write it.

But that is not the end of the story. The artist, Angus Stewart, is crying foul. He claims it was his Facebook page that made the Tobermory Cat famous, and that by writing a book on the cat, the publisher is taking his idea. He has slapped a copyright suit which has divided Tobermory residents.

The publisher, Birlinn, says the cat has been known to residents and tourists for years. A local bookseller says he has taken pictures of the cat lying on the beach with a crowd watching it before Stewart’s Facebook page started. But people claiming to be Tobermory residents have posted hate messages on the book’s page on Amazon.com.

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