NewsBad cards for Tina Turner in the dispute over...

Bad cards for Tina Turner in the dispute over the double

In 1986 Tina Turner recorded the hit “What you get is what you see”. 35 years later, the BGH is basically dealing with the question of whether it is really clear to everyone that they only get what they see.

Karlsruhe – There’s music in there: Does the fake Tina Turner look too similar to the original and are fans being misled with advertising posters for a so-called tribute show?

It shows Turner lookalike Dorothea “Coco” Fletcher and the title “Simply The Best – The Tina Turner Story”. But the original Turner (81) has nothing to do with the production and takes action against the use of her name and her “portrait” – up to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). She says that because of the resemblance between Fletcher and her, viewers assumed she was portrayed on the posters. Turner has sued the tour operator from Passau for omission.

After the trial in Karlsruhe on Thursday, Turner shouldn’t have too high hopes. After a victory at the Cologne Regional Court, the Cologne Higher Regional Court had already conceded the judgment and gave artistic freedom more weight than the right to one’s own image and name. The chairman of the BGH judge Thomas Koch said that in an initial assessment the Senate tended to “consider this judgment to be correct”. The BGH will not announce its decision until February 24, 2022.

“Ms. Turner displeases the whole thing that she would like to be master of her right to self-determination,” explained lawyer Kerstin Schmitt. “She would like to decide for herself if her name and portrait are used for advertising purposes.” The point is to make it clear on posters “that this is a doppelganger show and that Ms. Turner herself has nothing to do with this show “.

Lawyer Brunhilde Ackermann, who represents the defendant organizer Cofo Entertainment, however, pointed out that the event was legal. “If the show as such falls under artistic freedom, then it has to be promoted accordingly. And through the main actress, who also appears on the show. ”It could not be that a blonde, for example, can be seen on the posters for the“ Turner story ”. The yardstick here is an “average informed, attentive and discreet person” and not one “who is chronically stupid and looks at everything superficially”.

Ackermann even opened a larger barrel: “The problem is: If that were to be banned here, then that would possibly be the end of a business model that is recognized and permissible, namely the tribute shows.” Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Cofo Entertainment has a musical about the mushrooms from Liverpool in its program as well as about singer Falco. Like “The Abba Story”, they are advertised with doppelgangers who represent the originals as authentically as possible and look as similar to them as possible, explained Managing Director Oliver Forster.

The BGH must now decide whether the public will be deceived by the posters. After all, Turner officially withdrew more than ten years ago and has not announced a comeback since, which die-hard fans know, said Richter Koch. There is also the question of whether Turner’s rights are being violated.

However, during the negotiation he also got the impression that there was another aspect behind the dispute, said Koch: In 2019, “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” celebrated its German premiere on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn. It was developed by Stage Entertainment – in contrast to the “Tina Turner Story” in close cooperation with the music legend himself. The Operettenhaus has had the show back in its program since October – so direct competition.

Personal rights of celebrities are always a matter for the judiciary. The highest civil court in Germany – the BGH – has already dealt with it. For example, in 1999 the judges affirmed for the first time in a landmark judgment on the marketing of the image of actress Marlene Dietrich for advertising purposes that heirs of deceased stars can raise financial claims for their commercial exploitation. In this case, the daughter was right and was allowed to demand compensation for the unauthorized use of the name and picture of her mother, who died in 1992.

German courts have even dealt with tribute shows. For example, the Mannheim Regional Court ruled in 2009 that such a statement about Michael Jackson neither violated the King of Pop’s post-mortem personal rights nor his right to his own image.

For the organizers of the “Tina Turner Story”, the process is a bit tiresome through all instances, as Forster admitted. Especially since probably nothing will change – no matter what the verdict is. Because since the decision of the Cologne Regional Court, the posters for the show and the website have been supplemented with the words “Starring Dorothea Fletcher as Tina Turner”. On the other hand, so much attention is of course equally free advertising – after all, 57 venues are already planned for the coming year. dpa

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