The organizer can be happy: Tina Turner loses in court

Organizers can be happy
Tina Turner loses in court

Since 2020, Tina Turner has been arguing in court with the organizer of a Tina Turner tribute show over a poster. After she is initially right, the verdict is reversed shortly thereafter. It is now clear that the event may advertise with the disputed image.

Singer Tina Turner has lost a legal battle with the organizer of a tribute show about a double. In this case, artistic freedom outweighs personality rights, the first civil senate of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled.

Dorothea “Coco” Fletcher with the disputed poster.

(Photo: picture alliance/dpa)

The case concerned the question of whether the double Dorothea “Coco” Fletcher looked too similar to the 82-year-old original and whether advertising posters with her photo and the title “Simply The Best – The Tina Turner Story” gave the impression that Superstar himself is on stage or supports the show. Turner had sued the organizer Cofo Entertainment from Passau for an injunction.

First judgment nothing final

At the beginning of 2020, Turner was right before the Cologne district court. However, the Cologne Higher Regional Court reversed the verdict in the same year. In its decision, it gave artistic freedom more weight than the right to one’s own image and name.

Lawyer Brunhilde Ackermann, who represented the defendant organizer, said during the trial: “If the show as such falls under artistic freedom, then it must also be advertised accordingly. And by the main actress, who also appears in the show.” It couldn’t be that a blonde could be seen on the posters for the “Turner Story”. The benchmark is an “average informed, attentive and understanding person” and no one “who is chronically stupid and looks at everything superficially”.

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

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