German court rules against Tina Turner in tribute act poster row

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German court rules against Tina Turner in tribute act poster row

US singer Tina Turner lost her legal battle in Germany on Thursday to prevent the use of a poster bearing her name to advertise a tribute act, reported dpa.

The German Federal Court endorsed an earlier ruling by a higher regional court in Cologne that artistic freedom outweighs the right to a name and image.

Turner, 82, had brought the action against Bavarian-based promoter Cofo Entertainment over a show entitled "Simply the Best – the Tina Turner Story" in which Dorothea "Coco" Fletcher, a Turner double, performs the US star's hits.

Turner's lawyers argued that Fletcher's appearance was similar to that of Turner and that the image, along with the name, could lead to the impression that Turner herself was on stage or at least backed the show.

In the 2020 ruling, a district court in Cologne accepted Turner's arguments, but the ruling was thrown out by the city's higher court. The case was then referred to the Federal Court in Karlsruhe.

"What displeases Ms Turner in the whole business is that she would like to be in charge of the rights to her person," Turner's lawyer, Kerstin Schmitt, said at the time. "She would like to decide when her name and image are used for commercial purposes."

The point at issue was that the show was a tribute and that Turner had nothing to do with it, Schmitt said.

Cofo Entertainment lawyer Brunhilde Ackermann had said: "If a show falls under artistic freedom, it must be promoted correspondingly, and in fact by the main actress who appears in the show."

The court should apply the standard of a reasonably well-informed person and not one who is "chronically stupid and sees everything superficially," Ackermann said at the time.


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