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The shade of Brecht returns to scare Berliners

A restaurant in Berlin has been named after the long dead old fraud (His 'worker' suits were hand cut and his haircut was specifically to emphasise his intellectual's brow), causing the ire of his daughter. Said daughter is intent on letting slip the dogs of law, but "The [restaurateur's] lawyer determined that German law allows a person's name to be used commercially 50 years after his or her death as long as it's not sullied".

Rather less loathsome than the family Picasso seemingly licensing its name to anyone who wants to use it. I am not up to speed with Becht's plays, so the best quip I can come up with is one of his: 'Grub first, then ethics'.

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Blogger Arthurian Legend said... 4:49 pm

As a Trade Mark Attorney I feel that I can comment knowledgeably on the licensing of the Picasso name.

The basic situation is this: if you don't register the name as a trade mark then someone will come along and simply attempt to use the name to their own profit anyway. You'd have a difficult time stopping them without a concrete IP right (though the position on 'unregistered' image rights varies considerably across Europe and the world), and I can hardly see that letting Citroen use it for gratis is much better. At least this way you get some cash.

However, you don't endear yourself when you try to stop DaimlerChrysler adopting the name PICARO on the grounds that the public are likely to be misled...

The text of the relevant ECJ Judgment in that case can be found here.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:10 pm

Indeed AL, indeed. I believe that there was quite the family spat over licensing the signature though.

Wonder if Bosch got the nod from Hieronymous's family?  

Blogger Arthurian Legend said... 5:14 pm

Ah, I feel that the "own name defence" would have been the card for the German manufacturers to have played there...  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:50 pm

Didn't Brecht write Mac The Knife? Didn't Lotte Lenya sing the original version? Grim. Bobby Darin's version is fun, though.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:18 pm

He was the lyricist for the German original, but we owe the English version to Marc Blitzstein. Rather astonishingly Lotte Lenya was in both the German and Broadway debuts. Lots more here.

There are so many versions of it available (600+) that the usually redoubtable allmusic.com times out on the click through.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:43 pm

You labelled this Germany, the Arts. Sometimes the last century seems beyond despair for what went on and what was lost, but one of the things never mentioned (or hardly) is the collapse of the extensive cultural, historical and friendship links between Germany and England.

The effects are enormous just in terms of lack of German speakers (think how many Engish people can speak decent French), and the loss of access to German literature, artistic development, mindset, and just the comfort of friends. To be in Germany is to feel very comfortable, at ease, much more so than in Italy or Greece, or even France. At the very least if English schools taught German they would have to teach some grammar, so useful in writing in English.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:02 pm

HG - True. My German is rather limited and my O level is rather older than I was when I sat it. Certainly prior to the Great War the cultural links between Germany and this country were stronger than with anywhere outside the Anglosphere.

Returning to the Eurostat release referenced in another post, just 13.9% of British secondary schools were learning German in 2004, whereas the equivalent figure for English in German schools was 94.2%. Only in Denmark and Luxemboug do a majority of pupils learn German, with a majority learning English in all of the EU countries.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 7:26 pm

Surely the second language of every non-native English speaker in the world is English?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 7:27 pm

Unlucky the land that has need of Intellectual Property Rights! For the life of Galileo, let's hope peace will break out soon in this row of the Brechts! I know Brecht junior must be feeling a little alienated by this attempt to cash in on her late pa's name, but, given that he was a property-is-theft merchant, it is a tad unseemly for her to claim his memory as her own 'property'. But, perhaps she feels that the resistable rise of cashing-in must be stemmed? If so, it has all the makings of a thrupenny opera! Perhaps she could arrange for an ensemble of superannuated lefties to form a chinese wall of a picket line in front of said restaurant _ armed with mahogany clubs perhaps? Best if they're not all caucasian tho, or she might get accused of racism _ but she could just chalk it up to experience! If she takes it to court and wins damages, I hope she doesn't piscator away _ she could always park the cash in dad's Swiss bank account instead.
(that's enough tiresome Brechtian references for one day, I think!)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:33 pm

Courage, I might mutter....  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 7:55 pm

Touche, Mr C!  

Blogger Newmania said... 8:40 pm

Brechts criticism of Proust is very famous , the difference between memory and recall, but I seem to reacll he went to Hollywood didn`t he , and worked with Charle Laughton.

He really wrote the great defence of the modern ie all that Shakespeare spoken naked hanging from scaffolding in a sandpit . In Gallileo the metaphor is the difference between looking and seeing.Which is related to the discovery of memory
He also wanted people to watch theatre not empathising but apart and knowing like a football crowd.

I like him  

Blogger The Hitch said... 9:47 pm

Fuck me Mania you are clever!

Verity, Brecht did not write the lyrics to "Mac the knife"
He did however write both the lyrics and score of "when Im cleaning windows" as performed By the late great George Formby, a fellow Lancastrian.
A little known fact is that he also wrote colonel Bogie and eked out his last years whistling it outside parisian pissoirs in return for small change.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:02 pm

The Hitch - That was laugh out loud funny.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:14 pm

I understand that Heather McCartney has added the Central American sisal industry to her portfolio with her latest album, "Hey, Jute".  

Blogger The Hitch said... 11:46 pm

I think you will find that the monopodal super model is intending to release "hey Judas" as a single.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:02 am

No, The Hitch, I think she's sticking with the mines. "Whet's yurs is mines!"

She may really be George Galloway hopping mad.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:01 am

HG, yes I always find Sir Wm Siemens born Kingston-upon-Thames to be an interesting symbol. You might reflect that the main locomotive builders of Manchester were German; and the huge influx of Germans fleeing Prussia's suppression of 1848.

Cities like Bradford were built up by Germans, largely Jewish merchants, who returned to fight for Germany in 1914. There was even a German Consulate in Bradford; a Schillerverein; and still a Deutsche-Evangelische Kirche sponsored in part by the Delius Family; father of Frederick; and related to the Delius family of Bielefeld q.v.

Since I am bi-cultural and speak fluent German I know Germany has more in common with Britain than the forced bonhomie with France; but that was Catholicism that built that bridge across the Saar.

The Germans however have too much State Idolatry and it is the educated that are fleeing and the subsidy-junkies that are staying. Any state that gets German emigrants is in good shape as Australia and Canada are discovering; but the German State makes life difficult for anyone who won't stay seated on the train especially if he leans out of the window to watch the buffers up ahead.

Ich schlage vor das Theaterstueck von Friedrich Duerrenmatt - Der Tunnel zu lesen  

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