Bolek and Lolek lawsuit

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Seat of studio

The copyright holders of Polish cartoon Bolek and Lolek filed a lawsuit in 2006 to examine a case of the illegal use of the images of Bolek and Lolek by German homosexuals who wanted to encourage German homosexual minorities to participate in the Warsaw Pride Parade.

The copyright holders, Alfred Ledwig, Władysław Nehrebecki, and Leszek Lorek, felt indignant with what they alleged to be an illegal use of the images of Bolek and Lolek on the cover of German magazine Siegessäule without their permission. The characters had been changed, and Bolek was transformed into a woman. The owners took particular offense to the suggestion of Bolek and Lolek's apparent homosexuality in the image. During one of the interviews, Roman Nehrebecki commented, "The most important thing for me is that children were used for the purposes they should not be used for, for promoting ideas and organizations."[citation needed] The residents of Bielsko-Biała, the city where Bolek and Lolek were created, also signed petitions against the improper use of the image of the characters.

Judicial Proceedings[edit]

The lawsuit lasted two years and took place in Berlin. The main line of defense of the magazine's owners was the fact that in 2005 the president of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński, forbade the organization the Pride Parade, manifesting inclination toward uneven treatment of minorities. However, this argument was deemed insignificant by the court, since the subject of the dispute was violation of copyright on the image of Bolek and Lolek and not on the alleged unfair treatment of homosexual minorities. Despite the fact that the lawsuit was prolonged due to the complex German judicial proceedings, it was closed with an agreement. German magazine Siegesäule was obliged to pay the copyright owners 4,000 euro in compensation, as well as to publish an official apology in their pages.