German chancellor demands take-down of satirical website
A German comedian was ordered to take down his parody website about the
German Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler). The comedian, Joseph Pohl,
operated the website for almost 5 years. Two weeks ago, he received an
email from the Chancellors press office, accusing him of infringing on
their trademark. Even though the site is as clear a parody as parodies
come, with pictures of the comedian on his travels and software solutions
for job unemployment, the Chancellors entourage is definitely not amused.
They warn Pohl in this email not to undermine the dignity of the office
with cheap sarcasm.
Pohls email with a request for mercy was answered by a fax threatening him
with a court case. “The legal grounds are quite clear”, according to this
fax, since the Press Office also won an earlier court case, 3 years ago,
about the domain name deutschland.de.
German press agency article about the case (16.06.2003)