Gnome revolutionary wins case against Wroclaw
PR dla Zagranicy
The leader of a fabled anti-communist protest movement has won a case against the city of Wroclaw after it used the group's gnome symbol for promotional purposes without permission.
Waldemar Fydrych in Wroclaw. Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczynski
The city has been banned from using the symbol as any further part of its promotional activities, and it must apologise to 61-year-old 'Major' Waldemar Fydrych, founder of the so-called Orange Alternative.
Fydrych, who had been fighting the case since 2011, has expressed his satisfaction at the verdict.
“This case drew a lot of attention, because the town hall is after all an institution of public trust,” he said.
“I hope that there will now be a change in the way people think about copyright law, and how it should be respected.”
The city had frequently used the orange gnome symbol in its promotional activities, with the figure emblazoned on T-shirts and mugs, among other itenms. A gnome was also used in the promotional film for the city's successful campaign to be 2016 European City of Culture.
The Orange Alternative was launched in Wroclaw in 1980, but it was only after the Solidarity Movement was banned that the former really came into its own, spreading to other cities as well.
Shunning more traditional forms of protest, art historian Fydrych staged vast 1960s-style situationist happenings with protesters dressed as orange gnomes. His 'Revolution of Gnomes' undermined the regime through humour and the absurd. In one famous instance, his gnomes handed out stacks of lavatory paper at a time when sheets were as rare as gold dust. Symbols of gnomes were daubed across the Wroclaw, and some original examples have been preserved until today. (nh)