Lindt and Haribo bears must get along: court

A German court ruled on Wednesday that German Haribo gummy bears had no grounds to complain about copyright infringement by their Swiss chocolatey cousins from Lindt.

Lindt and Haribo bears must get along: court
Lindt bear is looking very pleased with himself. Photo: DPA

As everyone knows, the Haribo bear has since the 1960s enjoyed a status as the only bear native to western Europe. However often young children greedily ate him whole, he seemed to come back in ever greater numbers.

While he is native to the German city of Bonn, he has since spread successfully throughout the continent.

But this position was endangered in 2011 when the Swiss Lindt bear came along – he was the same shape as the Haribo bear, prowled the same territories (the sweets section of supermarkets) and even wore the same fetching ribbon around his neck.

The main difference was that, while Haribo bear is made of gelatine, Lindt bear is made of chocolate.

Haribo bear was far from happy. He growled and roared – and then took Lindt bear to court for infringing on his copyright.

But on Wednesday, the federal court in Karlsruhe ruled that his copyright had not been infringed. Lindt bear had every right to wear the same bow as Haribo bear if he so chose.

Haribo bear let it be know to The Local through a spokesperson that he will wait for all the details of the ruling to be made available to him before he decides on a next step.

Initial indications suggest though that he will not budge, and will continue to wear his ribbon just as he always has.

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Denmark proposes new law to make Facebook pay for news and music

The government is to forward a bill on Friday proposing tech giants such as Facebook and Google pay Danish media for using content on their platforms.

Denmark proposes new law to make Facebook pay for news and music
File photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The proposal will also mean platforms used to share media, such as YouTube, will be required to make agreements with rights holders in order to display videos or music, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

A comparable law recently took effect in Australia, resulting in all news pages being temporarily blocked for Facebook users in the southern hemisphere country.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark force Facebook to pay for news content?

“The media plays a central role in our democracy and ensures that public debate takes place on an infrormed basis,”culture minister Joy Mogensen said in the statement.

“If the media are to be able to continue making journalism, they should of course be paid for its use,” she added.

The proposal will provide for rights holders such as musicians or media outlets to be given a new publishing right which will enable them to decide who can use their content.

As such, companies like Facebook and Google will need permission to use the content online.

The Danish proposal builds on an EU directive which gives individual media outlets the right to agree deals with tech giants.

The bill put forward by Mogensen will allow Danish media to make a collective agreement with the tech companies providing for payment when their content is used.

An interest organisation for Danish media companies has backed the proposal.

“We have wanted to be able to enter collective agreements with tech giants because that would strengthen the media companies’ position,” Louise Brincker, CEO of Danske Medier, told newspaper Berlingske. Brincker noted she had not yet read the full proposal.

Media will not be obliged to make agreements with the tech companies, however. Complaints to the Danish copyright board, Ophavsretslicensnævnet, will be possible under the new law, should it be passed by parliament.

The bill will become law on June 7th should it receive the backing of a parliamentary majority.

Both Facebook and Google decline to comment to Berlingske on the matter, stating they had yet to see the bill in full.