Attention Hollywood: Polish folk art society defends its ‘Oskar' award

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WARSAW, Poland -- Few would confuse the glitz of the Academy Awards with a ceremony held by a folk arts society in Poland, but Hollywood doesn't want anyone else handing out Oscars.

So the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is demanding that Poland's Association of Folk Artists stop giving out what it calls the "People's Oskar."

Waldemar Majcher of the Association of Folk Artists said Monday the dispute is the result of a misunderstanding. But he also questioned Hollywood's demand.

Majcher said the "People's Oskar," was named after Oskar Kolberg, a 19th-century Polish ethnographer who wrote some 10,000 Polish folk songs. Still remembered and respected in Poland, Kolberg died in 1890.

Last week, Majcher said, he received a letter from Polish lawyers representing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences protesting the use of the name "Oscar" in its Polish spelling "Oskar."

The letter said the "verbal trademark Oscar ... is inseparably associated with the Academy Awards."

Majcher said a team of lawyers is preparing a response defending the use of the name People's Oskar.

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