Saturday, April 04, 2009

Stadtplandienst vs Anna Krenz

In February I was in Rotterdam, on a journalist trip - we have visited Design and Art Fair, we have been to Rem Koolhaas' office and some young dutch designers' studios. Once we went to see an exhibition in the office of a collectors' family (I don't really remember their name). We have been treated with coffee and sweets and a young woman, the daughter of the rich businessman and his wife, an art collector, was telling us, that she continues the family tradition and buys art works. she said she was really happy and proud to buy works from young (and older) dutch (and international) artists thus support them.

Oh, lovely chocolates...

Oh, coffee... (at the collectors' office)
I was in a way astonished that there was this rich girl who was actually happy to support artists! But that was in Holland. The Dutch are different. And What do we, the artists in Berlin, get from german (or polish) businessmen? Are they also happy to be able to support young artists? No? I tell you what they do.
In January I have received a letter, from lawyers of the company which runs a website "stadplandienst". It is a website with maps of Germany. In this letter was an invoice - I was supposed to pay 2200 euro for using a piece of map (from stadtplandienst) on our gallery website. Yes, I have put a screenshot (about 500x500pixels) with a map and our gallery marked on it. I am almost sure nobody was really using it, but still - seems it costs 2200 euro.

(of course this is not a real map, I am paranoid, even if one takes a photo of a map - not a screenshot and publish it on a website - one may get an invoice...)

Not to mention I have lost my job, being realistic about art market in Berlin, and global crisis - this money was just what I needed to spend. So I have got myself a lawyer, yes, yes, I have had a lawyer of my own! Talking to him and arranging everything in my poor german, whatever. I have learned some german law vocabulary - at least something positive. After weeks of arrangements, letters and statements (like I had to proove I am a poor polish immigrant, an artist - which was not that difficult - it's true anyway) my (own private) wonderful lawyer has made an agreement and the stadtplandienst lawyers lowered the amount of my fee. In the end I didn't pay 2200 euro, I have paid less, I guess I cannot tell you how much, still - it was all together way TOO MUCH.

So this year started not-so-lucky-as-I-thought. I have learned few things by the way and I have told myself to never ever use stadtplandienst anymore, which is a shame, I was really using it to find adresses, and I think the website is a good one - but now I have to use Google maps.
And I just hope I will not be sued for this post...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just gotten a letter from them myself I could do with talking to you about this email me at

5:14 pm  

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