An Israeli court has ruled that an Israeli phone company should compensate Dana International for using her image from the victory reprise at the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest.
When Dana International won for Israel in the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest, she rushed to her wardrobe in order to switch the dress she was wearing, from the plain silver dress, to the famous feathered dress which had designed especially for the occasion by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Since then, her victory has become synonymous with the dress.
Israeli phone operator, Bezeq, was engaged in negotiations with Dana two years ago, in order to launch a promotion campaign with her. When these negotiations reached a dead end, Bezeq still launched the campaign, using a doll in shape of a feamle cat in a feathered dress (like the mythical one) and an imitator singing one of Dana's songs, rephrased, with the 1999 Eurovision set at the background, all this without the cooperation of Dana International herself.
Bezeq was then sued by the artist's lawyers, and last week an Israeli court ruled in favour of Dana International. Bezeq was forced to compensate the singer and to apologise for abusing her “commercial rights”. This became a precedent in Israel, when the court confirms the commercial rights of a public figure, over his/her act. Thus, the court approved the feathered dress and Eurovision, as Dana's trade mark, legally.