Gold stones: advertising stunt, art or religion?
It rains gold stones and that is exercising minds in the region: large gold stones of about 500 kg or more, bearing inscriptions such as LEK II, VER IV and KER III, DER, VII, a question mark and the word IMAGINE, have been deposited in Tilburg, Eindhoven and Vught. The earlier stones combined to form the text: LEK-KER-VER-DER.
Expression of art? Advertising stunt? Religious aspect? Aliens? Or a more earthly religion: a reference to football club Willem II?
Some letters have been delivered but these do not throw much light on the mysterious stones (see website of the Brabants Dagblad). All sorts of possibilities are suggested in the streets, in the pub and on the site of the Brabants Dagblad. The aliens have been ruled out by now, as the stones are distributed by an earthly lorry of a landscaping firm on behalf of an anonymous client. However, it remains ‘the talk of the town’. There is still widespread appreciation for the action: the competent authorities can also appreciate the humour of it.
The association of owner-occupiers of a block of flats in Eindhoven, where a stone has been placed in front of the door, believes that it may sell this stone through the site marktplaats.nl, even though the association does not own the stone at all. The mere size of the object does not mean that you are the owner. As a result, you are not entitled to sell it nor can you purchase it in good faith…
But suppose someone makes a fake stone and puts it somewhere? Or suppose Albert Heijn distributes small gold stones as an advertising campaign, with the same inscriptions? Perhaps, these would be fun in combination with smurfs, but is this permitted or not? In other words: does this constitute copyright infringement? Why not? Why would not copyright apply to these gold stones with inscriptions? This collection would not even be out of place in the Pont museum in Tilburg of the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven.
Advertisement by VVV Tilburg
The VVV Tilburg has decided to ignore this. It uses one of the stones in an advertisement in the free newspaper called Metro: ‘Tilburg KEIgaaf’, accompanied by a picture of one of the stones. Of course, this is done without the consent of the person who deposited the stones, because his identity is still unknown. Compensation for unauthorised use and a claim for prohibition (for example, in preliminary relief proceedings) is imminent.
How to proceed?
We, too, still appreciate the humour of it. Compliments for the advertising agency or the artist. Just like you, we are very curious to know how the mystery ends. But, as often, the dénouement of a good film may be a little disappointing.
We invite the anonymous person who deposited the stones for a cup of coffee. He may be able to earn back the costs of the action. Not unimportantly: secrecy is guaranteed on the basis of our professional rules.
For more details, see gold stone file of the Brabants Dagblad and also an article in De Telegraaf.
publicatiedatum: Saturday, April 12, 2008