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FPÖ in hot water over election posters

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Manfred Haimbuchner. Photo: APA
10:22 CEST+02:00
Austrian singer and entertainer Rainhard Fendrich has threatened to sue Upper Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) for ripping off the lyrics from his popular I Am From Austria song.

The FPÖ has used a dialect slogan for its election posters for Upper Austrian candidate Manfred Haimbuchner: “Do kum i her, do g’hear i hin!” which translates as “that´s where I’m from, that´s where I belong” - a very similar phrase to the one used in Fendrich’s song, often referred to as Austria's "unofficial anthem". 

Harald Karl, a copyright specialist who has represented Fendrich for years, sent a letter to Upper Austria’s FPÖ on Thursday.  

"We’re demanding that the FPÖ stop using this slogan," he told the Österreich newspaper.

Fendrich has given Upper Austria’s FPÖ until the end of next week to remove the posters or cover up the slogan. If the FPÖ refuses to comply he may take further legal action.

Upper Austria's FPÖ told the Austrian Press Agency that in its opinion, its text is not identical - and clearly refers to Upper Austria, rather than Austria. It has removed the poster from its website. 
A lawsuit from the popular singer could seriously damage the FPÖ’s local election campaign.

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