Jaak Joala Viljandi statue talks founder after singer's name trademarked

Jaak Joala's monument was covered.
Jaak Joala's monument was covered. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

Lawyers for the family of late singer Jaak Joala say they are halting the negotiations with non-profit company Meie Viljandi and its representative Harri Juhani Aaltonen over a controversial monument in the singer's hometown of Viljandi, which they say should be removed, following revelations that the singer's name had been registered as a trademark during the course of work on the monument.

Attorneys Erki Vabamets and Maarja Pild explained that they were informed during the negotiations that Harri Juhani Aaltonen, head of the non-profit, had applied to register the "Jaak Joala" trademark commercially.

A meeting on February 2 looked at possibilities of making the monument as similar to its initial plan as possible, which Maire Joala, Joala's widow, approved.

"Aaltonen didn't mention applying for patenting the Jaak Joala wordmark and because of that, he has presented himself as a dishonest person," Erki Vabamets said.

A native of Viljandi, Jaak Joala, born 1950, played flute and also bass guitar in addition to singing; he was a member of two bands, "Kristallid" ("The Crystals") from the mid-1960s and then "Virmalised" ("Northern Lights") from the late 1960s and through the 1970s. He regularly performed in Russia and in the Russian language. After restoration of independence, he appeared on stage frequently with Estonia's other two biggest male singing stars, Tõnis Mägi and Ivo Linna, taking a more behind-the-scenes role in his final years, when he also suffered bouts of illness. He died on September 25 2014, in Tallinn.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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