Jolly Fisherman copyright row

HONOUR and decency is all that prevents Skegness’s iconic mascot The Jolly Fisherman from being used inappropriately and without permission, the town’s Mayor Coun Steve Kirk has admitted.

Following UKIP’s controversial use of the image in promotional posters and leaflets distributed at its Skegness Spring Conference, Coun Kirk was asked what could be done to prevent a repeat.

Speaking in the public session of the council’s latest meeting on Wednesday, concerned resident Ben Peel asked: “Would the council condemn themselves and UKIP for its use of the Jolly Fisherman in their promotional literature and what be done to stop that from happening again?”

Coun Kirk explained that although Skegness Town Council owns the copyright for The Jolly Fisherman’s 1908 image, the image UKIP used was from a later date, for which the copyright belongs to East Lindsey District Council.

Although Coun Kirk said that Jolly ‘should be used as an advertisement for the town and not for any political affiliation’ he felt that it would be difficult to enforce any unauthorised use.

He said: “We would hope that common courtesy and good manners would prevent it from being used without permission but to pursue everyone that uses it is not practical. It’s down to honour and decency - enforcement is not affordable and would not be a cost the taxpayer would approve of.”

UKIP claimed to have received permission to use the image from town centre manager Stefan Krause - a claim he denied at the meeting.

He said: “I’ve no authority to give permission to use the Jolly Fisherman - what I did was point the event organisers towards the responsible authorities - I did not give any permission.”