Basically, DGG had the legal right to use the Nipper logo until the end of World War II in 1945. That was part of the agreement between Britain's Gramophone Company (HMV) and Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft (DGG), finalized around 1925. DGG ("German Gramophone Company") had been the German branch of the Gramophone Company until World War I, during which the relationship was dissolved due to the war. There are more details on-line.The dispute was not resolved until about 1925. In 1926 HMV (British) established its new German branch, which was named Electrola. But DGG retained rights to the Nipper logo until 1945, and before then Electrola never used it. I own numerous DGG 78s with Nipper labels of various types, too. And as I understand it, the 1920s Polydor label was put on records intended for export beyond Germany. The same records intended for the domestic German market had handsome labels featuring the Nipper painting (e.g. Oskar Fried's Bruckner 7th). The "Opera Disc" records circulated in the USA during the early 1920s were another example. They were lovely German pressings from HMV masters (Caruso, Kreisler, etc.) held in Germany after 1914, but with "Opera Disc" labels pressed upon the HMV-owned discs. It was all intended to avert the legal trouble between HMV and DGG. It didn't work. If I recall correctly, Victor sued. Perhaps HMV too. Exit Opera Disc records.
I hope all of this is accurate. In any case, I believe that the business about DGG's ownership of the Nipper symbol until 1945 is.
From: Roger Kulp <[log in to unmask]>
To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 11:27 am
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Interesting history of DGG-Polydor-Polygram-Berliner Studios-SACD-etc
I understand a little more about the DGG 78 timeline I was so fuzzy on,but it
still does not really explain to my satisfaction about DGG's use of Nipper on
the labels until the end of the war.DGG 78 pressings in the war years,and
immediately afterwards are on a mish mash of labels.My copy of the 1938 von
Karajan Zauberflote is on a Siemens label.I found it on YouTube on a Polydor
pressing. I have later tulip pressing 78s of Furtwangler that were first cut in
the early 30s.I have blue Nipper DGG 78s dated 1944.It seems they may have just
been using whatever labels they had on hand for their 78s at the time given the
chaos that was going on there during this time,it would make perfect sense.
From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 9:05 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Interesting history of DGG-Polydor-Polygram-Berliner
I'm not vouching for 100% accuracy, but Peter Burkowitz is not ill-informed or
ignorant, so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.
Another interesting written piece by Berkowitz is his 1977 AES Journal article,
"Recording, Art of the Century?"
In the timeline linked at the top, interesting vector of how the classical music
business went off the rails in the 1995-2005 period. First they glutted the
market with product, then started nickel and diming all the most-qualified
people to death, then the megaglomeration and resultant consultants (ie "fire
anyone who costs anything, in other words anyone with experience or historical
knowledge" and "why do you have all those slow-selling old CDs in print? cut
them out" -- which shows a complete ignorance of the lucrative "long tail"
aspect of a classical catalog), then the outsourcing (what is now called Decca
Classics no longer oversees its own archives, no longer owns mastering
facilities and no longer owns manufacturing plants, so it's more a production
company than any traditional notion of a record company). Sony has followed very
much the same route, but I think they own at least some of their manufacturing
still, and they do have remastering
operations, small-scale compared to the 90's, in NYC and Japan. EMI has had a
similar but somewhat less drastic trajectory (we'll see if Abbey Road and
Capitol Studios end up staying under the UMG umbrella). The result is much less
new product, but a last-ditch bonanza for collectors of back-catalog (all of
those wonderful $2-or-less-per-CD box sets of recent years).
-- Tom Fine