Carlsberg in Myanmar may face lawsuit

World famous Danish Brewery Company, Carlsberg, has gotten in trouble over copyright dispute. When launching Tuborg Beer, their third product to the Myanmar market, they decorated the label with a Burmese phrase saying “To Po”. This refers to a famous Burmese song title played during the annual water festival Thingyan, Myanmar’s largest cultural festival also known as Burmese New Year.

Carlsberg didn’t request permission for the relatives of the song’s composer Sayar Myoma Nyein when using the phrase.

The family hosted a press conference 15th January earlier this year, where they demanded Carlsberg to remove the phrase within a week and moreover print apologies in the newspapers for three days, a pledge not tu use the phrase in the future and give up an exact date by which the phrase is removed from all shops.

This eventually ended with Carlsberg agreeing to ditch the phrase from label recently, but they didn’t follow the demands strictly and that’s why the brewery may face a lawsuit.

Zaw Myo Oo, a grandson of the composer Myoma Nyein, said following at a press conference last week: “The company did not apologize in newspapers. It did not withdraw the products which had been distributed already or say when the phrase ‘tu po’ would be totally removed. It just said it would be removed but took no further action for us. We are going to make a legal claim. We want the world to know that a company like Carlsberg uses the art of Myanmar, which has a weak legal system, without accountability.”

The company released a statement on March 3, saying that the logo had already been replaced with English script.

It also expressed its disappointment that the family still felt “it necessary to pursue legal action”. Apologising to the artist’s fans and the public, it insisted that the use of the phrase was in good faith. It also expressed hope that the family would reconsider and choose to resolve the issue through a dialogue.

(Source: The Nation)

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