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Carlsberg Brewery in Myanmar Drops “Tu Po” Label amid Copyright Dispute

Carlsberg Brewery Company has decided to ditch its Burmese “Tu Po” beer label on its Tuborg beer, after the family of a local song composer threatened the Danish brewing company with a lawsuit, the Irrawaddy newspaper reports Friday.

The relatives of the song’s composer Sayar Myoma Nyein, from Mandalay, said Carlsberg did not request their permission to use the famous song title, played during the annual Thingyan, Myanmar’s largest cultural festival held every April to usher in the New Year. “In light of the claims of the relatives of the late Sayar Myoma Nyein and the general debate around the use of ‘Tu Po’ in the marketing of Tuborg Beer, we will discontinue the use of this spelling,” Carlsberg announced in a statement, according to the Myanmar Times.

Nevertheless Myoma Nyein’s family said they may still press charges against Carlsberg amid ongoing negotiations with the brewery since January.

“The legal action is not to receive compensation. We just want the world to know that Carlsberg, a global company, is taking advantage of the weak rule of law in our country, disrespecting our copyrights and acting very unprofessionally,” said Zaw Myo Oo, the grandson of the late composer.

The Danish beer conglomerate set up its first factory on Myanmar soil less than one year ago, in May 2015, after signing a partnership deal with Myanmar Golden Star Breweries in two years earlier.

Tuborg is one of three brands launched in Myanmar, alongside the new brand Yoma, made with fermented rice from the southern central Bago region.

11 Mar. 2016

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