€15,000 dispute for Belgian brewery over police caricature

€15,000 dispute for Belgian brewery over police caricature
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A Belgian policeman has taken legal action against a local brewery as he believes they used his image on a beer label without his permission.

Inspector Bertrand Caroy, head of the traffic department of the Boraine police zone, is accusing “Brasserie du Borinage” in Boussu of having used his image without his knowledge on the label of one of its beers.

Caroy is a relatively well-known figure in the local area following his appearances on local investigations television programmes, Belga News Agency reports. On the label, a 4 square millimetres caricature of the policeman can be seen marshalling traffic at a round-about, the whole image rendered in a wild-west style.

In a statement issued on Monday, the brewery emphasized that “the officer’s name is not mentioned anywhere,” on the beers, which sold out within 48 hours.

According to the company’s management, the brewery was initially asked to pay €50,000 to compensate Caroy. Now the sum demanded is set at €15,000.

“This is an astronomical sum for a cooperative like us, we simply couldn’t pay it. We have proposed making a compensatory donation to the Walloon Road Safety Agency but this was turned down. Only a financial payment seems acceptable to Inspector Caroy,” the brewery added.

The case is expected to go to court in mid-November. The beer in question is no longer sold, and the brewery has removed the label from its website and social media.

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