“Young Tak demanded 15 billion won in model fees”… makgeolli company representative ‘prison sentence’

[OSEN=Reporter Park Joon-hyung] Singer Young Tak is posing. 2023.12.30 / soul1014@osen.co.kr
[OSEN=Reporter Park Joon-hyung] Singer Young Tak is posing. 2023.12.30 / soul1014@osen.co.kr

[OSEN=Reporter Yoo Soo-yeon] The representative of a makgeolli manufacturer who had a trademark dispute with trot singer Young Tak was sentenced to prison on charges of publishing false information, including that “Young Tak demanded 15 billion won in model fees.”

On the 17th, Judge Kim Seon-sook of the 8th Criminal Division of the Seoul Eastern District Court sentenced Mr. Baek, CEO of Yecheon Brewing, a makgeolli manufacturer, to six months in prison and one year of probation, who was indicted on charges of violating the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection (defamation). She sentenced the same sentence to Mr. Cho, the Seoul branch manager of Yecheon Brewing, who was also indicted on charges of defamation and intimidation.

Previously, Young Tak signed a one-year advertising model contract for ‘Young Tak Makgeolli’ with Yecheon Brewing in April 2020. A month later, ‘Young Tak Makgeolli’ was launched, but in July of the same year, the Korean Intellectual Property Office ruled that “‘Young Tak’ cannot be registered as a trademark because it is the same as the celebrity’s stage name.”A notice of contents and a decision to refuse registration of the applied trademark were received.

Accordingly, Yecheon Brewing discussed trademark application permission and profit sharing with Youngtak ahead of the expiration of the contract period in March of the following year, but the contract renewal negotiations broke down and the advertising model contract ended in June of last year.

Afterwards, Mr. Baek said in a statement in July of the same year that he would continue to use the trademark, claiming that “negotiations broke down because Young Tak requested an amount of 15 billion won over three years.”In addition, Young Tak’s mother said, “If you don’t wrap the pig’s head in newspaper and bury it, the company will go out of business,”so he paid the cost of the exorcism, including performing a farewell ceremony. After the failure of the contract with Young Tak and the conflict became known, fans organized an organized boycott and some dealers sold out. It was also claimed that the business closed and sales decreased. Prior to this, Mr. Cho was found to have said to Young Tak over the phone, “Do you mind if the breakdown of negotiations is revealed to the media and your image is tarnished?”

In the end, Young Tak’s side claimed that Yecheon Brewing’s claims were false and sued CEO Baek and others for defamation in August of the same year, and the prosecution sent them to trial after requesting a supplementary investigation from the police.

The court judged the claim that “negotiations broke down because Young Tak demanded excessive advertising model fees, such as 5 billion won per year,” as false. In addition, even though CEO Baek knew that Young Tak had discussed approving ‘use’ of the trademark rather than approving ‘registration’ of the trademark, it was judged that they had conducted a false interview as if they had interfered with the company’s trademark registration. In addition, it was determined that Young Tak’s mother never forced the ‘pig-head killing’ and that there was no organized boycott by fans.

Regarding the reason for the sentencing, the court said, “Mr. Baek and others defamed and threatened Young Tak’s mother by cleverly mixing facts from trademark negotiations or meetings with false facts and publicizing it to the media and the public as if there had been abuse of power.””As a result of this incident, I suffered significant mental suffering, including criticism from the public,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Young Tak was dismissed or not guilty in all cases in which Yecheon Brewing sued him on charges of false accusation, obstruction of business, and defamation. In addition, Youngtak’s side received a partial ruling in favor of some of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against Yecheon Brewing demanding a ban on the use of the Youngtak Makgeolli trademark in July of last year, but Yecheon Brewing has filed an appeal, saying it cannot accept the ruling.


[Photo] OSEN DB

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