Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Andriy Yushchenko now reminds me of Philip Boit, a trailblazer cross-country skier from a totally unlikely place - Kenya...

In a country notorious for intellectual property rights violations, the Ukrainian president's son seems to be making quite a living as the copyright owner of all the political brands used during the Orange Revolution - including the Tak! logo and the horseshoe.

Mykola Katerynchuk, formerly head of Yushchenko's campaign's legal department and now deputy head of the Ukrainian tax administration (with plans to resign, however), revealed Andriy Yushchenko's potential source of income during an online chat (in Russian) at Korrespondent.net; he then elaborated on the issue in an interview (in Russian) with Kommersant's Ukrainian edition.

Katerynchuk said he had transferred the copyrights to Andriy Yushchenko after the victory in the third round of the 2004 election. The brands aren't cheap, he admitted:

"At the time, many people looked at me with suspicion, saying that, you know, Katerynchuk is a rich man already. [...] Interest in these brands had been expressed in Western Europe, Canada and America. Many European-level designers were interested in them, as well as manufacturers of various goods in Ukraine."

Experts say the brands may cost up to a hundred million dollars, according to Kommersant.

So far, there's only been one case, however, when someone tried to use them as a trademark:

[...] during the last election campaign, a company named Artemida began producing vodka "Tak!" - but it didn't last. "Remember when vodka "Tak!" appeared?" says Mykola Katerynchuk. "No one had given them permission for that." The former general director of [...] Artemida, a [Ukrainian] parliamentarian Anna Antonyeva, refused to recall this story yesterday.


  1. This is...disgusting, and a rare example of the children eating the revolution rather than the other way round

    08.03.05 - 12:18 pm

  2. I am not sure what is expected of the son of the President.

    Would we be happy were he recycling rags in a cart with squeaky wheels?

    I hope the world wide rights to Orange stuff comes to exceed not million$ but billion$.

    08.04.05 - 2:34 am

  3. I'm not sure what 'we' means in this context, but here's what I think:

    With a cart on squeaky wheels Andriy Yushchenko would blend in really well with the masses that brought his papa to power last year. But - it's a crime to demand uniformity of a human being - a Soviet crime - so if Yushchenko's son is happier with a BMW, let him have it.

    On the other hand, there are enough people in this country who stand out not only because they're driving cool cars, but also due to their talent, skills, achievements, etc. Andriy Yushchenko doesn't fit into this category; his papa, however, still seems to be one of these people, despite his village-boy manner of talking to journalists.

    I, too, hope that the Orange Revolution brands will be millions and billions dollars worth - maybe when Yushchenko's family has something as costly at stake, the president will try harder to find ways to make the country more civilized; otherwise, what's the use of owning the copyrights? But I wouldn't be too optimistic: there's a clear link between the abundance of cheap pirated CDs and the multitudes of people with carts on squeaky wheels - and those who run the country tend to live in a different universe.

    08.04.05 - 3:11 pm