The following is an edited version of a release from the Caribana Arts Group (CAG), the founders and owners of Caribana, regarding the renaming of the festival by the Festival Management Committee (FMC). This was sent out before a media conference Wednesday during which the FMC announced the new name.
After 44 years of success the CARIBANATM festival will not be renamed. The Festival Management Committee (FMC) announced last week that CARIBANATM will be renamed, however the FMC does not own the CARIBANATM festival or trademark, therefore they do not have the authority to rename it.
The CARIBANATM ARTS GROUP (CAG) which founded and managed the festival for the first 39 years is puzzled as to why a one-year agreement ending December 31, 2006 with the FMC appointed to manage the festival, has turned into an attempted theft of the Caribbean community’s prized possession.
The community at large has no idea of the events that have taken place in regards to CARIBANATM and that the CARIBANATM ARTS GROUP is open and positioned to inform the media and the public of the current situation.
The CAG is cautioning against the stealing and renaming of the CARIBANATM festival as it is in violation of trademark law and will be considered “passing off” which is a legal term signifying a copyright infringement on intellectual property.
The FMC must realize that a trademark agreement allows the festival to continue unhindered and that the CAG has made it publicly known they are still open to negotiating an agreement.
If the FMC attempts to “pass off” the CARIBANATM festival under a different name then it will be held liable and all parties associated with and in support of such a decision could also be held liable, including major sponsors and facilitators of this illegal action.
Even though critics may mention the troubles of past CARIBANATM boards, the festival has always taken place successfully for the community at large.
CARIBANATM is North America’s largest outdoor festival that injects over $400 million dollars annually into the local economy.