San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Music Beat

Costa Rica protests use of National Anthem in Swedish comedy TV show

UPDATE, Thurs., Aug. 21, 8:30 p.m.:

Spanish-language online news site reported Thursday night that following a backlash, TV4 has agreed to remove the promo containing Costa Rica’s National Anthem.

Original story continues here:

Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry sent a formal complain to the Swedish Embassy protesting the “disrespectful use of Costa Rica’s National Anthem” on a political satire show on TV4.

The Costa Rican National Anthem can be heard as background music on a clip from the show “Parlamentet,” which the Foreign Ministry feels “is a grave disrespect to one of our national symbols,” according to the letter sent to the embassy for Central America based in Guatemala.

Tico expats in Sweden called the station and took to social media to express their disapproval, but the company responded by saying the audio is part of a sound library they bought from online music library service Epidemics. The website, strangely, cites someone named Magnus Ringblom as the anthem’s composer. But Costa Rica’s National Anthem was composed by Manuel María Gutiérrez in 1852.

Another person named Alejandro Castillo posted a complaint on the station’s website, and TV4 had a similar response:

Hi. Alejandro. Thank you for your feedback. We regret that you felt insulted. It is in fact Costa Rica’s national anthem in the trailer. However, there is no connection whatsoever to the country or its inhabitants. Neither the government or its political values. The music is taken from Epidemics music library and is free to use.

Have a nice evening!

Foreign Minister Manuel González Sanz on Thursday told local radio show “Nuestra Voz” that an international intellectual property registry does not exist to permit countries to take legal action in cases where national symbols are allegedly misused.

However, the ministry letter asks officials at the Swedish Embassy to help in persuading producers of the show to withdraw the anthem from the promo.

Watch and listen to the promotional video, courtesy of, here:

Contact L. Arias at

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Hey! I’m a gringo Residente Permanente who lives in Alajuela for part of the year.

I must say that watching that clip with the Costarrican National Anthem playing as background music sounds unsettling, even to me who’s not a CR native! The ticos are right to be thoroughly upset!

I cannot blame the ticos at all for feeling insulted by this use of one of their national symbols.

The show should replace the anthem post haste with different music that is not offensive to Costa Ricans and which is not part of their national heritage.

And also the music library that provided the melody should be made to either reomove the music or identify it as a national anthem, preferably the former.

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Mark Kahle

Seems copyright laws are good only when it offends a Tico… (I mention this only because Costa Rica has no problem with stealing others work product…copying books that have active copyrights).

Seems also that free speech should only be free if it does not offend… what hypocrisy.

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