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Spain goes mad for King versus Chávez

'Why don't you shut up?' - you've seen the YouTube vid, now buy the t-shirt

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The unseemly spat at the recent Ibero-American summit in Chile, which saw Spanish King Juan Carlos ask a gobby Hugo Chávez "Why don't you shut up?", has proved a big hit down at YouTube, as well as spawning a spin-off industry punting t-shirts, mugs and ringtones to impressed Spaniards.

For those of you who may have missed it, Juan Carlos got a bit pissed off with Chávez for continually interrupting Spain's prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero who was attempting to counter the Venezuelan prez's assertion that former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar is a "fascist":

Well, it didn't take long for the net wags to get busy, and here's a pleasing example of the kind of thing currently entertaining YouTubers:

Nice tune. In Spain, meanwhile, the locals are falling over themselves to grab ¿Por qué no te callas? merchandise, with t-shirts proving extremely popular. Ringtone companies have been quick to cash in, and have trousered an estimated £1m, according to the Telegraph.

Of course, there's always some spoilsport ready to point out the copyright issues in disseminating His Maj's dulcet tones across mobeland. David Bravo, a lawyer who specialises in intellectual property, told the Telegraph: "The use of the sentence 'Why don’t you shut up?' in ringtones is a clear breach of his image rights."

Companies have apparently side-stepped this potential problem by getting actors to voice Su Majestad. Probably just as well, since you mix it with Spain's royals at your peril.

Last week, two cartoonists from satire mag El Jueves were fined €3,000 each for a cover which showed Crown Prince Felipe administering missus Princess Letizia an old-fashioned seeing-to. ®

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