Written By: Farley J. Joseph
In recent weeks the Business of Carnival and Entertainment series of articles published in Newsday’s Business Day have been relevant and important in facilitating a national discussion on the contribution of these sectors to the wider economy. However, there are few aspects of the article titled: Live Streaming Presents Performers, Promoters with New Challenges published on February 23rd that are faulty.
The article accurately highlights growing use of live-streaming technology by concert-goers, to share their experiences with their social media followers and specifically questions the legal implications of the streaming of the entire Machel Monday event by an attendee. However, it cites an Intellectual Property attorney as saying that: “as long as streamers are not profiting, or livestream without the intent to, then they are basically outside the ambit of the law.” This statement is erroneous as the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Act clearly states that one of the exclusive rights of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights granted to the owner of a copyrighted work is the right to broadcast and communicate their works to the public. In the absence of a license from the promoter to stream the event, an entity doing so is in contravention of the law. Copyright infringement is not related to profit or the potential for profit.
The attorney is further quoted as saying that “as long as the streamer acted out of a love of culture and a desire to put it on display for the world, then under the current system there are no legal consequences. The burden of proof that harm had been done to the event lies with the promoter.” This too is incorrect, as the only exceptions to the law that may permit the copyright owner’s works to be used without permission, are outlined in sections 9-17 of the Copyright Act. None of those apply in this case.
It is important that we respect the rights of musicians and creators as we embrace evolving technology in the Creative Industries. We must be careful not to fuel the perception that streaming an entire concert without the requisite permission is acceptable. To legally stream a concert, a few clearances must be secured. The party undertaking the streaming must have an agreement with the promoter. It would be ideal for the promoter to have previously informed the performers that their performances would be live-streamed and negotiated the right to use their music and image. In the case of events streamed in real time to the public, using technology such as Facebook Live, performance and synchronization licenses for both copyright and neighbouring rights need to be secured from each collective management organisation that represents talent performing on the show.
Our current Copyright Laws are modern and applicable as technology changes. The problem has been a lack of innovative models for the licensing of copyrights for new music uses, education, respect and general enforcement of the laws.
Add a comment
By Farley J. Joseph,
Digital Distribution makes it easier for musicians in the Caribbean to place their music before a worldwide audience. Through placement in online stores and streaming services inclusive of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify; songwriters, artists and bands can attempt to build a global following while gaining additional revenue. However, before these potential benefits can be gained, musicians must understand how to firstly prepare their music for distribution and also how to identify and collect the streams of revenue generated by their content.Add a comment
Music is one of the key identifying characteristics of Trinidad and Tobago culture. Whether it be the driving rhythms of its indigenous Soca, Chutney and Steelband sounds, to the sobering commentary of the Calypso genre, local music continues to play an integral role in national development. As a pre-requisite to the local music industry being able to flourish and attain its maximum potential on the global music landscape, the quality of inputs that drive its value chain has to be significantly improved. In the case of the music sector, these inputs are the songs and recordings that aim to meet user demands. Deficiencies in the songwriting and production sectors of the music value chain can be pinpointed in three main areas: quality of input (songs and productions), converting songs into recordings and Monetization and collection of revenue.Add a comment
In Trinidad and Tobago music producers and recording artists are always eager to share their musical offerings with the public. For many, these new releases represent the fruits of their creative and financial labour and they anticipate favourable acceptance. Some are able to realise their goals of success, being rewarded with lucrative live performance opportunities at all-inclusive fetes and corporate events, as well as constant rotation of their music on commercial radio. However, many struggle to gain the recognition they seek despite their high levels of output and often become demoralised and disenchanted with their craft and the industry.Add a comment