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Carnival copyright redux

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Bit Depth
This member of the Original Whipmasters cracks a whip in a demonstration at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre. Time to straighten Carnival out? Photo: Mark Lyndersay

It shouldn’t be surprising, given the National Carnival Commission’s (NCC) failure to hold a public consultation on the copyright issues that arose in 2013, to find the whole ugly mess bubbling up again. 


Photographers who went to the NCC to seek accreditation for the 2014 edition of the event found no reductions in the fee and a new and shocking issue to deal with. 


On February 11, photographers seeking a pass to cover Carnival were told that if they checked the online option on the form, it would not be approved. 


The National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA), they were told, had sold the right to publish online to a single, unnamed entity. Read Narend Sooknarine’s account of that meeting here:


That story changed within 24 hours to an approval for Web sites. When confronted with this story by the T&T Guardian’s Kalifa Clyne last week, NCBA bossman David Lopez dismissed the possibility. 


Apparently, one is left to assume, bored clerical staff must have made up the whole story to add a bit of spice to a dull day. Yes, that must be it, because otherwise, someone is lying. 


Meanwhile, the T&T Copyright Organisation (TTCO) has launched another boarding manoeuvre that seems unrelated to the rights hijack allegedly under way at the NCBA. 


The collection agency has demanded back pay in the sum of $6 million on behalf of the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF), one of the three organisations that represent the interests of bandleaders and, it is widely rumoured, masqueraders.



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