Two weeks ago, I wrote what I then felt was a story of hope. Or, perhaps, what I then felt was the story that should be told.
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Settle copyright, accreditation issues once and for all
Once and for all, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism must step in and clarify the many confusing copyright and accreditation issues in Carnival. There are too many grey areas overshadowing how this country’s biggest national festival should be documented, presented and protected and there is an urgent need for the roles of the various interest groups and agencies to be properly defined. The creative works of Carnival must be protected and monetised—there is no debate about that. But in the absence of proper management of the festival’s intellectual property, several groups are fighting to assert their claims to revenue from Carnival, with threats of lawsuits and other actions increasing the event’s bacchanal ratio unnecessarily.
This season’s biggest rights confusion to date involves the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA), which has reportedly told several professional photographers seeking accreditation to cover Carnival that they may not post images of masqueraders or mas events on social media because online publishing rights had been awarded to one photographic organisation.
Whether the NCBA has the right to determine if a photographer should be allowed to publish Carnival images on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform or Web site is the first point of contention.