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NCBA head: Copyright issue must be handled carefully (with CNC3 video)
The issue of copyright is very sensitive and must be handled carefully, says David Lopez, president of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA). Lopez spoke at a press briefing at the NCBA’s office at Picton Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Fielding questions from members of the media, Lopez said he could not advise people on whether or not to post their Carnival photos on social media Web sites, as did the T&T Copyright Association (TTCO). “It’s a work in progress...People have been posting pictures on Facebook from whenever,” he said. “If people want to put their pictures on Facebook, fine. I am not going to tell them to do it. I am not going to tell them not to do it. It’s a copyright issue we need to sit and deal with.”
It was reported last week that National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) chairman Mahindra Satram-Maharaj had demanded the National Carnival Commission of T&T (NCC) immediately pay his organisation approximately $4 million in royalties on behalf of several mas bands. Satram-Maharaj said the money was owed to the bands for intellectual property for the years 2007-2012. Pre-action protocol letters were also sent to Guardian Media Ltd (GML), One Caribbean Media Ltd (OCM) and state media house Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG), as well as the National Carnival Commission, by the foundation’s legal representatives, the T&T Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO).
Lopez, however, said he knew only of the Copyright Organisation of T&T (Cott), but urged that people needed to become more educated about copyright and broadcast rights. “There is so much rights involved in this copyright issue, and it is so technical, and we have very few lawyers who are experts in that field,” he said. “The NCBA hired DJs for the kiddies Carnival and one of the requirements is you must produce a Cott licence. Some of the DJs come with other licences but the NCBA recognised Cott as the legitimate organisation to collect any rights on behalf of its members.”
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