Videographers, photographers, broadcasters and social media users (including members of the public) who intend to capture any aspect of work of mas use in any form of commercial intent directly or indirectly without proper accreditation for this year’s Carnival can face a hefty fine of $250,000 or a ten-year imprisonment.
This was the warning sent yesterday during a media conference by president of the T&T Copyright Collection Organisation Dr Vijay Ramlal.
The media conference was held at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Also, present was president of the T&T Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) Gerard Weekes.
Ramlal explained that for many years there has been three distinct areas of Intellectual Property Protection: Copyright, Labelling right and works of mas.
Weekes said over the years there has been a lot of disrespect for this aspect of copyright and added that the intention of the TTCBA from this year on is to right the wrong.
He said, “Members of the mas fraternity have not been able to benefit from copyright issues that plague the fraternity. For too long it has been a situation where we see all of our artwork, designs being produced in magazines and being photographed and streamed and the stakeholders or the mas practitioners have not been benefitting.”
“The TTOC is the only authorised body in T&T capable of dealing with Works of Mas and collecting the rights for same. It is important for members of the public both foreign and local who are coming of have the intentions of capturing any form of photography, videography documentary get accredited become accredited so we can assist in having mas practitioners benefitting,” he added.
Ramlal said there is a serious infringement of rights and added that he is hoping for enforcement from this year.
Ramlal also used the opportunity to disclose that the National Carnival Commission (NCC) still owes them over $475,000 from last year’s season.
The Definition of “Works of Mas” Under the Copyright Act. 82:80
A “Work of Mas” is an original production intended to be performed by a person or group of persons in which an artistic work in the form of an adornment or image presented by the person or persons, is the primary element of the production and which such adornment or image may be accompanied by words, music, choreography or other works, regardless of whether the production is intended to be performed on stage, platform, street or other venue.
This Act shall also apply to Works made, Performances given, Sound Recordings made and Broadcasts first transmitted before the date of the coming into force of this Act, Copyright 1985.
“Works of Mas” therefore comprises:
The performer in the performance (The Masquerader/Live Performer)
The Designer/The producer
The Bandleader – as the owner of the entire production
Who are TTCO’s members under “Works of Mas”?
300 members of the NCDF (Legacy, Tribe, Spice, Fantasy, Island People etc.) as well as, individual bandleaders, designers and producers.
Who are some of the other organisations that must sign into TTCO under “Works of Mas”?
NCC, NCBA, Pantrinbago, TUCO, Broadcasters/Television Stations, Commercial Businesses, Borough Corporations, Print/Producers of Magazines, Designers/Design House, Movie Houses/Cinemas.