Tue | Apr 23, 2019

Love the music but protect your legacy - New York-based lawyer

Published:Saturday | May 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Stephen Drummond

Attorney-at-law Stephen Drummond from Drummond & Squillace in New York has reiterated the call for Jamaican recording artistes to protect their legacy.

Addressing a Gleaner Editors' Forum on Thursday, Drummond said that most Jamaican entertainers loved the music and loved to entertain people, but they needed to be business-minded about it.

"Protect what you do. Look at your operation as a business. You want to entertain folks, and you get a certain degree of pleasure in doing so, but protect that which you have laboured [for]," advised Drummond. "That's what your legacy is, and that's what you use to take care of your children and your great-grandchildren," he added.

Drummond and his team of lawyers are defending dancehall artiste Flourgon in a US$300 million lawsuit against American singer Miley Cyrus, who Flourgon claims has infringed his copyright.

"We have so many people who have talent. They have put in their time and investment, and they are unable to benefit from it, and somebody is living high on the hog on what they have created," said Carol Green von Kaul, one of the lawyers on the Flourgon case.

Drummond cautioned that if entertainers did not take the business aspect of being an entertainer seriously, as they should, they would come to regret it.

"The business component is probably more critical to your success and appreciation for your work than just you performing, and many times, they (artistes) don't look to that aspect of it.

"Hire lawyers. Talk to business people. Talk to people who have gone down [that road] before. Learn from the lessons of people who have done it before and end up with nothing. That's the most important part. Be business-minded about the labour that you are putting in," said Drummond.