Not paying to play music I own
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent passing of a bill in Parliament in respect of the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers and the Copyright Act is ridiculous, to say the least.
First, it was radio stations that were forced to pay royalties to these organisations on behalf of writers and publishers of recorded material. Now, it's organisers and promoters of events that are being bullied to pay a fee for recorded music at their events or face imprisonment, fines, or both.
This is unacceptable and must not be condoned. The next thing you know, it will become unlawful for me to invite friends and family over to 'lyme' to have a drink and enjoy some good music when the police and/or representatives of JACAP come a-knocking as uninvited guests because I happen to be spinning some of my discs.
I might be ignorant or naÔve to the facts, but as far as I know, a record disc was designed for promotional purposes, just like videos these days. In fact, if the product is not aired via the respective media entities or/and events organisers, nobody would know anything about same.
However, when I visited the stores or record shops to obtain a record (vinyl), cassette or CD, I didn't get it on consignment; I did not receive it as a loan, nor did I get it via hire purchase. It was bought with hard-earned cash, so I owe nobody anything. Suffice it to say, the product automatically becomes my sole property for me to do whatever I please.
The artiste/writer should be the one happy to pay me to promote his work and NOT the other way around. Furthermore, if I happen to be staging an event, the authorities might haffi go lock me up 'cause me nah pay fi play sum'ting wey mi duly own. Full stop!
Ensom City, St Catherine