Ruddy Isaacs has questions about selectors and copyright infringement
Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Ruddy Isaacs, brother of late veteran reggae icon Gregory Isaacs, believes radio DJs and selectors should pay to play reggae and dancehall music. According to Gregory Isaacs' former ghost writer/publisher and road manager, radio DJs and selectors play music which they get for free, however, they are paid to play the same music at events. Therefore, they should pay copyright fees to collection agencies like JAMMS and JCAP.
"For a man to play music he should be subjected to getting permission from whosoever the society is. None of the selectors are doing that. As a matter of fact, only a few of them have joined collection societies. The radio DJ dem deh pon radio and people a give dem tune daily for free. If I ask them to play at my party I have to pay them to play, yet they don't pay collection societies. So the artistes can get no profit," Ruddy Isaacs said.
The manager also complained about the practice of money pull-ups.
"I see with all this money pull-up thing. A man who write the song and buss him brain to come up with the lyrics don't get a dime and a selector a mek over $20,000 fi play the song three times," he said.
Ruddy Isaacs also chastised artistes who record dub plates on a daily basis without giving back money to the producers.
According to the outspoken manager, taking all the profits from a dub plate is simply unethical.
"My advice to all of you selectors and DJs, go and join a collection society. And the societies need to be more vocal in socialising and educating the public. They need to interact with the artistes too. I think they need to work from the heart and put in the effort. That is why I use an international company, because they are more professional in my opinion," he said.
As it relates to the royalties from the work of his late brother Gregory Isaacs, Ruddy says the collection process is going smoothly.
"Royalties for Gregory Isaacs are going OK right now and it is going straight into his account, nobody can touch it because the estate is not settled as yet," Ruddy Isaacs explained to The Sunday Gleaner.
E. M. Mullings, the general manager of the collection organisation, Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS), says promoters are the ones who should be paying and not the DJs/selectors.
"Event promoters are the persons responsible for obtaining the required copyright permit, to ensure that events are complying with the relevant provisions of copyright laws governing the playing of recorded music publicly. As the beneficial owners of the event, the promoter must seek to have in place all the required licenses, permits and consents that are needed to ensure that the event is meeting all legal obligations. As such, an event promoter must obtain copyright permits from the national collecting societies, in much the same manner as he or she needs to obtain a permit from the parish council or KSAC, the fire services and the police etc. These are all legal obligations which the event promoter must meet. So it is not the role or responsibility of the sound-system selector or sound-system owner to obtain the copyright permits," he said.
Mullings also revealed that some promoters are yet to comply with the required procedures, however, the society stands resolute to achieve the desired outcome.
"There are still a significant number of event promoters that are not yet complying with this legal requirement, however, we have been able to successfully bring most of the major promoters into compliance to date. We are currently broadening our approach, which is supported by an advertising campaign, to increase the awareness of music users and the public in general about the need to obtain this permit once they are playing music at their events or in their places of business, such as clubs, lounges, bars and restaurants," he said.
Some events already in compliance with JAMMS include Dream Weekend, ATI, Daydreams, Osmosis, Absinthe, Yush, Sumfest, Bachannal Jamaica, Footloose, Mello Vibes and Frenchmen.