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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

October 29, 1999 - A CARICOM Copyright Committee has now been established where, musical work by Caribbean artistes can be stored in a central database. During a just concluded Regional Copyright workshop in Geneva, musicians discussed performing and neighboring rights. Neighboring Rights according to Saint Luciaís Representative Darby Etienne, protects the reproduction and copying of one personís tape over to another.

Darby Etienne, who is the Chairman of the Saint Lucia Hewanorra Musical Society adds that Caricom islands are now seeking to implement a central data base system, where all musical works will be stored.

Come January 1, 2000, pirating of music will be a thing of the past. Etienne says laws protecting the rights of musicians will be enforced and penalties for breach of those laws will be dealt with severely. "We will not only be protecting the local repertoire of music but we will also be protecting the international repertoire."

Etienne says if the art form is to be developed then persons involved must be protected in order to maximise on their profits "A musician should earn, every time his music is played live, every time it is played in the disco, every time it is played on the radio, he should be earning a royalty." According to the Saint Lucian copyright Act, seventy years after a musician is dead, his children and grand children will benefit every time that music is played.


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