Don’t photograph Carnival mas without permission - TTOC

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.

- by Rhondor Dowlat

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