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Blood: Piracy putting some out of jobs


BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Blood: Piracy putting some out of jobs

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Piracy could soon force some musicians and entertainers out of the industry here if the issue was not addressed with urgency.
This caution has come from Anderson Blood Armstrong who noted that the entertainment industry had experienced “some changes” especially over the last three years which had already forced the closure of some record shops, putting people out of jobs.
He was speaking at a workshop held recently by the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office of Barbados, at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel for law enforcement officials on building respect for intellectual property rights.
“[Piracy] has caused several, in fact, almost all music stores in Barbados to close with the exception of about one or two,” he said. “So it had impacted retailers to that extent and caused several persons to lose jobs. The producers and performers are being severely impacted as well.
“In lots of cases, persons [are] giving up and abandoning music altogether, especially for those people who have families to feed. They need to have steady income and when it becomes that difficult to produce music and make money from it therefore some people will just hang up the guitar.”
Armstrong, who has been producing music for the past 15 years, also argued that while technology had helped them to be more innovative, it was not always good.
“Technology took us from vinyl, to cassette, to compact disc. In many ways, it improved quality and sound, and made it easier in areas of recording and production. But as easy as it was for us producers, it also became easy for the pirates.
“It meant that they could easily produce the music and sell it at a much lower price than the producer and licensed retailer,” he said, noting that piracy translated into a lack of sales for producers and retailers.
Armstrong therefore called for greater education on the topic of intellectual property and the importance of respecting those rights as well as greater enforcement of the law “at all levels to eliminate piracy”. (MM)

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