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7 premium Carnival fetes in danger

By JADA LOUTOO Friday, February 21 2014

click on pic to zoom in
COTT PRESIDENT John Ryan Romany...
COTT PRESIDENT John Ryan Romany...

SEVEN Carnival fetes, including tomorrow’s popular Fatima Old Boys Association’s RE- BOOT, are in jeopardy after the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) threatened promoters of these events with injunctions for failing to secure the necessary COTT copyright licences.

Pre-action protocol letters were sent out to promoters of the events by COTT attorneys Dave McKenzie and Associates. The seven events now at risk include Misty Ridge’s Xcite to be held tonight at the Jean Pierre Complex; the same promoter’s premium all inclusive event at the Trinidad Hilton on Sunday; Fatima’s RE-BOOT tomorrow at the college; tonight’s ‘Wanted Ultimate Cooler Experience’ at the Centre of Excellence; SOCA by the RANCH, tomorrow at Wilson Ranch in Arima; as well as Carnival Sunday’s Shades Breakfast party at Soledad Estate and Double Up breakfast party, also on Carnival Sunday, on Ariapita Avenue.

The organisers of the events and the owners of the venues where the events are scheduled to be held were reminded of the penalties for breaching section 41(3) of the Copyright Act.

The Act states that under section 41 (3), a person found guilty of an offence under the act “is liable on summary conviction to a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00 TTD) and imprisonment of Ten (10) years.” The legal letter alleges that the promoters failed to pay fees to cover the intellectual work of the live performances and the Djs. COTT threatened to seek injunctions against the promoters to prevent the events from taking place if the fees were not paid. Discussions are being held between the organisers of the events and COTT, yesterday, although nothing concrete was arrived at up until late yesterday.

In a statement issued at 5.55 pm yesterday, Shivanand Jadoonanan, Managing Director of TRM Productions, which is producing the WANTED fete, said he wished to assure the public that there are no copyright licensing issues with their event which is being held at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya. Jadoonanan said TRM secured a legal special events copyright license from the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO) since January 29, 2014.

“In fact, TRM has paid in full all our frontline artistes - Bunji, Kes, KI, Denise Belfon and Super Blue,” Jadoonanan said.

“We have received verbal and written confirmation from Mr Richard Cornwall and Dr Vijay Ramlal, CEO and President respectively of the TTCO, that there are no legal copyright issues to obstruct the Wanted Fete and that COTT has no legal grounds to seek an injunction from the courts to stop the fete and any such claim by COTT is baseless.”

Jadoonanan said TRM wishes to condemn, what he described as, the “extortion tactics being employed by COTT by threatening to shut down fetes if fees are not paid to COTT whether or not licenses are obtained from the TTCO”. He said COTT was repeatedly advised over the past several weeks that TRM had already secured a legal copyright license with TTCO, yet COTT officials persisted in “harassing” TRM.

Jadoonanan called on Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Minister of Legal Affairs Prakash Ramadhar and other relevant authorities to investigate the conduct of COTT.

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