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Letter to the Editor: Don’t be fooled; live streaming commercial events IS illegal!

“Section 21 of Trinidad’s Copyright Act, among other things, expressly gives the performer the exclusive right to broadcast and rebroadcast his/her performance…

“There is absolutely no exception, or limitation, in our intellectual property laws that would sanction the live streaming of the entire Machel Monday concert.”

The following Letter to the Editor on the practice of live streaming from commercial events was submitted to Wired868 by Dr Emir Crowne, Barrister and Senior Lecturer, UWI, Mona Campus:

Photo: Sasha Ann Moses performs her calypso, "The Main Witness", at the 33rd Annual National Calypso Queens Competition on 13 February 2017 at Queen's Hall in St Ann's. Moses won the competition. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Sasha Ann Moses performs her calypso, “The Main Witness”, at the 33rd Annual National Calypso Queens Competition on 13 February 2017 at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s.
Moses won the competition.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

On Thursday last week a national newspaper carried a story that suggested that live streaming Carnival events—the Machel Monday concert in particular—was not illegal. That is simply untrue.

The story, paraphrasing an intellectual property law attorney, states that “as long as streamers like Coutain are not profiting, or live stream without the intent to, then they are basically outside the ambit of the law.” Again, this is simply untrue.

That story quotes the attorney as stating that our intellectual property laws have “finally started to take baby steps” and we “have not been where the rest of the world has in terms of intellectual property law.” Again, nothing could be further from the truth.

First, live streaming an entire concert, or a substantial part of it, is an infringement of copyright. The profit motive is immaterial in terms of the actual infringement.

Section 21 of Trinidad’s Copyright Act, among other things, expressly gives the performer the exclusive right to broadcast and rebroadcast his/her performance. In fact, the entire Part V of the Copyright Act deals with so-called “neighbouring rights”—namely the rights inherent in performances, sound recordings and broadcasts.

Photo: Soca star Machel Montano performs at the 2015 International Soca Monarch. (Copyright Socanews.com)
Photo: Soca star Machel Montano performs at the 2015 International Soca Monarch.
(Copyright Socanews.com)

Indeed, small snippets of the broadcast undoubtedly qualify under the ‘news reporting’ provisions of the Copyright Act. But that’s it. There is absolutely no exception, or limitation, in our intellectual property laws that would sanction the live streaming of the entire Machel Monday concert.

Second, Trinidad & Tobago’s intellectual property laws are quite modern. They are, in fact, compliant with our obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) and put us on par with the intellectual property laws of most other countries in the world.

Our laws have not “finally” started to take “baby steps”. They are walking all on their own.

In fact, in 2015, I was retained by the World Intellectual Property Organization—a specialized agency of the United Nations—to co-author a report, and co-chair, a Sub-Regional Roundtable on Intellectual Property Teaching, Training and Research in the Commonwealth Caribbean.

If anything, that report revealed that the laws were, in fact, in place and what was needed was greater co-ordination and awareness building among the various stakeholders. The current, and unfortunate, misinformation feeds directly into that finding.

Indeed, the recent copyright ruling by Justice Seepersad may allow us to “wine with no worries”, but it certainly doesn’t mean the same for live streaming.

Photo: Terri Lyons sings her calypso, "The Unfortunate Phrase", at the 33rd Annual National Calypso Queens Competition on 13 February 2017 at Queen's Hall in St Ann's. Lyons placed fourth. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Terri Lyons sings her calypso, “The Unfortunate Phrase”, at the 33rd Annual National Calypso Queens Competition on 13 February 2017 at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s.
Lyons placed fourth.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

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50 comments

  1. In furtherance to the position of the IPO office of Trinidad & Tobago and statements by others. The TTCO lends it’s voice to the position of any use of a musical work without the relevant permissions, such will constitute a breach of the law under which it is protected. It is very important to note that for the past 3 years, the TTCO spoke of this very situation that is currently before us with promoters and performers, only to be considered by promoters as creating an issue where none existed and disruptive by others.

    Many persons did not understand that from the time a performer commenced his or her performance in a controlled space where the environment however, is uncontrolled. Issues such as the current one before us now as it relates to the Live Streaming of IP content in events or concerts, was bound to become a new reality given the reach and immediate pull and push of content by recording devices today, coupled with human nature.

    The TTCO warned promoters, performers and producers that shows and IP content could be illegally recorded and broadcast, as a major error most exploiters / users of IP make, is to commonly mistake accreditation for that of the right to exploit the IP in performances, once allowed access to a venue under same. It is therefore important that one understands the difference, so as to ensure that IP violations will not occur with respect to Copyright, Neighbouring rights and or works of mas, when one is desirous of capturing performances relevant to purpose / intent. (In this case, Live Streaming.)

    Accreditation only affords one access to a controlled space, it does not and must not be taken by a potential exploiter of IP, that footage obtained be it audio and / or video, is free to air. Moving forward, one must consider that in a performance lies many rights and the relevant Copyright, Neighbouring Rights and / or Works of Mas clearances are to obtained by anyone, who wants to use and / or exploit musical works or mas creations accordingly.

    Let’s assist you to make that distinction now:

    The TTCO alone administers the rights of Performers, Producers and Broadcasters under Neighbouring Rights however, we also administer the right of our Authors and Composers under Traditional Copyright, a shared area with COTT and Awesome as per each CMO’s membership, as no agreement currently exist that affords any one of the three CMOs operating locally, to provide a license that is outside of it’s membership. (Example: COTT cannot license on TTCO’s membership nor can TTCO license on COTT’s membership and the same will apply for Awesome, as they can only license on their membership.)

    Additionally, specific to the infringement and event in question, a Neighbouring licences was not secured from the TTCO and by extension, one that would have afforded anyone, the option of a Live Stream of said event and / or any other event over the 2017 Carnival Season. In closing, persons are advised to pay more attention to the Copyright Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the fine print of user Apps and or Social Media platforms.

    The TTCO will be making contact again with Promoters and Creatives in the musical field in an effort to ensure that this type of alleged abuse does not occur in the future. Promoters must also appreciate that “Appearance Fees” are not to be mistaken as a right of ownership of one’s IP and that fixations of a creative’s intellectual property is protected by law and which are most often assigned to a CMO or CMOs accordingly and therefore, clearing of these Rights must happen before one attempts to use or exploit same.

    In my humble opinion, a public statement by way of a press conference by the collective powers should be made and several workshops hosted to address this issue. I know that the IPO office of Trinidad & Tobago is doing it’s part but more can be done and everyone who can assist in moving this process forward regarding better understanding of Copyright, Neighbouring Rights and Works of Mas in this country, must pull together in a concerted effort to ensure that the message is delivered, both from a education point as well as, enforcement.

  2. I read the TTCO statement, wasnt saying there were no laws broken in the broadcast, Im practical so interested in seeing the legal ramifications of it or not.. will we see a continuation of it next year etc etc.

  3. Richard Cornwall (TTCO):
    “In furtherance to the position of the IPO office of Trinidad & Tobago and statements by others. The TTCO lends it’s voice to the position of any use of a musical work without the relevant permissions will constitute a breach of the law under which it protected. It is very important to note that for the past 3 years, the TTCO spoke of this very said situation that is currently before us with promoters and performers, only to be considered by promoters as creating an issue where none existed and disruptive by others.

    Many persons did not understand that from the time a performer commenced his or her performance in a controlled space where the environment however, is uncontrolled. Issues such as the current one before us now as it relates to the Live Streaming of IP content in events or concerts was bound to become a new reality, given the reach and immediate pull and push of content by recording devices today, coupled with human nature.

    The TTCO warned promoters, performers and producers that shows and IP content could be illegally recorded and broadcast, as a major error most exploiters / users of IP make, is to commonly mistake accreditation for that of the right to exploit the IP of performances, once allowed access to a venue under same. It is therefore important that one understands the difference so as to ensure that IP violations will not occur with respect of Copyright, Neighbouring rights and or works of mas infringement, when one is desirous of capturing performances relevant to purpose / intent. (In this case, Live Streaming.)

    Accreditation only affords one access to a controlled space, it does not and must not be taken by a potential exploiter of IP, that footage obtained be it audio and / or video, is free to air. Moving forward, it will do all go to understand that in a performance lies many rights and the relevant Copyright, Neighbouring Rights and / or Works of Mas clearances are to obtained by anyone who wants to use and / or exploit musical works or mas creations accordingly.

    Let’s assist you to make that distinction now:

    The TTCO alone administers the rights of Performers, Producers and Broadcasters under Neighbouring Rights however, we also administer the right of our Authors and Composers under Traditional Copyright, an area shared with COTT and Awesome as per each CMO’s membership, as no agreement currently exist that affords any one of the three CMOs operating locally, to provide a license that is outside of it’s membership. (Example: COTT cannot license on TTCO’s membership nor can TTCO license on COTT’s membership and the same will apply for Awesome, as they can only license on their membership.)

    Additionally, specific to the infringement and event in question, a Neighbouring licences was not secured from the TTCO and by extension, one that would have afforded anyone, the option of a Live Stream of said event and / or any other event over the 2017 Carnival Season. In closing, persons are advised to pay more attention to the Copyright Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the fine print of user Apps and or Social Media platforms.

    The TTCO will be making contact again with Promoters and Creatives in the musical field in an effort to ensure that this type of alleged abuse does not occur in the future. Promoters must also appreciate that “Appearance Fees” are not to be mistaken as a right of ownership of one’s IP and that fixations of a creative’s intellectual property is protected by law, which are most often assigned to a CMO or CMOs accordingly and clearing of these Rights must happen before one attempts to use or exploit same.

    In my humble opinion, a public statement by way of a press conference by the collective powers should be made and several workshops hosted to address this issue. I know that the IPO office of Trinidad & Tobago is doing it’s part but more can be done and everyone who can assist in moving this process forward regarding better understanding of Copyright, Neighbouring Rights and Works of Mas in this country, must pull together in a concerted effort to ensure that the message is delivered, both from a educating standing point and enforcement position.”

  4. In furtherance to the position of the IPO office of Trinidad & Tobago and statements by others. The TTCO lends it’s voice to the position of any use of a musical work without the relevant permissions will constitute a breach of the law under which it protected. It is very important to note that for the past 3 years, the TTCO spoke of this very said situation that is currently before us with promoters and performers, only to be considered by promoters as creating an issue where none existed and disruptive by others.

    Many persons did not understand that from the time a performer commenced his or her performance in a controlled space where the environment however, is uncontrolled. Issues such as the current one before us now as it relates to the Live Streaming of IP content in events or concerts was bound to become a new reality, given the reach and immediate pull and push of content by recording devices today, coupled with human nature.

    The TTCO warned promoters, performers and producers that shows and IP content could be illegally recorded and broadcast, as a major error most exploiters / users of IP make, is to commonly mistake accreditation for that of the right to exploit the IP of performances, once allowed access to a venue under same. It is therefore important that one understands the difference so as to ensure that IP violations will not occur with respect of Copyright, Neighbouring rights and or works of mas infringement, when one is desirous of capturing performances relevant to purpose / intent. (In this case, Live Streaming.)

    Accreditation only affords one access to a controlled space, it does not and must not be taken by a potential exploiter of IP, that footage obtained be it audio and / or video, is free to air. Moving forward, it will do all go to understand that in a performance lies many rights and the relevant Copyright, Neighbouring Rights and / or Works of Mas clearances are to obtained by anyone who wants to use and / or exploit musical works or mas creations accordingly.

    Let’s assist you to make that distinction now:

    The TTCO alone administers the rights of Performers, Producers and Broadcasters under Neighbouring Rights however, we also administer the right of our Authors and Composers under Traditional Copyright, an area shared with COTT and Awesome as per each CMO’s membership, as no agreement currently exist that affords any one of the three CMOs operating locally, to provide a license that is outside of it’s membership. (Example: COTT cannot license on TTCO’s membership nor can TTCO license on COTT’s membership and the same will apply for Awesome, as they can only license on their membership.)

    Additionally, specific to the infringement and event in question, a Neighbouring licences was not secured from the TTCO and by extension, one that would have afforded anyone, the option of a Live Stream of said event and / or any other event over the 2017 Carnival Season. In closing, persons are advised to pay more attention to the Copyright Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the fine print of user Apps and or Social Media platforms.

    The TTCO will be making contact again with Promoters and Creatives in the musical field in an effort to ensure that this type of alleged abuse does not occur in the future. Promoters must also appreciate that “Appearance Fees” are not to be mistaken as a right of ownership of one’s IP and that fixations of a creative’s intellectual property is protected by law, which are most often assigned to a CMO or CMOs accordingly and clearing of these Rights must happen before one attempts to use or exploit same.

    In my humble opinion, a public statement by way of a press conference by the collective powers should be made and several workshops hosted to address this issue. I know that the IPO office of Trinidad & Tobago is doing it’s part but more can be done and everyone who can assist in moving this process forward regarding better understanding of Copyright, Neighbouring Rights and Works of Mas in this country, must pull together in a concerted effort to ensure that the message is delivered, both from a educating standing point and enforcement position.

  5. I think the article should specify that it is speaking to basically 3rd party streaming

  6. What shit he talking about free as long your pay for Internet service streaming is not for free because with out Internet your cannot stream

  7. Well, the promoters can simply chuck people out for live streaming. The onus will then be on them to sue.

  8. Actually, no…it’s not a huge difference. I used the term ‘compelling-but not necessarily-winnable’ since absolutely nothing is guaranteed, regardless of all the copyrights laws worldwide.

    Ask yourself this question: how many people each year are successfully imprisoned each year worldwide for copyright infringements? I can tell you that number is extremely low, in comparison to the actual number of violations.

    Did you know that it is extremely difficult to make a case against people who download music, TV shows, and movies online etc, vs those who share such intellectual properties to be downloaded by others?

    The reason is, those who simply download can claim that they never received the FBI warning (that warning evident before a movie begins) prior to the download. It’s loopholes like that which make it difficult to prosecute every case, or successfully sue every violator.

  9. Well Che, I think the difference between compelling but not winnable is worth being mindful. That’s a huge difference.
    If I were running a party, I’d be happy for the audience member who considers himself/herself to be a performer to live stream her own antics.
    Just don’t get any other performers or aspects of the show–including live music–in that shot. 😉
    As regards the difference in live streaming part but not all of the show, I now you can’t even use a snippet on Instagram. Its in-built copyright laws would stop you straight away.

  10. Lasana Liburd — I’m just now seeing this comment.

    I’m not based in T&T, but after fully reading the Copyright Act of T&T last night (that Act that was amended in 2008), my prior comments still stands where it relates to potential loopholes for anyone to mount a compelling (not necessarily winnable…but compelling) defense. Firstly, the term ‘performer’ is not clearly defined…so an audience member who uses FB live etc to stream parts of events, can outlandishly claim that they too fall into the category of ‘performer’, capturing themselves dancing, singing, and jumping-up etc to the music. Again…this is due to the Copyright Act not clearly defining ‘performer’, as such a term ‘performer’ can become interpretive.

    In addition, based on the Copyright Act of 2008, the audience member(s) may also own the rights to their image being captured or broadcast by the artists, and may have a case against as well artists who broadcast the audiences images without their express consent; one may ask, but if an image is captured in a public forum, then one loses all rights to privacy etc; however, once that ‘no privacy rights-because-public-domain’ case is made by an artist and accepted by a court, then the audience who is held or sued on copyrights-infringement grounds can then make the same argument that since the artist has claimed “public domain”, and accepted by the court, then they (the artist) have relinquished all copyrights protection for that performance which was streamed live by the audience member. There are loopholes in all laws, is what I’ve been saying.

    Another item of note is that the Copyright’s Act seemed to allude to ‘Streaming the full event’, but appears to be ok with streaming parts of the events etc.

    Again, I am not for or against the Act; I’m merely stating that there are always little loopholes and arguments that people may employ to wiggle out of broken or ‘bended’ laws, or Contracts etc.

    This is why we see clearly guilty people walk out of court after murders, fraud, embezzlement, COPYRIGHTS INFRINGEMENTS etc etc etc etc.

  11. What is all this nonsense about?

    The govt of Trinidad and Tobago needs to stop being totalitarian assholes for a change..

    Can’t stream carnival, can’t do this, can’t do that.. they are worse than colonials, a bunch of house negroes and Indians always have something to fight about..

    Machel had to give permission and get permission from the artists, if he made revenues most likely the artists assign them to him because he’s inviting them to perform and giving them coverage, showcasing them to thousands..

    It’s simple law, in TT they like to talk too much and waste time on nonsense …

    They should license outside entities to broadcast carnival and spread the culture, no wonder people outside think Trinidad and Tobago is in Jamaica …set of fools running our nation

    • Streaming and Intellectual Property

      By Regan Asgarali

      The Intellectual Property Office of Trinidad and Tobago (IPO) is compelled to respond to the recent debate on live streaming and to hopefully end the conjecture. In today’s modern digital world, live streaming apps and facilities like Facebook live have become extremely popular.

      These apps allow users to potentially stream live events using their platform. The right to stream live however is not a free for all or a carte blanche right. This technology has raised a host of legal issues, primarily in the areas of copyright infringement.

      The IPO advises the public to read the fine print found on the user agreements of the apps before they think about streaming live events.

      These apps clearly ban users from posting content that violates others’ copyright and trademark, in their standard Terms of Service, however these warnings are often ignored. Further, and even in the absence of any such terms, the local laws of Trinidad & Tobago prohibit such live streaming.

      Anyone rebroadcasting an entire live simulcast is committing copyright infringement and can be subject to substantial fines. It matters not whether you are doing it for “for money or for love”. There is no distinction at law.

      Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago is not a “baby steps “or outdated nation with respect to intellectual property laws. Trinidad and Tobago possesses some of the most updated copyright and generally IP laws in the Caribbean and measures up right along with other world nations. The internet is not immune to our laws. Nor are we “different “to other countries.

      There is an international legal framework which has to some degree harmonized laws of countries. Examples of treaties whose provisions are in place in our national copyright act and other IP legislation includes the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886 and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883. There are also modern treaties that also speak to trade included such as the agreement on Trade – Related IP Rights (called TRIPS) under the World Trade Organization ( WTO).

      Specifically we are also members of the two WIPO (a specialist UN body on IP ) treaties that govern mutual IP law minimum protection and enforcement requirements that were designed to strengthen copyright protections on the internet. These are the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performers and Producers Rights Treaty (WPPT) of 1996. These are the main international treaties that addresses copyright and related rights on the internet. These treaties are still very relevant today.

      A quick glance at IPO.gov.tt provides a plethora of information on intellectual property from collective management of music to franchising and branding and copyright. The public and other agencies are encouraged to utilize this site as an authoritative source of information and to engage the Intellectual Property Office on IP issues. We are also on Facebook via ipotrinbago and yes we even tweet.

      Upcoming events and activities are also posted on our medium and through the corporate communications department of the AGLA.

      So back to streaming.

      The best approach in determining whether your broadcast is violating copyright law is to simply use your common sense. If you paid to enter a venue and watch the content, that content is likely protected by copyright. Good examples include If you live stream an entire movie in the theater, or you are at a music concert for example, you are likely violating copyright law by streaming the event for others to “take a view “. Similarly, live streaming a concert would likely expose you to copyright liability. Even broadcasting live sporting events carries significant legal risks as networks pay large sums of money for the exclusive right to broadcast games live.

      Facebook live and other streaming apps are great tools but please read the fine print, and take heed of our domestic IP laws, to ensure that you are using it wisely and not infringing on the rights of others.

      Regan Asgarali

      Acting Controller

      Intellectual Property Office

    • Lasana Liburd This response makes total sense. Particularly this part:
      “The best approach in determining whether your broadcast is violating copyright law is to simply use your common sense. If you paid to enter a venue and watch the content, that content is likely protected by copyright. Good examples include If you live stream an entire movie in the theater, or you are at a music concert for example, you are likely violating copyright law by streaming the event for others to “take a view “. Similarly, live streaming a concert would likely expose you to copyright liability. Even broadcasting live sporting events carries significant legal risks as networks pay large sums of money for the exclusive right to broadcast games live.”

    • Try live streaming a match at Tottenham or Chelsea nah. And tell the steward that you paid for your ticket and can do as you please as they physically fling you out of the ground. Lol.
      Tottenham is one of the strictest I saw. They won’t let you take a photograph of the stadium! They insist that you can only take selfies but they want to be the only authority that can sell shots of their ground.
      While I was there, they banned players from signing autographs because some professional autograph hunters were re-selling autographed stuff. What many clubs do is they insist that anything autographed must have a name–like “To Timmy”–which makes it harder to sell on.
      In other words, we are wide of the mark if we think that live streaming an entire event just because we have a fancy phone makes us first world.

  12. As the CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation, I am aware of such types of abuse of intellectual property by persons who either view and / or interpret our laws differently.

    Having read both comments of Dr. Crowne and Fabien Alfonso on the subject matter at hand, I must state that both gentlemen are correct but i would like to review the footage myself, in an effort to ascertain intent.

    The reason for mention of the word “intent”, can be seen later in my response and therefore, should not be accepted as me coming into agreement with the opposing arguments, as ignorance of the law or “spirit” of same, provides no excuse and / or platform for justification.

    The TTCO is the only neighbouring rights society in Trinidad and Tobago which has a mandate to protect the rights of performers and producers as well as broadcasters, as provided for under the copyright act of Trinidad and Tobago, amended version of 2008

    Maybe said issue will now cause the appropriate action by promoters via CMOs that are properly empowered by its members, to protect their interest which fortunately for the promoter, will positively trigger an outcome in favour of all possible affected parties. (performers, producers, promoters and broadcasters)

    I have also noted additional comments thus far. Some arguments are about being prepared for what may come your way if a case develops, while others argue on the basis that the broadcast of the event was wrong and therefore, is seen as an illegal act.

    I think that the current position is one that should engage the attention of the local CMOs, Promoters, Producers, Consultants, the IPO of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Public and while this act being currently discussed could have been innocent regarding said broadcast, much damage to creatives and promoters may result from same, (now and in the future) if this issue is not seriously and properly addressed.

    More to come in the TTCO’s press conference that will incorporate this current subject.

  13. Lasana Liburd

    Great to have your view and please send any release you might have to editor@wired868.com as well. Thanks!

  14. It’s a way to rob an artist of some income but hey.. This is Trinidad and we love freeness even the artists.

  15. Fabien Alfonso

    As an advocate for appropriate Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights awareness and administration in T&T, I’m heartened that such a conversation has commenced. I totally echo the sentiments of Dr. Crowne that apart from news reporting provisions of the Copyright Act, there is absolutely no other exception, or limitation, in our intellectual property laws that would sanction the live streaming of the entire Machel Monday concert.

    • Lasana Liburd

      It is hard to even comprehend the motive for doing so to me. But maybe I should consider it as part of the current social media phenomena where everyone thinks of him or herself as a publisher. Hopefully legal guidance would do the trick in most cases.

  16. If he controls the live stream that’s fine and gives permission and profits from it…

    If he didn’t give permission then that’s another story

  17. oh I had to for an exam! during the class the lecturer said it was open to interpretation and brought up issues on lack of enforcement of the laws

    • Does your lecturer specialise in this type of law Julie Jules? Or was it just someone giving an opinion?

    • specialize.. but cant rem all he said..that was like 2 years ago..he spoke about the grey lines in law and since laws dealing with the internet is new to Trinidad it was based on interpretation because how many of our judges are versed in those laws? while they may know abt copyright laws how many are making rulings on those in reality? furthermore,I will try to see him and ask abt this particular and get back to you

  18. A case like this can easily get dismissed, even if there is a law that states that only the performer has the exclusive right to broadcast or rebroadcast their event.

    Firstly, even if there is a law, such a law would be open to interpretation as to who is the performer (the artists or the audience members). The audience members can also state that they themselves are also ‘performers’ performing at the event from their vantage point in the crowd, and thus they have the exclusive right as well to broadcast and rebroadcast the event as they see fit. They can even broadcast the events from the bathroom stalls or food vendors areas of the event if they would like, displaying the inner workings of the flushing mechanism, or the delicious bake and shark they’re eating.

    Also, when someone purchases a ticket, thus giving up equal consideration to the artist (artist performs; audience members PAY for such performances), the contract between the audience and the artist has been fulfilled. Unless the audience members also sign a contract with the artists that they (members of audience) will agree NOT to broadcast any part of the stage events, then there is really nothing that the artist can do — law or no laws.

    That article of the law is much too open to interpretation with its many loopholes.

    • 1) Audience members are not performers under the Copyright Act.
      2) A ticket being a contract is separate from IP laws.
      3a) This is the type of conjecture I sought to dispel.
      3b) There aren’t “many loopholes”.

    • (1) I never said that audience members are performers; I said that audience members can CLAIM to be performers (if sued etc), as a legal ploy. A good defense attorney can make a compelling argument like that on behalf of their client.

      (2) I know that a contract between two parties is separate from IP laws. That point was brought up in relation to an audience member defense attorney making a potential compelling argument in a Civil case, in which an artist sued an audience member. This was a Civil Case point being made.

      (3a) Conjecture? Why do you think there is a court system? You think that if audience members who livestreamed events, and then were sued by performers, won’t hire their own attorneys to mount potential defenses and potential counter arguments?

      (3b) In my line of work, all contracts, Agreements, NDAs, and laws have loopholes.

      When you are a shark by nature, everything has loopholes, my friend.

      Everything. ?

  19. As I understand it, because the person was not making a profit from the fb live feed, there really was not an issue. And suing the individual, would they have funds to pay if they lost the case?
    Ultimately, people who want to go to a show will do so. And if you don’t/can’t, well you don’t. But at least you have the option. The show was well attended as usual, so it would be hard to say they lost out. If you talk about profit from livestream @US$9, not sure how many ppl would have viewed anyway. For other less popular events, it might be a good idea for PR if the event is good, for future attendance.

    • It is up to the promoter to decide what is good PR though. Who is an audience member to make that call on their behalf?

    • Exactly. Promoter/artiste. And some might embrace it. Don’t know if you recall a couple years ago, there was a soca artiste who released his CD (can’t rem who it was!) to music pirates, because ppl were not buying original cds and he wanted to get his music out. So, maybe we also need to look at it as an opportunity. I advocate for the use of this tool for events with poor turnout, to build interest. Our king and queen of the bands, traditional mas, camboulay riots, even pan-to borrow from MasterCard, cost of ticket $, cost of promoting our culture and country, priceless!

    • Is this an unofficial stream like an iPhone recording? Sure its illegal but go to a beyonce concert and everyones doing that. Report the live video and Facebook will issue a takedown notice.

      Is this a bigger case where pro-cameras were setup with a broadcast that looks official and it was aired on TV or live streaming websites where people made a profit? Then that’s where courts and fines are typically involved.

    • @Jp…yes…a patron used fb live and streamed the event.

  20. Lasana 2 things: if copyright laws were broken in respect to tnt Im waiting to see what Machel’s lawyers do..secondly, if nothing happens Im waiting to see what happens next year and someone else streams it live…the previous article mentioned that tnt was slow behind in respect to copyright infringement laws ..the author is quite right..with the advancement of technology ..social media etc our laws here are wayy behind…not saying that laws were or may not have been infriged upon because I dont know that..its up to Machel’s lawyers to take action im so im waiting to see..if he sues the person who streamed it live and wins it will be a precedent that will be set..but if he does not there willl be nothing to stop other persons from streaming it again & again & again….until our laws have been amended to accommodate issues like this…this is trinidad after all so we have a long time waiting for that to happen..

    • Our IP laws are not way behind. The original article is incorrect.

    • Ok..what about other live events that take place such as comedy festivals? or even the same carnival music ..while not speaking about streaming issue but the very next day it is sold on the streets on a DVD! aernt there laws broken? just asking? ppl who sell DVDs and CDs on the streets or in a store making profits off of these artiste how come no one has ever been charged or the police hasnt stopped them from selling it???

    • Lack of enforcement is a different issue. The article was misleading with respect to our IP laws, and that’s what I took strong issue with.

    • Julie because someone doesn’t sue doesn’t mean the law wasn’t broken. You’re open to be sued.

    • ur right but I would still like to know what laws were broken from COTT..u realise they havent said anything about this issue right?

      • Fabien Alfonso

        While I agree that all streaming or broadcasts of creative contributions are deemed illegal without proper authorizations, COTT can only speak to the author and composer rights owners whose rights were infringed. They (COTT) have no jurisdiction over local Performers since that organization does not represent the rights of Performers. Dr. Crown mentioned the need for greater coordination and awareness building among stakeholders. It’s time a populace understand the role of the 3 existing (CMOS) Collective Management of Rights Organizations (COTT) (TTCO) and (Awesome intel) and the specific rights owners they represent. This is indeed one of the areas where the current, and unfortunate, misinformation exists.

    • and what happens when someone else streams it live next year and the next year and so forth….nothing stays static..

  21. It’s serious! Trinis and T&T entertainers authors, inventors, entrepreneurs etc must understand and be verse in the law.

    • I don’t understand why people spend so much time capturing a moment and such little simple enjoying it. But that’s the world today.
      But, back to live streaming commercial events… It is an unfair practice and I hope people respect that.

    • Sorry to disagree “Where there is a hit, there is a writ” If the broadcaster is making money from the copyrighted material there is redress, ideally there should be an agreement beforehand, but the more people use my copyright “illegally” for profit the happier i will be.