Tuesday, 30 October 2007 12:22 PM

Fight for Rights of Local Musicians

A push in the right direction for local musicians is taking its toll.

A local private lawyer, Mr. Francis Walenisia, from Global Lawyers, said moves are in place to step up on a Copy Right Act to protect local music.

He said the Act, which has been in existence since 1987, will be enforced to protect local musicians.

"Local musicians have all the right to permit their songs and music, and the practice of selling pirate copies of albums in shops should be stopped," Mr. Walenisia said.

He said as part of a public awareness program for musicians, a Copy Right Concert was staged over the weekend in Honiara.

The two-day concert brought together local musicians from around the capital, attracting thousands of fans to the National Arts Gallery grounds.

Musicians were informed of an initiative to set up a Collective Management Society organisation in the country to help them in their music career.

The non-profit making organisation will be an avenue for local musicians to protect their songs, help in marketing and other needs that would directly benefit their career.

"An establishment of such an organisation will be the first, which will help boost the local music industry," Mr. Walenisia explained. "The organisation will address issues contributing towards lack of development in the local music industry."

The proposed organisation will help in the musicians' revenues, marketing and rights of artists on their albums.

"Airing songs of our local musicians on our FM stations is not right," Mr. Walenisia said. "The right procedure to go by is for stations to seek the permission of the specific composer, who has all the right over their own hard work."

Musicians who are called on to help towards the establishment of the organisation will work at designing a strategy that will have people of Solomon Islands buying more of the local musicians' albums than buying foreign music.

Meanwhile, a well-known name in the local music scene, Mr. Placid Walekwate, told the Solomon Times that set up of the Collective Management Society will involve few awareness programs and workshops for local musicians.

He said that the Collective Management Society is fully supported by the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Australian Performing Rights Association.

"The organisation is not only for musicians but also for people with interests in the arts and crafts field," Mr. Walekwate said.

He said that public awareness will also be conducted on how the organisation will work before the actual set up of the Collective Management Society, which will involve stakeholders.

The Copy Right Concert held at the Art Gallery is the first step of their awareness program, Mr. Walekwate said.

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