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All I do is think about Carnival !!! Join me on the road to carnival 2k7

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Location: Arima, Trinidad & Tobago

I love Carnival!!. Trinidad's carnival! Once a year my senses rejoice at the opportunity to douse my soul with intoxicating soca music, shed my cares and fears, and temporarily transfer my spirit into the mas. (S. Drakes)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean


The development of intellectual property awareness is in its infancy in Trinidad. It should help science and arts grow, but can do the opposite if the system is abused. It was a common sight to see the young and unemployed selling pirated CDs on the roadside with local music. These were custom-made CDs of the best songs, sold for a quarter of the original price.

These young street vendors complain that they have no other way of earning a living and that they are taking the bread out of there families mouth. The prices of original Cds with compilations, which include the best songs of the year, are expensive because of the copyright dues that must be paid to many artists and others. In addition to that a couple days after the song is released these music pirates already have them burnt and ready to sell, most songs only comes out on Cds after the Carnival season. Store owners who sell Original CDs had to resort to closing down their stores or joining the list of pirates because of wide scale piracy.

Artistes also feel like they are never fully compensated for their work and they relay the message that piracy is taking food out of their children’s mouths. I also agree with this but then there is another side to it these “pirates” blast and sell the songs of these local artistes throughout the streets of the major towns of Trinidad and Tobago acting as a form of promotion for these artiste. In turn these songs become more and more popular causing the artiste to be in high demand in the feting arena. When COTT started, they implemented a fee that would be paid by taxi drivers if they played their car radios. The same fee would apply for radio broadcasts in malls. The public outcry against this was tremendous. Some local artists boycotted COTT because they felt this would stifle their music, not help it. COTT claimed taxis were public places and broadcasts without permission were unauthorized. Wouldn’t anti piracy stifle their music as well?

Higher costs are a hard pill to swallow, is it better to be on the right side of the law and in good conscience. I cannot unknowingly steal from others. What is your stance?

39 Comments:

Blogger Icahwait* said...

good topic as usual Kevian. But I am in a category that falls against grace to put it nicely.
I know these people work hard at what they do.I also understand that it must be difficult as a local artist to earn big bucks, as soca isn't mainstream on the world stage.

To be honest I know these things and I can think about it BECAUSE you brought it up. Other than that...My Emule provides me with a whole hell of alot of convenience for EVERYTHING I can think of. And in the rare circumstance that it can't then I do things the old fashioned way, uh maybe.
What started it with the music was that I really have to like an artist or they have to release a few good songs from 1 album for me to buy it and that's rare. Usually I like compilations who doesn't. I same amt of bought genuine soca cd's as I have the other kind. Its a step up from taping it straight off the radio like I used to growing up.

Tink of your local video/dvd store... and to be honest I never noticed until my husband pointed it out to me, when you grow up with it normal normal. That is a legal business. So who is the people on Federick St? It there out in the open for everybody to do as they like. Its one of those wars that's not going to be won anytime soon. When the day comes I'll conform. I don't feel guilty either.

1:27 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Lawd I cah wait, yuh send meh back a couple years dey with the taping thing from the radio...lol.

Yeah I honestly believe that priarcy can't be stopped any time soon..because how many alternatives are there really when the soca artiste let out their Cd after carnival.

Plus why buy and entire CD which cost iver 120 tt when only two of the songs good??

1:37 PM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

I was wondering if I'd ah get boff. Wouldn't they make more money if it was the same price as on the streets? At least they could competitors then. I wonder what is the ratio for legit stuff to the pirate stuff.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

I still have all my tapes lol you?

1:49 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Girl I doubt my mudder like to throw away everything.. memories like that to her is junk. what do you mean ration of pirate to legit stuff explain?

1:59 PM  
Blogger saucydiva said...

Girl, I don't think that piracy will stop and it extends itself to the DVD's and film industry as well.Lots of people have publically said they will boycott Movietowne and watch their pirated DVD's at home, and no legal body has come out against pirated movies.

Even if they stop the street pirates what about the "free" music you can download on limewire and other free web sharing sites? All you need is an mp3 player or you can even burn the music unto CD's after converting the mp3s. Who is stopping the online sharing of music? Unfortunately this is a problem all artists are facing not only soca ..I guess the money will be made through performance fees and radio air play not through CD sales. Unless of course you are a Soca star with a power to draw the consumer to purchase your CD nevertheless. For example many friends of mine look for Machel's CD when they visit for Carnival.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

ratio as is if its 1 in 10 that buy a cd from a store as opposed to on the streets.

2:11 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Icah wait I feel is 1:100 yea lol unless as saucy said u are a soca star and therefore pull people to buy ur Cd.

Exactly saucy,people are downloading music from the internet and even if one person buys a orginal Cd, ten of his friend will pass and copy it to the their computer or on other disics.

I guess that no one is cranking down on the movies because it isn't directly affecting the economy.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

But as you say Kevian, at least it getting more advertised that way so its not all bad. Publicity for the music and the artist

3:59 PM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

But as you say Kevian, at least it getting more advertised that way so its not all bad. Publicity for the music and the artist

4:00 PM  
Blogger Trini-in-Toronto said...

Kevian,

I like all of your topics.

I buy original cds for Rudder and Ruppee.
Thats because I found these guys brought out really quality work, and their cds were filled with fantastic songs which got no airplay, and were impossible to find online. I'm telling you, there is this slow version to Rudders Jeruselem, that gives me goosebumps EVERYTIME I listen to it. Those are songs I never heard on commercial radio or at a fete. Also, I've been stalking Rudder since my early teens and I would feel bad to pirate his cd.
At the same time, I can't buy everyones CD. So I download the rest and listen to them, and the songs which are really good, influence me to go to their fetes and shell out big money to see them live. So I try rationalize my guilt that way

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of us today in this world still can not come to terms that can not be stopped, but it can i dont know but some one has to put somthing in place. we are all pirates some wat be the clothes we wear imitating the rap stars, the music we burn for a friend. i personally dont like the pirates thing. if i am an artist i need to make my income so i cant no longer go to the stores and ask for them to sell my music. i have to detour to basics such as wat ever fete or function i'm performing in i must move with my cd's in a bag or somthing "THATS MADNESS"
I GET PISSED everytime i hear about that S%!t about piracy.
soul calibar

6:59 PM  
Anonymous squeezle said...

This is a really complicated issue, and I am of two minds regarding this matter:

I don't like the idea of supporting piracy. We are not just taking money out of the hands of millionaire soca artistes (not that such a thing is justified). The CD you see for legal sale is the result of input from a lot of people, the vast majority of whom do NOT make millions of dollars or command massive performance fees. And on that basis it's really unfair to those who work hard to create the music we enjoy when we only choose to compensate those who had absolutely no hand in the creative process.

ON THE OTHER HAND
Most performers can't seem to produce a consistent product that would make it worth my while to spend money on an entire CD, when I only like 2 or 3 of the songs. That's why when I visit Trnidad, I mostly purchase (legal) compilations in order to get my money's worth. In addition to this, what is a customer to do, particularly a visitor to Trinidad, who only has a short window of time in which to make their purchase? Hot soca tunes are blasting from every speaker, yet how many of them are even AVAILABLE for legal purchase until long after Carnival is done and the tourists have gone home and the season is over.

So I have to walk the line on this question. While I am quite willing to spend hundreds of dollars on whatever good quality product is available in the record stores, I may find myself forced to complete my collection with 'free' downloads or CDs sold on the street. I mean, if the artistes themselves won't sell us their music, how the hell are we supposed to get it?

9:42 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Soul Calibar u are jus lookin at the issues form the side of the artiste. What about people who can't afford to buy the music?

Well squeelze from reading my post u will real that I am two minds about the topic as well.

1:35 AM  
Blogger G-Man said...

No girl, you really on da ball..I'll be around.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous The TriniGourmet said...

amazing blog kevian :) have added you to my blogroll :)

7:51 AM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

I have to say that when I was there in Feb I was looking for some soca cd's from 04 up and they didn't have anything I ask for. So I went in town the next day. So I did check first.

8:03 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

So you got the Cd from the pirates? Now them on de ball..lol

Thanks Trinigourment.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Karabana said...

what Hubby said.

8:53 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

LOL @ Karabana

8:57 AM  
Blogger Carnival Jumbie said...

I does use bootleg cds to make my ringtones. But thats about it.

9:01 AM  
Blogger kevian said...

So you use orginals allthe rest of the time diva?

9:05 AM  
Blogger Ahva said...

Huh well well....pirates mostly promote artiste...cause if u pass by a pirate everyday u will hear sweet pulsating soca music that will make u feel to buy so u too can play it at home work or wherever....If not u have to wait till u hear it on radio or after carnival until they launch their albums... But pirates could not stop me from pulling out my money and purchase Machel's band of d year cd in his anti piracy driveAh mean is Machel i support him anytime anyday...Next point if i want to hear one song from an album of 17 songs i will not put out $120 for that one song when i could go by a pirate and get a compliation of some of my favourite songs for $20 $25...come on..

11:01 AM  
Anonymous squeezle said...

Soul Calibar, you say you find that it is madness for artistes to carry CDs to sell whenever they perform at a function, but that's what EVERY artiste does in the states. From rinky-dink little bands that nobody ever heard of to mega superstars like Sting and Bruce Springsteen - there are always mountains of merchandise available for sale (CDs, t-shirts, posters) at every show. Hell, even the Peruvian flute players on the street-corner selling their own CDs that they record in some basement studio.

Why can't the soca superpowers do the same? The fete promoters can advertise that CDs will be on sale, so people walk with some cash. And artistes can even offer discounts to people who buy merchandise at certain events.

It is a fact that CD sales have begun to drop WORLDWIDE, so artistes have to become more creative in order to beat the pirates at their own game.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Crankyputz said...

Hey the poor vendor on the street (if its good quality) is serving a need for the fraction of the price...its great economics.

I liked your point of illegals helping shore up the songs popularity. I think if you truly love a song/artist you will make the effort to support them.....

Great post as usual

12:42 PM  
Blogger saucydiva said...

Kevian did you take that pic of the "pirate"?

I have never purchased pirated CD's but I have downloaded them freely on limewire; very rare is there a whole album I want to buy so I just download the one or two songs I want to hear.Like someone said it is sometimes only one song from that artiste that I like. I would purchase a David Rudder Greatest Hits or something like that, a collectible CD with lyrics that actually mean something. This ties in with your other post about song lyrics Kevian, I would not buy a CD with songs that are pure rubbish! 5 or 10 years from now I can still enjoy David Rudder as a classic but I know "hand and hand and hand and hand" will not be something I want to be hearing then!

1:47 PM  
Blogger kevian said...

Saucy nah , I "pirate" it ironically ROFL!! from a google image search.

Squeelze I actually think that selling yuh own Cd is ketching up in trini.. I see spot rushers doing that on fredrick street de other day... I was like buhwah!!

i agree if the artiste is good enough I would by the Cd orginal .. but for those ONE HIT wonders.. it eh worth it..lol.

3:41 PM  
Blogger caisoqueen said...

Hi Kev,
Girl, I was out sick fuh ah while dey yes, but ah good now. Anyhow, great post! I'm a limewire addict, however EVERY YEAR I make sure to get Destra CD and Machel CD...orginals! Dis year I goin an buy KMC ole and new stuff.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Icahwait* said...

I waiting on your next post Kevi, yuh lapsing girl.
how the diet/weight going?

6:15 AM  
Blogger caisoqueen said...

where yuh is gyul?? wha goin on? yuh aright?

12:45 AM  
Blogger buublenut said...

Girl I coming on here to ask where you gone and I see others looking for you too!!!

But I understand, you ain't hiding from the cold like the rest of us, you enjoying the sun and have no time to bloggg :)

Hope you alright - see you come Carnival :)

7:57 AM  
Blogger ttfootball said...

kevian like yuh done wit we?

4:34 PM  
Blogger bandwagonist said...

i guess its time for me too jump on this wagon... you posted this "Soul Calibar u are jus lookin at the issues form the side of the artiste. What about people who can't afford to buy the music?".... if we look at the statement not being linked to music I would then infer that it would be ok for the man who doesnt have enough money to buy or rent a car should just steal one! and that isnt taking it out of context... cause a tief is a tief...

I've been actively involved at various levels in the music industry for the past 15 years. It has been from consumer to reseller to producer... and piracy have killed the music industry in Trinidad & Tobago... i hadda stop... this making me feel to write meh own long blog... buh da rant eh gonna come unless... ban-d-wagonist out fuh now

9:48 PM  
Blogger Trini-in-Toronto said...

Kev,

Whats happening? we can't see you at all. Hope everything is cool

9:51 AM  
Blogger ttfootball said...

@ Bandwagonist:
When I remember where I read it I will post the link discussing the unavailability of new soca in trinidad at legitimate sources until after carnival thereby encouraging the pirates. I know the pirates are out year-round but this is just one suggestion for this season.

9:31 AM  
Blogger bandwagonist said...

i am trying to keep on the topic which is an article on piracy... but you now talking about marketing... something that SOCA music does not have... and the main reason for it not being MAINSTREAM as yet.

I will maintain the stand that a tief is a tief... but there are serious issues that everyone has raised when it comes to wanting to buy a full CD...

this is why the iTunes store has been a hit; there are others like Emusic that a Trini like me can access. A person who has access can purchase the somgs and only the song they want. It was all about delivery.

Build it and they will come.

anybody who wanna converse more on this could flood meh mailbox... bandwagonist@bandwagonist.com or link me on WLMessenger sanman_ish@msn.com ... I like this bandwagon cause it not going away anytime soon.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Karabana said...

Kevian, long time no blog!! What's up....?

3:30 PM  
Blogger buublenut said...

If I didn't see her on da road I would be really worried by now

12:41 PM  
Blogger Archie said...

yes people, I went to dc carnival and i have 600 plus pic on my site
http://www.plentipeppa.com. if you missed the carnival doh feel bad.
ok you have a nice site here I will bookmark it. and i hope we link at some point.
I am in the dc metro area
thanks again

2:45 PM  

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