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Apr 12, 2005

Musicians discuss payments for airplay

Story PictureActivities surrounding the first annual Music Week continued in Belize City today with a panel discussion. The topic on the table was entitled “Belizean music on the air: Composers need paying too!” According to organisers, local vibes are used daily in music programmes and in commercial productions on radio and television, but with no financial compensation for the song’s creators. Popular musician Brother David Obi told News Five this morning that if the local music industry is to develop in Belize, all parties must come to an understanding over money.

David Obi, Local Musician
?The Belizean artists have always been very lenient about using the music, but we always say that if it is for any commercial purpose, please include us. It?s a business, we inna show business. The mentality of most media houses, dah like everybody else inna Belize, very naïve to the situation, but now we are growing. People tend to think that the media houses, just like the ministers, know everything. No they don?t, they de learn just like everybody else. So I glad fu see now that they stop, but to learn you have to stop and listen.?

Silvana Woods, Chair, Belize Broadcasting Authority
?We are at the point in the industry where with associations like MIAB and the various efforts at music associating, that you can contact or that you can come up with a blanket agreement saying for this category of in-house, short-term production, there is this flat fee that gets charged to the client. At the moment they aren?t charging the client anything for quick in-house production where they grab local music. But instead of saying it?s wrong, stop it, and run the risk of them just not using local music, let?s work together.?

According to Woods, there are fourteen commercial radio stations in operation in Belize. We understand that plans to resolve this issue in local music include the formation of a radio association of Belize and meetings with media houses around the country to determine a fee for using local music in programming and production.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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