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May 25, 2022

BSCAP Comments on Trade Licensing Bill

Melissa Zuniga

The Trade License Bill 2022 continues to be a matter of grave concerns for Belizean artists and musicians. As we told you on Monday, the House Committee met to discuss the amendment to the regulation and in attendance were several creatives whose livelihoods are threatened by the proposed changes.  The Belize Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, BSCAP, was at the meeting in Belmopan and shared its concerns in the context of the Belize Copyright Act.


Melissa Zuniga, General Manager, BSCAP

“BSCAP, as a collective management who represents artists, creators, performers, writers of musical works, we had an issue with this.  We are just recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and, you know, a lot of our artists do not or still do not have a steady income, especially those that were performing almost full-time prior to COVID.  And so, for a tax to be levied on entertainers without consultation and just an arbitrary figure because there is limited data available on the Belizean music industry, we take issue to this.  Further to that, we have the music users who are multinational corporations, huge entities that are hotels, bars, they have music being played in the restaurants and the bars and they don‘t want to pay their license fees to be in compliance with the copyright act.  And so, we feel that it is unfair to do so, especially without going through a process of understanding the industry and being able to set a procedure or a process to go about getting this done.”

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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