Chairman of B-Copy demands respect for Intellectual Property in Barbados: Behaves in snit when Speech recorded, which participant paid for in NCF seminar

FILE PHOTO: B-Copy chair lambasting successive Gov'ts for not creating incentives for Barbadian Artists to be profitable, how can they whjen his approach to diplomacy makes a Schwarzenegger film look like a Nobel Peace prize?

FILE PHOTO: B-Copy chair lambasting successive Gov'ts for not creating incentives for Barbadian Artists to be profitable, how can they whjen his approach to diplomacy makes a Schwarzenegger film look like a Nobel Peace prize?

Nobody knew how close I came to walking out of an NCF seminar for the petty and snide way Antonio “Boo” Rudder behaved at a special Arts Symposium which was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. I wanted to record the speech on my MP3 player so I can quote accurately, but in his view I did not ask permission. Yet in my view, I paid for the seminar, much the same way that a person can buy an album and download it off the Internet – I felt I was entitled to record the lecture.

If Rudder did not give permission for the speech to be recorded, then I would very calmly walk out, and further I would have advised everyone to boycott any NCF workshop if you cannot obtain a record of what you pay to learn! As “Boo” is so particular on what his alleged pearls of wisdom are, I will give you the significance of what he said but not a direct quotation as I don’t want to be billed by Rudder via COSCAP for using his words.

In addition the picture of the chairman of B-Copy (the Intellectual Property watchdog of Barbados) is an old photo from when he spoke at Queen’s Park for the revival of DePAM and he did not mind people recording his words then!

What irritated me even more so, was that Rudder kept haranguing me about the MP3 incident during the whole course of his lecture! In essence he was implying that I was a thief, to say I was tempted to seek legal advice was putting it mildly! Ironically I can easily substantiate my accusation of Rudder’s seeking to impugn my reputation as I have a recording of the lecture and it is still there apart from knowing many of the audience who attended and were appalled at the ex-drummer’s boorish manner.

He was no better than the former the former Prime Minister who got vex when Smokey Burke reminded them licenses were due when an event to celebrate COSCAP was scheduled to unfold at Ilaro Court. It is ironic that the politician who oversaw legislation relating to IP (Intellectual Property) ignored the very conventions he was voted to uphold. Yet Rudder was just as vindictive as the politician, simply because he and I have opposing views on Intellectual Property.

I was not recording the speech to burn on a disk and sell for the highest bidder – for one thing, what he said was nothing really new, he was just displaying his perspective on a matter which becomes more and more significant as the Internet stretched the boundaries of what is news, what is true, what is mine, whose is this and so on…

In Rudder’s view, there are many Governmental agencies, including UWI, who seem to be averse to honest licensing of IP be it music or video or otherwise. He says if Government robustly enforced its own legislation concerning IP, then there would not be so many vendors on side streets looking to peddle bootleg CD’s and DVD’s (my contention is if they have cheap prices, then the original seller will always lose unless they learn to reduce the source budgeting)!

The former player with the Blue Rhythm Combo (BRC, way before Ralph “Bizzy” Williams own company – careful ‘Biz,’ Rudder may sue yuh!) says Barbados is enduring unnecessary hemorrhaging in dispensing royalties for overseas melodies, he claims there was a payout of $172,000 in 2003 and by 2008 it soared to $753,000.

In Rudder’s view part of the way forward to prevent such a loss in foregin exchange is to demand and legislate that Barbados has a 60% local music policy (I can see everyone buying their own music, legal or not, so they can hear what THEY want and NOT be TOLD what they have to hear).

Even as it relates to businesses and Art, he wants companies to stop exhibiting foreigners and use Barbadian Art and be encouraged to to do so via Tax incentives. The way some artists price their work, I know it is difficult for me to own Bajan art – so I wonder how much ‘Mr Manners‘ has got?

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